Noe Valley Voice April 1999

Muni Opens VIP Lounge for J-Church Riders

By El Terrible

Finally, some pampering for weary Muni patrons: On April 1, the city's bus system unveiled a VIP travelers' lounge, open to all full-fare J-Church riders.

The luxurious open-air lounge, located in a converted bus shelter at 24th and Church, features padded flip-up seats, safety glass, a no-host telephone, a framed Muni map, copies of Awake!, and a life and disability insurance representative. The kiosk has also been equipped with a coffee vending machine offering a choice of cream and sugar, cream only, sugar only, black, or hot chocolate. An assortment of snacks, including Little Debbie's Devil Squares, can be purchased from a uniformed hostess, sponsored by the Chubb Group of Big Companies.

"They also have a schedule on the wall, which is comforting since it tells us that the bus might come at some point," said frequent rider Swami Conveydapeople.

To qualify for VIP status, riders must show proof of payment of Muni's new Full Farey ($5), which includes a transfer good for two hours. Holders of Real Fasty Passes will also be admitted to the lounge on a first-come, first-served basis.

"We also will let the VIPs use their cell phones and bring in as many carry-on bags as they can fit under their seat, if they get one," said Muni Chief Running Late.

In other transit developments, to improve passenger relations on the 24-Divisadero, Muni consultants have developed a series of games to make the ride go more smoothly, such as "The Sardine Squeeze," "Goo on the Seat," "Find the Psycho," "Whose Hand Is That, Anyway?" and "Count the Cows."