Outside Lands/Muni History Lesson

You never know what you’re gonna learn when you take a leisurely walk in San Francisco.

Tara and I headed out to the ocean from 28th Avenue and Balboa the other day. We took Balboa, but decided to walk back up Cabrillo to see what was in a mixed-use development neither of us knew about. As we approached La Playa, we noticed some large signs behind a group of trees, topped by clown faces. Once we overcame our indignation that clown imagery would be so wantonly employed in public, we decided to inspect. It turns out the signs serve as a marker, a written history of Playland, which used to exist at that spot. That part we already knew. What we didn’t realize was the extensive street car and steam bus circuits that served the amusement park back in the day.

Here’s what the bus looked like:


The write-up on this sign told of the Park and Ocean Railroad, which used to have a terminus at the very spot, we soon discovered, that our modern-day Muni had a weird sort of multi-route resting spot:


The buses in this picture are a couple of 5s, a 31, and a 38, waiting for their routes to begin. Odd, and kinda cool for Muni buffs like us. We don’t live out here, so we had no idea this existed. We imagined the mad rush to this spot each weekday morning, workers clamoring to get a spot at the beginning of the line. It’s because of this little hidden locale, and the intervening stops, that the 31AX is typically packed by the time it gets to 28th Avenue and Balboa.

Anyone out there know what Muni calls this little parking lot at La Playa and Cabrillo?

Oh, and we also spotted our first 18-46th Ave. that day. Fun times!


  • CAK

    Did you notice if there is a residential permit parking sticker required in this ‘hood? Maybe we should all drive out there, park, and sail on in via 31AX. Oh wait, LOTS of people already had that idea. Excellent picture, friend. Where does my beloved 16AX start?

  • @ CAK: Thanks for the compliment. Believe it or not, those are both iPhone photos. Looks like the 16AX starts at Ortega and 48th Avenue, according to NextBus.

  • Dexter Wong

    That top picture shows the end of the A line (Geary -10th Ave) and its shuttle bus connector (an early predecessor of the present 44 line).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *