Muni Keeps the Twitterbus Rolling Despite Crippling Sickout

While most San Franciscans are struggling to get to and from work today following Muni's sickout, which left approximately 67% of city's buses parked in the yard, a line built explicitly to serve the Mid-Market tech corridor where Twitter's headquarters are located was up and running all morning.

Muni Keeps the Twitterbus Rolling Despite Crippling Sickout

The 83X Mid-Market Express, commonly known as the "Twitterbus" for connecting Caltrain to Twitter, was found running apace today despite hour-plus delays on Muni's busiest lines. The line itself was created in 2012—just weeks ahead of Twitter opening their new headquarters at 10th and Market—as a bonus incentive to lure tech companies to the Mayor's then-fledgeling "Twitter Tax Break" area in Mid-Market.

According to the Chronicle, the sickout was prompted by a contract proposal that would have shifted pension contributions onto the workers themselves:

Under the proposal, the agency says, Muni workers would get 11.25 percent raises over two years, but they would pick up a 7.5 percent pension payment now paid by the MTA.

The contract would push operator pay to about $32 an hour July 1, making Muni drivers the second-highest-paid transit workers in the country, according to the MTA.

Tech loves to frame labor disputes as unwelcome speed bumps on the road to disruption, but both Lyft and Uber seized the opportunity to gouge stranded riders, with Lyft hitting them with 75% surge pricing as early as 8:30am.

Despite the preferrential treatment, Twitter is littered with tech workers complaining about Muni's $32/hour pay rate:

Just remember, $65,000 barely covers rent when a one bedroom in the Tenderloin is going for $3,040.

[Photo by Evan Sernoffsky]