Information NOT Gladly Given?

Muni unveiled sleek new buses yesterday, both motor coaches and trolley coaches. Their press release was full of positive stuff, and rightly so. Transit chief John Haley deserves credit for pulling strings to get new vehicles ordered and here much faster than used to be the case.

But, as the Chronicle story pointed out, there’s something a little historic missing from the new vehicles:

“some of the familiar signs, replaced mostly with visual images. That includes the classic Muni message: ‘Information Gladly Given But Safety Requires Avoiding Unnecessary Conversation.’ Haley said it’s part of a campaign to eradicate negative and threatening messaging from buses.’ That’s not the environment we want to create,’ he said.”

InfoTeeBlackWell, since our non-profit’s mission is “Preserving Historic Transit in San Francisco,” we figure we’ve got to do something. So we’re not only going to continue to offer our tee shirt bearing that ironic (and now, iconic as well) slogan in the traditional gray, we’ve now added stylish black. (Scroll down the linked webpage to reach the shirt.) Gray or black, starting at $16.95 (members get 10% off!)

There’s no better conversation starter than this shirt, and as Muni excises the slogan from its new vehicles, it’s even more important to own one, to keep the slogan alive!

As mentioned, you can get this great shirt with its endangered slogan online, or at our San Francisco Railway Museum, where we’re rolling out a new shirt featuring a Milan tram as well! (That’ll hit our online store in a few days.)

When our friend Todd Lappin (the guiding light behind the fabulous Bernalwood blog) suggested this shirt to us, he described the slogan as “simultaneously friendly and forbidding, inviting yet indifferent, personable yet coldly professional.”  Sums it up pretty well.

Still, it’s not as cheerless as the slogan it replaced: “Do Not Talk To Operator.”

But probably the all-time Muni passenger warning sign was this one, that used to be on the step-down-to-open rear doors of Muni buses in the 1950s and 1960s.

P1020257Or, “Don’t squish your kids.”  Now that’s threatening!