Blaze ignites passion for Muni

For many San Franciscans, complaining about Muni is akin to talking about the weather — it is water cooler talk that leans toward the negative. But events following the World Series celebrations in The City show that riders and

San Franciscans care about the system, no matter how much they love to kvetch.
In the revelry after the Giants beat the Detroit Tigers to win the World Series last month, people took to the streets. Most of the celebratory actions were harmless. But others took the partying to the extreme, lighting fires and vandalizing buildings. In one of the most shocking cases, several people smashed the windows of a bus and then lit it on fire, ruining a $700,000 bus that had just had $300,000 worth of work done on it.

Reaction to the attack was swift. A grass-roots effort to find the vandals using Facebook and other social media quickly took off. Pictures of the people who broke the windows and lit the bus on fire went viral. And as of Tuesday, three people had been arrested on suspicion of crimes connected with the bus vandalism.

The Police Department had a lot of evidence to work with in this case, as news photographers and everyday people had pictures and video of the event captured on everything from cameras to smartphones. But the public’s willingness to spread the message about the vandalism is evidence that despite the complaints, people here do care about Muni as a system.

Perhaps if the energies put into finding these vandals were channeled into creative solutions for the transit agency, there would be less to talk about around the water cooler.

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