Muni Drivers Pissing on the Street

Piss notice.jpg
Via N-Judah Chronicles
Micturating Muni drivers have raised the ire of their higher-ups. And now it's hit the Internet.
You'd think they'd have run out of ideas long ago. But Muni has found a completely new way to create a bad situation involving urine. Drivers have allegedly been pissing in the streets along the T-line.

This photo was snapped by a Muni patron and sent along to my colleague Greg Dewar, who writes the N-Judah Chronicles blog. A Muni driver chose a particularly sensitive and embarrassing office communique to plaster over his non-functioning fare box. So not only was the ride free, it provided this gem of a memo.

Signed by Muni divisional superintendent Frank Lum and sent out on May 27, here's what we can make out of the unobstructed portions of the memo:

Complaints have ... operators urinating in public ... of Third Street and Marin Street. This is unprofessional ... tolerated. Employees will face ... [disciplinary] action up to and including [dismissal]. Your cooperation ... appreciated.

You can see a larger version of the document here.

Our messages for Muni and the Muni drivers' union were not returned over Memorial Day weekend (go figure). But we did reach some current and former Muni officials -- and they had a hard time blaming the drivers. Muni has faced stiff opposition when it proposes placing facilities for drivers along the routes; neighborhood residents don't want them there. "You think Muni employees wouldn't rather pee somewhere other than outside?" noted one former Muni official.

Inadequate restroom facilities for drivers, especially at lines' terminal stops, has been a longstanding Muni problem. Efforts to build restrooms or even place outhouses along the stops has run into neighborhood opposition Muni officials chalked up to NIMBYism. Fierce efforts to keep restroom facilities from being placed at a terminus stop may actually be part of neighborhood activists' bigger plans to get the stop removed altogether, one Muni official noted. "Everyone wants a top-class transit system, but no one wants to be at the end of the line," he said. "Well, every line has to end."

When it comes to pissing in public, rock stars and Muni drivers are treated differently
If Muni cannot erect restrooms or leave out porta-johns, it shunts its drivers to government buildings along route lines to take care of their bathroom needs.

When government buildings aren't available, Muni signs leases with restaurants and private businesses so drivers can stop in and use the john. It is not yet clear what the official restroom arrangements are for Muni drivers along the Third Street corridor.

But it is definitely possible that these arrangements are inadadequate -- leading to drivers takin' it to the streets and finding yet another way to piss off riders. 

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