Smooth Ride … Take It Easy

Wow.

I just traveled from Balboa and 28th Avenue to Mission and 20th Street in 38 minutes. Yes, you read that right.

What a totally easy commute. The 31 was there at 28th Avenue right around 9 a.m., like it’s supposed to be. No long stops, no rowdy passengers, a very polite (if quiet) operator.

And I didn’t have to wait longer than two minutes on Van Ness for the 49 to appear. Again, a very nice driver (albeit talking on her phone the whole time), polite passengers, many green lights.

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The 47, my new best friend

I had another harrowing experience waiting for my F car this morning on Market at Van Ness. Two alleged trolley-bus Fs (their signs said they were, in fact F buses, and included “Market/Wharves” and everything) came by after a long while…and both drivers said they were stopping at Eighth Street. If you didn’t know, Eighth Street is about 3-4 blocks from where I was standing. And the F train is a charming little streetcar that is mostly for tourists, and therefore hideously unreliable. It is, unfortunately, among the fastest ways to get from the Embarcadero BART station to the northeast end of town, second only to walking, if you have time. It might (might) tie the 10-Townsend or the 9x, though both are crazy crowded in the mornings.

I hadn’t seen an F train for 15 minutes at least, and Jeff, my partner in life and Muni Diaries, said NextMuni was estimating it wouldn’t be there for another 20 minutes. I thought I had to take a cab to work for the third time in a month – a ride that costs at least $10 more than the $0 it normally does. My golden solution was a 47-Van Ness, which hit its scheduled stop on Van Ness at Market right after I got there. The driver was helpful when people asked questions, and it put me a block from my office. Thank you, 47. I always liked you better than that dirty sister of yours, the 49.

Meanwhile, people gathered at the F stop across the way in greater numbers, looking expectantly up Market for a car that probably still hasn’t gotten there.

I wasn’t that late (got in around 9:25 instead of 9:10), and I don’t mind the ride. It’s just unfair (and highly lame) when you have to play guessing games with your commute. If this keeps up, I might just break up with the F train altogether – this time, I mean it.

Well, I Never

So I was making my way back to the office yesterday afternoon on the 5-Fulton. Typically, when it reaches its last stop at the Transbay Terminal, the bus driver opens all the doors.

This time, the bus driver honked at the 5 in front of him to move forward, but didn’t open the doors. I figured he was waiting to pull all the way forward before letting us off.

I, along with the other final passengers, lined up by the back door and waited. And waited. He never opened the doors.

After several seconds he muttered, seemingly NOT to us, “Are you going to get off the bus? Fine, stand there all day if you like.”

Once I realized he was addressing us, I said, “Excuse me?”

“STEP DOWN AND GET OFF THE BUS,” he yelled.

I think it was one of the few times in my life that I actually thought to myself, Well, I never! Where do Muni drivers learn their manners, anyway?

–Beth W.

47 Line Love

How often does riding the 47 line make you feel warm and fuzzy? Not very much, I bet.  Yes, it’s the line that , if it arrives at all, goes down Van Ness into the deeeeeep SOMA for some stinky local flavor that make you want to Purell your whole body over.

So yeah, I was sitting in the 47 on a sunny Saturday morning for a short ride back to mi casa, and as I was getting off the bus I noticed that someone had used masking tape to change the “Please Move Back” sign to “Please Love Back.”

I only wish I had my camera phone to snap a picture of it — maybe it’s the sunny weather, or maybe it’s because nobody on the 47 that day smelled like dirty socks, but when I saw it I just thought, “That‘s San Francisco. I love it so much. I will never move.”

Anybody else spot this delightfully altered sign in the 47 bus?

– Eugenia C

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