According to Troy Holden (aka Plug1), he’s been emailing MTA spokesperson Judson True regarding the promised policy on a weekly basis for nearly four months, so we can only imagine how thrilled he must be to have this policy in place.
The key points of the policy are consistent with those outlined to us by True in August. The key point, however, is that , (read the whole thing here), “The general public is permitted to use personal, handheld photography and videography equipment on all Muni in-service transit vehicles and on publicly- accessible SFMTA property, including Muni stations, as long as such activities do not interfere with transit operations.”
However, you won’t find this policy on the MTA website quite yet — True tells us the policy will be “on the (SFMTA) site this week,” but we couldn’t find it there as of publication time.
True told us in August that Muni employees were being trained that non-disruptive photography and video is acceptable. However, given the respective characters of the Muni employees and the photographers we know (much love, but…) a photographer/Muni employee conflict is well neigh inevitable.
So, we asked True What is your recommendation for any photo/videographer who is stopped by a MTA employee who is unaware of the policy? How would you advise them to resolve the situation?
His response: “I would advise the photographer to ask the SFMTA staff person to call Central Control who will contact me for clarification of the guidelines.” (That’s Judson True, rhymes with glue.)
The Appeal also suggests, as in our experience True is not always available, that noncommercial non-obstructive (and how about non-rude? No need to try to be a dick, you know?) Muni photo/videographers print out and keep the MTA memo on the policy. (Here you go.) Just in case.