next311.jpg (scroll down for update) The day after public revelations like how every time you call 311 about Muni, an angel gets his wings, it costs the transit agency $1.96, it was funny to be greeted by this message from NextBus, suggesting that we call 311 for the scoop on budget-related cuts.

Now, we know that the proposal to use 511 instead of 311 for Muni tasks was just presented yesterday, but, heck, guys. Needless to say, we’ve already emailed Muni spokesperson Judson True (from the N Judah, which we’re riding right now!) to see if we can get some more insight into the thinking behind asking Muni users to, in effect, charge Muni nearly 2 bucks every time they want to hear about its budget problems.

UPDATE: Judson got back to us, and reminded us that, hey, 311 is still ourone stop shop for City agencies, and that Muni encourages its patrons to call 311 (or use MTA’s website) to learn more about how Muni’s budget issues will impact them, or to register feedback on their proposed cuts. While Muni encourages riders to transition their “when is the next bus coming?” questions to 511, they welcome calls to 311 on other issues, like driver complaints, the aforementioned feedback and budget questions, and other MTA concerns. He confirmed that he didn’t think it was as funny as we did, and we see his point.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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