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SF Muni Operator Breaks Down the Shang-Chi Bus Fight, Play-by-Play

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cover photo; shang chi pulls the "stop requested" cord amid a bus fight scene in "shang chi and the seven rings"

Shang Chi prepares to pull the stop request bus cord in a fight scene that takes place on an actual SF Muni bus. Credit: ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’

One Muni operator’s analysis, fact-checking, and commentary on what the SF Chronicle described as the ‘second-best San Francisco car chase of all time‘ has won over the hearts of Marvel enthusiasts and public transit advocates alike.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings features a martial arts fight scene filmed on a Muni bus, fictionalized as “SFT”.

Mc Allen, who goes by @that_mc on Twitter, pointed out in a viral Twitter thread that the scene takes place on a New Flyer D60 articulated 60 foot motor coach, complete with a cameo from real bus ad for a jazz and blues festival.

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Anyone familiar with SF Muni would recognize the faithfulness to the silver/red color scheme and boxy logo font. But unlike its modern-day Muni counterpart, the 1-California features brushed steel and cushioned seats.

In the rest of the thread, Mc Allen delighted and educated readers with a rundown of the scene, from the perspective of a Muni operator:

Luckily for Muni riders, we’ve now also confirmed what it takes to cut through the articulating section of a bus, with a closer look at what’s underneath those rotating plates, and what happens afterward:

There are tidbits about standard and emergency procedure sprinkled in, with some light-hearted reprimanding of the film’s bus operator:

And, plenty of praise and affirmations too:

 

The thread’s virality drew additional nuggets, like the behind-the-scenes of the bus’ destructive path over parked cars (a NUMTOT‘s dream?)

There was also a fact-check: the 1-California travels what once was the 82-Chinatown’s route, which goes through the Stockton Street Tunnel, before it became a part of the 30-Stockton and 45-Union lines, as reported by KQED Arts. The 82-Chinatown was one of several historic lines that connected San Francisco’s Chinese communities in and outside of Chinatown.

The actual 1-California bus line of the past was once known as the 55-Sacramento line, which provided a route to travel between the Richmond District and Chinatown.

Chinatown Transportation Research and Improvement Project (TRIP) is one of several SF-based advocacy groups that emerged from the fight for Black equality civil rights era.

Its founders, KQED Arts reported, lobbied for bus lines connecting Chinatown to Chinese communities that flourished across San Francisco after the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act abolished the national-origins quota law left behind by the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882.

Queena Chen, a co-chair of Chinatown TRIP, shared with KQED Arts how transportation often gets taken for granted: “it brings you to places for stability or to a job. It could bring you economic opportunities that you probably won’t have for folks who live in lower-income areas, for the kids going to school.”

Following the virality of the thread, Mc Allen called attention to the critical role public transit plays for many in the city.

“But really I just want you to support public transport by riding the bus more and driving a personal car less,” MC followed up with. “Support policies that fund public transport, and support policies that prioritize people over parking spots.”

And of course, don’t forget to thank your bus driver when you get off the bus.

“Every ‘Thank you’ makes our day on the road a little better,” MC tweeted. “I’m still a rookie operator, new to the job, but it make[s] a difference to me.”

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Jessica Z

Jessica Z

Listening, dancing, writing (in that order, mostly!) -- a product of the internet, always excited to talk about digital/algorithmic agency, fate, and selfhood, and looking for ways to contribute to cultural and artistic community/infrastructure in San Francisco and beyond. Say hi online (www.jyz.digital) or in the crowd of an upcoming show!

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