1 is the happiest number

Whoever wrote that song about one being a lonely number had it wrong. One, in fact, is the best number, at least in the Muni universe. My search for a new place to call home has mostly brought me to the Richmond and Sunset areas, putting me on the foreign 38-Geary and, today, the 1-California.

There isn’t enough time or space to explain everything that’s wrong with the 38. But what I have to say about the 1 is (hopefully) shortish and sweet.

This has to be the best bus route in SF. A friend said this is among the highest-rated lines for on-time performance and, incidentally, is the one Mayor Gavin Newsom uses. Seeing as how Muni funds are being slashed left and right, I can’t say the latter is that compelling a fact. But anyway…

It’s cleaner. There aren’t (visibly) insane people on it, at least when I was riding it this evening. You can pretend you’re on a little adventure when it goes up one of the steepest hills in San Francisco. It speeds down California with more gusto than I’ve seen on any Muni line, yet it is still full, still drops people off and still picks people up. This is key — it makes me think this is a well-planned route, unlike its east-west sister, 38-Geary. It takes 30-40 minutes to get from downtown to the Inner Richmond on the 38, and you will want to DIE because you’ve been on the slowest line in the city. You spend roughly the same amount of time on the 1, but it doesn’t feel like it. This brings me to my main point — if it makes you feel like you’re on your way to a lethal-injection appointment, people will NOT want to ride it.

I know what you’re thinking. “But the 38 comes so often!” …and? You’ll be running late on every single one of them.

I’m taking the 1 to get anywhere north of Golden Gate Park, that’s final. -Tara

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