Pride month is over in San Francisco, but LA-based activist group Equality California hopes to convince the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) to make one last gesture in honor of its LGBTQ riders by transforming the colors of the SF Muni Metro map.
Backers of Equality California’s “Ride With Pride” campaign want Muni to slightly but critically change the graphics related to the city’s light rail network by switching around some of the colors associated with the routes so that they resemble the layout of the Pride flag.
Ben Wolan, creative director of the marketing firm DDB, said of the campaign, “Replacing the colors on the Muni Metro map is a small but powerful symbol of civil rights and social justice [...] to be remembered year-round.”
This is not the first time EQ CA has floated the concept, previously making the same pitch in 2018. The group says that a petition urging the city to consider the redesign collected 10,000 signatures over the course of Pride weekend in SF.
A person working with the campaign suggested that Harvey Milk’s upcoming 90th birthday on May 22 would make a good target date for a commitment from Muni to make the switch. But Samuel Garrett-Pate, communications director for EQ CA, tells Curbed SF, “We haven’t asked Muni for any specific timeline commitment—right now we’re focused on building public support.”
Gilbert Baker, a San Francisco activist, designed the rainbow Pride flag for the city’s first “gay freedom parade” in 1978. Baker’s original design featured eight colors, but the six-color variation eventually became standard because it was difficult to source fabric for the other hues.
Muni has operated some 15 light rail lines in the past, lettered A through O, but attrition has whittled that down to the standard six that currently operate in the subway.
There’s also the E and F lines, of course, but since they never enter or exit the underground they’re not included on the map, nor are the sometime S Shuttle trains (which currently occupy the yellow band of the rainbow spectrum), conveniently leaving six colors for the standard Muni map.
SFMTA has yet to comment on the potential rainbow connection. Those who want to contribute to the petition themselves can go here.