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

No eating, no drinking, no smoking

Now, I know that sometimes — most times I guess — our Muni stories have nothing to do with us, or choices we make. Usually we’re victims of circumstance. But sometimes, we make our own Muni stories. Before I go on, let me preface this with the fact that, rules are rules, and if some rules aren’t enforced by Muni or are just completely ignored by other Muni riders, then those situations where said rules are ignored or unenforced are just reasons to criticize Muni, am I right? Of course I am.

So, let’s get to the first two rules, first — no eating. Now, myself, I’m going to have to be pretty motherfucking hungry to even want to eat on Muni in the first place. That’s just me, I guess, because I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been subjected to nasty fast food aromas and the grease said food emanates throughout the tiny confines of your standard-issue Muni coach. Then, of course, there’s the sunflower-seed shells that coat the floor of the bus like so many expended ordnance on the battle field. Let’s not forget the other trash that is left behind that we have to kick under the seat in front of us just so we can be comfortable. OK, so, people eat on the bus, whether I like it or not, whether I do it or not, this happens, it’s against the rules, but I’ve got to live with it.

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