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For $5.60, We'll Cab It 

The high price of buying a Muni pass online

Wednesday, Mar 27 2002
Walking to the corner liquor store and interacting with an actual human has always seemed a bit of a chore just to buy a Muni Fast Pass, so we were intrigued to find a link on Muni's home page that promised "online monthly Web sales."

Intrigue gave way to incredulity, however, when the link sent us to the site of the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau and stopped our clicking with this caveat: "There is a $5.60 to $18.95 shipping charge per order, depending on shipping method and destination."

Whoa! Unless they're using gold-plated envelopes, $5.60 seems a little steep to ship, across town, something the size and weight of a baseball card. We phoned the good folks at the bureau and asked why the $35 Muni pass is handled with such pricey kid gloves.

"If you were buying only one Muni pass, it does seem expensive," admits Kelly Chamberlin, a bureau spokeswoman. "But we have to be able to track the shipment, because it's a valuable item, so we use UPS. And for anything up to 1.99 pounds, that's the cost."

Adds Marketing Director Karen Bell: "We're not looking at it as a revenue-generating service, and neither is Muni. It's really just a convenience thing. Only about 20 people use it every month."

Only 20? We can't imagine why.

New Math

A new topic recently emerged on the message board of the Usual Suspects, the Web site for San Francisco political junkies. It's called Political Math. "In an effort to mine every good gag that came out of Spy magazine, I'm starting a new thread," says the topic's instigator, Go Getter 75. "Make fun of public figures by using famous names instead of numbers in math equations." A few of our favorites:

(Quentin Crisp - Oscar Wilde) + (Harvey Fierstein - Raymond Burr) + Mother Jones magazine + a clogged drain = Tom Ammiano

Frank Jordan + charm school + Armani = Gavin Newsom

Andy Garcia playing the Al Pacino character in And Justice for All + Don Novello as Lazlo Toth + Ralph Nader = Matt Gonzalez

(Robert Conrad + Billy Barty) / a rhesus monkey = Aaron Peskin.

About The Author

Matt Palmquist


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