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The Final Tally Is in From the 22-Day Muni Challenge

The final score at City Hall for the 22-Day Muni Challenge, as shown in a screenshot from SFTRU’s “Leaderboard.”
The final score at City Hall for the 22-Day Muni Challenge, as shown in a screenshot from SFTRU’s “Leaderboard.”

The final score for the 22-Day Muni Challenge is in. Based on the ride tally, about half of SF’s elected officials took seriously their commitment to get the everyday experience of riding Muni. The supervisors who have a record of legislating to improve transit scored well.

Tomorrow evening, you can join five of the top Muni-riding supervisors in a celebratory wrap-up with the SF Transit Riders Union. On the bill are Supervisors Jane Kim, John Avalos, Scott Wiener, Eric Mar, and Julie Christensen -- all of whom logged at least 20 rides during the challenge.

The event will include awards for the supes, and not just for the most rides logged. Trophies will go out for "best interaction with a passenger," "best picture," and "crankiest tweeter," among other categories.

When it comes to quantity of rides, however, Wiener dominated with a grand total of 106. I ran into him last week as I exited a 38-Geary bus with my wife at Geary and Fillmore Streets. (Thanks, all-door boarding.)

Riding crowded #LTaraval with @SupervisorTang to experience trials & tribulations of west side commuting. #OnBoardSF pic.twitter.com/y1BcniHWEc

— Scott Wiener (@Scott_Wiener) June 17, 2015

Wiener has been a regular Muni rider for 18 years, but in a post on Medium he said he still learned valuable lessons from the 22-day challenge. This one is key:

People like seeing their elected officials on transit. It’s important for elected officials to understand, on a personal level, what their constituents are going through so that we have the fire in the belly to address those needs. I prefer transit to driving in part because you get to interact with other people rather than be isolated in a vehicle by yourself. I’ve found over the years that people react positively when they see their representatives on transit with them, including during the tough trips. While I’ve been yelled at on Muni on more than one occasion, far more often people have been incredibly nice and gracious. During the 22-day challenge, people went out of their way to thank me for riding.

I can attest to that. Soon after I saw Wiener, he tweeted about the bumpy ride on 38 buses, which "always seem to lack shock absorbers." It was endearing to see an elected official acknowledge the everyday problems I've experienced getting around, on the same bus I was riding, no less.

Tomorrow's event takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. at Mr. Smith's bar at 34 Seventh Street, near Market Street above the Civic Center Muni/BART station.

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