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New Muni PSA Is So Dorky You Kind of Have to Love It

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We’re huge fans of puns and wordplay over here. We’re also really big on excellent public-transportation etiquette. On a quick jaunt from Powell to Van Ness stations this afternoon, some SF Weekly staff got to ride on one of those new space trains — well, they’re not that new, but there’s still only a few of them as the rest get added into the fleet — and we noticed this PSA campaign rooted in musical references.

The new streetcars, five of which debuted late last year, have layouts that are slightly different than the soon-to-be-phased-out cars. There are fewer seats and more room to stand. That feels like a rather feeble solution to overcrowding, and it also introduces the need to get people not to bunch up near the doors. The worst-case scenario for these trains is that they create even bigger empty pockets on rush-hour trains than the old fleet, so This Is Your Muni wants to encourage us to be model citizens. To do that, they’re dusting off some references to Notorious B.IG., The Beatles, OutKast, and Simon & Garfunkel.

“I Like the Way You Move,” one reads, with a smaller inscription saying, “…away from the doors. Move to the center of the train after boarding.”

“We Want to Hold Your Hand,” another proclaims. “Hold on to a strap or pole while your train is moving. Like the Beatles, we think you’ll understand.”

The Biggie Smalls one is so dorky you just have to love it, especially if you’ve ever been body-checked by someone who jerked suddenly while wearing a full bag: “Mo’ Backpacks, Mo’ Problems: Your new train’s aisles are Notoriously B.I.G. Keep them clear by removing your bags.”

It’s true, and you’re also making room for an entire person to squeeze on. Weirdly, Muni does not mention that you should also stand behind the safety lines because the new trains are “Dangerous on trizacks, leave your ass flizat.”

UPDATE: A question in tonight’s bonus game of HQ Trivia had both Simon & Garfunkel and OutKast as potential answers to the question “Which duo consists of two people not born in the same year?” (The correct answer was The White Stripes.)

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Peter Lawrence Kane @wannacyber

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