Yeah, MUNI stinks on multiple levels. Bitch bitch bitch. All the more reason to give props where props are due.

A few weeks ago we were taking the bus, the number and destination of which will remain anonymous as to protect the scofflaw driver we are about to give mad love to. A young man entered the bus; the female driver took his transfer -- then threw it away, telling him it had expired.

He related that he had no money -- but had just been at a job interview at a local restaurant. Indeed, he was dressed a bit nicer than the average joe on this bus.

"Did you get the job," she asked.

"I hope so," he responded. "I think so."

She waved him on. "Good luck," she said. "I hope you got it."

That, my friends, was an excellent time to bend the rules a touch in our book, MUNI money crisis be damned.

As the bus made its way up the road, the driver kept yelling back at him, asking questions, encouraging him. Even weirder -- as she saw people on the street, she'd slow down and wave or yell hello to them -- and they waved and yelled back to her! She knew their names! The bus driver! Like, damn -- "sense of community" anyone? Wow.

Anyways, we rarely have reason to take this bus or be in this neighborhood, but mad, mad respect to people like her. She's a great reminder that our problems with MUNI tend to be institutional ones, not with the staff.

It really is the little things that can make the difference.