Illustrations of passengers and bus stops, plus interviews and portraits of bus and train operators will make one want to abandon the isolation of the automobile and jump on public transportation, be it Muni in San Francisco or whatever your hometown provides.
Colored pencil portraits of Muni operators, drawings of bus passengers, and B&W line drawings of bus stops by San Francisco artist Keith Ferris, accompanied by writer Lia Smith's in-depth interviews of Muni operators, who detail their day-to-day realities transporting passengers throughout the City and explain what drew them to the profession.
“The personal narratives of Muni operators provide important insights into the complexity of transit labor politics—often overlooked in sustainable transportation debates. We learn that many operators support transit first policies, and that many operators desire to live in the city that they serve, but cannot, due to the high cost of housing. Before the next budget cycle and transit plan is crafted, this book should be required reading at City Hall.
—Jason Henderson, Professor of Geography and Environment at San Francisco State University and author of Street Fight: The Politics of Mobility in San Francisco
“If there’s anything we’ve learned about life on Muni, it’s that the interesting stuff happens along the journey, not at the destination. From the nuances of operating a bus on city streets to the small details of our rides and fellow riders, Keith Ferris and Lia Smith have captured the urban humanity within each Muni experience that knits us together.”
—Eugenia Chien and Tara Ramroop, Muni Diaries co-founders
Keith Scott Ferris has exhibited since the 1970s and maintained a fine art studio for over forty-seven years. Although his focus has been abstract oil paintings on canvas, drawing remains foundational to his work. The over fifty drawings in MUNI IS MY RIDE, which he started in 2009, evolved and helped him hone his abilities to capture a likeness in his portraiture.
Lia Smith writes short stories and novels. She has had short stories published in both national and literary magazines. She has employed her writing skills to advocate for her community and has project managed several community art installations including the Alemany Island Beautification Project, the first freeway pillar painted in San Francisco and flanked by forty-eight art panels at the intersection of Alemany Boulevard and San Bruno Avenue.