smokingdriver.jpgsfshoots_iconV3.jpgPhotographer:Travis Jensen
Photo taken when: Tuesday November 10, 5:05 PM
Where: Davis Between Sacramento and California

Writer and photographer Travis Jensen says “The bus is a 38BX line (bus number 766), which makes only two stops downtown before shuttling passengers non-stop to the city’s Richmond District. Express buses usually line up on Davis Street prior to picking up passengers. According to the schedule on the SFMTA website, this appears to be the 5:10p.m. bus., which leaves less than five minutes for the bus to air out before passengers board.”

Is it against the rules for Muni drivers to use buses as their personal smoking lounge while on their breaks? Jensen says “I’d probably be arrested for lighting up on a bus. Drivers should be held to the same standard, no?” We’ve emailed Muni spokesperson Judson True to get some clarification on Muni policy, but he and his colleagues are out of the office for the Veteran’s Day holiday. We’ll update if and when he responds.

Update: True responds, though he’s on holiday: “There is no smoking on SFMTA property, including Muni buses.” So there you have it — this is a definite “don’t.”

Have you recently taken a San Francisco-set shot you’d like to see here? Send it to us at, with your name and how you’d like to be linked to, date and where you took it, and any other text you’d like to see accompany it.

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

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!
  • CeeLew

    I live near the beginning of the No. 3 line and the buses smell like an ashtray A LOT. It’s disgusting.

  • We’ve heard a couple of similar reports about this on Muni Diaries:
    Driver caught smoking on video
    Another picture of a driver smoking
    Drivers smoking at a stop.

    That last post garnered us a lot of comments – but personally I think if the driver is smoking when nobody is around, I could care less. There are bigger problems with Muni than drivers smoking, but that’s just my two cents. People do get pretty upset over it, though, as you can see in our comments section. It would be interesting to find out what the official policies are around drivers taking smoking breaks.

  • susitucker

    Haha, last night, on the N line, traveling out of the underground at Church and Duboce, some dude lit up at the rear of the entirely packed train. I mean, it’s like 6:15 p.m. on a Tuesday, we’re all crammed in trying to get home from work, and this guy, who stunk to begin with and who looked cracked out anyway, pulled out a ratty old cigarette and lit it up. In front of everyone around him. With no regard for anyone around him. So of course, someone asks him to put out the smoke and reminds him that it’s against the law. Thankfully, he put out the smoke (on the floor) and told the woman “I know the laws…I know all the laws.” He got off at the same stop I did, at Duboce Park right before the tunnel, and my fantastical memory shows him diving head-first for the nearest tree and sulking like a spoiled kid.

  • Brock Keeling

    Is this an ad or a comment? Sheesh.

  • TravisJensenSF

    Glad Mr. True chimed in to let us know that smoking is not prohibited on MUNI. But what I want to know is, what action is taken against those that are caught smoking on MUNI, namely drivers?

  • TravisJensenSF

    Sorry, I meant “prohibited,” not “not prohibited.”

  • david888

    Hey can’t we give the guy a break! We all know the evils of smoking but we all know that judging others is wrong too!

  • SoSlot

    “what action is taken against those that are caught smoking on MUNI, namely drivers?”

    Wise question.

    On traffic and parking issues Mr. True is want to say, “We have no policy
    that allows…………….”

    Policy and reality are two different things.

    As in most cases, the answer will be “precious little will be done for those who put policy aside.”

  • Herschell K

    Get the FU@K over it homeboy needs a smoke after driving idiots around all day obviously the bus is empty and he is taking a moment to himself give him a break

  • Jason

    i think the best thing to do is call in and report it. sfmta needs to know its employees are breaking rules like this.

  • cedichou

    Come on, the outrage is that this muni driver is on a cell phone. It’s prohibited for muni drivers to be in the bus on a cell phone. He might get brain cancer.

  • eugenia

    Um, yeah, chill out, I just thought people might like to see a video on the same topic and see what others have been saying about it. (shrug)