Watch TV while waiting for bus

Muni riders can now catch up on television shows including “The OC,’’ “CSI’’ and “The Next Iron Chef’’ at four downtown bus shelters in The City.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency closed a $300 million contract with Clear Channel in 2007 that allows the company to advertise in Muni’s 1,100 shelters, said Muni spokesman Judson True. Clear Channel contracted out the space for the televisions to FANCAST.com, an online television watching Web site. Now people waiting for Muni can send a text code to choose one from a handful of shows offered and plug in their headphones to the television.

Clips play for about four minutes and then the screen prompts the viewer to choose another option with another text — standard rates apply. When the television is idle, it flashes clips of other television shows without sound.

“The important thing for us is that this contract provides much-needed revenue for the agency,’’ True said.

But not all commuters were impressed with the choice of locations for the televisions.

“If I were to use Muni in the area, I would be underground,’’ said San Jose resident John Hernandez, who uses the Embarcadero BART station to get to work every day.

Hernandez was enjoying the fresh air in the middle of the afternoon near the Market and Steuart streets bus shelter — one of the four with a television.

The shelter accommodates passengers waiting for the 14-Mission that goes through the Mission and Excelsior districts, and the N-Owl that travels to Ocean Beach after underground hours.

“Seems like it might be better for the after-hours crowd,’’ he said.

The televisions will be around until at least Nov. 8, at which time the contracts could be extended.

Wait and watch

Bus shelters with television screens can be found at four locations in The City:

Beale and Market streets
(about a half block down Beale on the SoMa side)

Market and Steuart streets
(at One Market)

Moscone Center

Taylor and Bay streets
(at cable care turnaround)

Source: FANCAST.com

kkelkar@sfexaminer.com

 

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