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SF bus driver Mc Allen uses Twitter, poetry to keep people moving

Mc Allen strolls Salesforce Park while waiting to begin his shift driving the 25 Treasure Island Muni bus, through Treasure Island and the Transbay Transit Center at the Salesforce Terminal. at 425 Mission Street in Downtown San Francisco on Friday, September 9, 2022. In a culmination of his love of local transit and his desire to make it better, Mc Allen has been a Muni operator since August of 2021 and writes poetry regarding San Francisco’s bus lines. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

Mc Allen is good at talking to strangers. As a Muni driver, he has to be. But he does it in his personal life, too. Allen took on a project to read poetry aloud to strangers in San Francisco in 2004. Now he’s a poet himself, one with a whole series on Muni lines. And his performances come out—in his recitation of both poetry and line connections as we pull into the Salesforce Transit Center after circling Treasure Island on the 25 bus line.

“I find that reading to strangers is incredibly rewarding,” he said.
Mc Allen—his first name is pronounced “Mack”—rose to local fame in November 2021 when he tweeted about the iconic bus fight sequence from Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings in scrupulous and comedic detail. He’s since cemented his following with hyperlocal quips about transit.

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