A new feature could really blow the doors off of your Muni rage whenever you’re waiting too long or your bus is too crowded. It’s called Rate My Ride, and allows you Muni riders to “provide line-specific feedback about any Muni trip in seconds,” though does not offer a five-star based system like Lyft and Uber.
Muni’s Rate My Ride is not a new app, but a new feature rolled out last week to the existing MuniMobile app for iOS and Android. The MuniMobile app also lets you buy transfers on your phone, plan trips, and see when the next bus is coming.
You can’t just pop open the MuniMobile app and use Rate My Ride — first-time users have to create an account, with their name, phone number, and email. But once your account is set up, these features are all available.
Unlike the five-star system of rideshare apps, Rate My Ride only lets you give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, in each of the five categories below:
- Travel Time – “My wait time and overall Muni trip didn’t take too long”
- Vehicle Condition – “My Muni was clean and well-maintained”
- Comfortable Ride – “My Muni was roomy enough for everyone to board”
- Rider Etiquette – “Fellow riders kept our Muni environment positive and respectful”
- Employee Courtesy – “Muni staff were friendly and helpful”
If you want to give more formal or detailed feedback, you have to call 311. Muni claims they will eventually aggregate all these results in public view at sfmta.com/performance.
Though the ratings are just thumb-up and thumbs-down, you can see how this might be data could meaningfully improve Muni service. Significant patterns of waits being too long or buses being too crowded could appear in clusters, and prompt Muni to add more bus lines.
But that assumes that people will be using the MuniMobile app to provide ratings, and also assumes that Muni would have the resources to fix the problems. If not, it might be tough for a mobile phone app to “growth hack” us out of those legacy problems.