But being that I have lived in this city for over twenty years, I have seen a big shift with this public transit agency.
I feel this started about ten years back, Muni was starting on a landslide that they could never truly recover from. I felt this started with the infamous "Muni Meltdown" when the metro system's new automated train system failed miserably, the buses started doing no-shows and illegally skipping stops, and public opinion for the system was going down the drain faster than the P.R. people could fix.
But after all these years, have they recovered? Absolutely not. Things have been much worse. We have graffiti that is impossible to fully erase from inside the buses, the new metro trains break down frequently, passengers hate the fare inspectors, they are dirtier than before, and back door boarding is frequent on the major bus lines.
What happened to the decency when riding public transit? I still remember as a kid that nobody ever entered the back door, especially in areas like Chinatown, now notorious for passengers trying to get in and evade paying their fare. Why do people feel they have an obligation or right to enter the back doors of a transit vehicle when it is clearly not allowed?
I feel that back door boarding was too difficult on Muni with their older generation of buses. The back doors of the past were narrow enough to only let one person exit, or for the two passenger width exits, only one door on your side would open if you stood on the sensor pad; making it pointless to attempt to illegally enter the bus. Today's Muni buses now open both doors upon activating the back door, and it gives an opportunity for passengers to exit one lane while others illegally enter through the other. If Muni wants to buy new buses, they need to use the one door exit measure or be like the current hybrid fleet that has a door that's only wide enough for one passenger to exit at a time.
Interestingly, the most respectable people I find who ride Muni are the peak-hour express bus passengers. At Davis/Pine, they all make neat lines at the stops, everyone enters through the front door, doesn't graffiti or eat food, and keeps cell phone usage to a bare minimum.
Lastly, it never seems fair that the people who obey the rules and policies of Muni gets stiffed with higher fares and cuts to bus lines.