Freestylin’ 49

MUNI to City Center
Photo by Flickr user Transguyjay

Color me confused with a hint of annoyance, to be all angry-Muni-rider about it.

The gist: I get on a 49 at Van Ness and Oak, for my southbound journey into the Mish. Twice, at the same time of day, the same driver says that 14th Street will be the last stop. (Hint: it’s not supposed to be). A 14 or another 49 showed up both times before long. But it is cause for some mild WTF, particularly if it happens twice at the same time.

Sidenote: I’m all for a soft-spoken kinda guy, but this driver needs to speak up when he says that 14th Street will be the last stop. As expected, come 14th Street, a few people get off. But 20 other people sit confused as fellow passengers assume the task of explaining that this is indeed the final stop.

Also: The first time it happened, there was no indication on the bus’s marquee that it was ending its route at 14th Street. The second time, the sign was in that in-between-signs state. Like, maybe it says 14th, but wait … *hates self*

My understanding was that truncated lines are one-offs; they’re thrown in to thin the crowd of everyone that couldn’t get the earlier bus because it didn’t show up. So? Why’s this happening? Theories, whether serious or comedic fiction, welcome.


  • this happened on the goddamned L this morning. I was stuck at civic waiting 30 minutes for the L, and when I get on he inexplicably says he’ll be stopping at Sunset, instead of at the end of the line, or even Taraval. I mean…there’ hadnt been a bus in 30 minutes, and the entire time I walked to the end of the line there was no follow up train. I’m going to light MUNI on fire on of these days, I swear to god.

  • Chris

    Sounds like you guys have a horrible bus system 🙁 Don’t get me wrong, I love Muni… but it seems like you guys are always having breakdowns/strandings and all that jazz.

  • Thebe

    SCENE: A 49 bus stops at 14th with a driver and three passengers.

    DRIVER: (low mumble) xmmgh msuioh …. 14th mmmmghb.

    PASSENGER ONE: What’s that?

    PASSENGER TWO: We’re at 14th.

    PASSENGER THREE: That’s nice.

    PASS ONE: There’s a neat restaurant around here.

    PASS TWO: I used to live around here.

    PASS THREE: Why aren’t we moving? What did he say?

    PASS TWO: He said we’re at 14th.

    PASS ONE: No, he said today’s the 14th.

    PASS THREE: Maybe this is the transfer point to the 14.

    PASS TWO: That’s in the Mission.

    PASS ONE: There’s a neat restaurant around there.

    PASS TWO: My daughter turns 14 today.

    PASSE THREE: 14 is the atomic number of silicon.

    PASS ONE: 14 stations of the cross.

    PASS THREE: Retired number of Ernie Banks.

    PASS TWO: Shouldn’t we be moving by now?

    DRIVER: (shouting) GET OFF THE DAMN BUS!


    (they file out)

  • Eric

    Not cool that it was not well-announced or on the marquee. However, some buses go out of service during the transition from rush to midday service, and I’ll bet that’s right near the garage, so rather than run the whole route then run out of service from the endpoint to the garage (which would waste vehicle miles and driver hours) they go out of service near the garage so the bus can park and the driver can get off work.

    If you can think of another way to do it, that’d be cool.

  • redseca2

    This happens a lot on my Haight Street/Market Street commute on the 6 or 71. But I always assumed it was the driver’s need to use the bathroom, now.

    • Eric Miles

      Looks like the 6 is set up for a similar thing sometimes on the “schedule,” but not the 71.

      I put “schedule” in quotes because they don’t adhere to it, there’s no paper version available anymore, the website sucks and if you ask Muni why a particular bus or train didn’t run, they don’t respond – at all.

  • Erik

    The 6/71 inbound often does this on Saturday afternoons also. Every once in a while the sign will actually say Market & Van Ness, but usually the driver just stops and opens the doors and sits there until the busload of homebound tourists from the Haight figures out that this bus isn’t going any farther than that.

  • Roger A

    This is what I have to say…

    Muni should not run truncated lines – EVER!

    Many times Ive got on a 49 at Van Ness and Union to go home to 22nd and Mission, only to find that the bus is ending at Van Ness and Market, when in fact the marquis on the bus did not say that was the final stop. Then I have to get off, knowing I missed a 47, missed a 9, or any other bus to the 22nd Street area (Mission or Potrero side)- and have to wait for yet another 49 to come 30 minutes LATER to pick my ass, and the asses of what was only 15 people now 150 people and take them to the Mish.

    Frankly, Im tried of drivers assuming that since they need a break, or are tired and want to retire for the day they can just truncate the line.

    If you cant drive the entire line, then dont drive any of it at all. If you need a break, you should have thought about that when you were 20 minutes late to start your route. If you are just too tired, then finish the line out and go home. Dont leave passengers stranded!

    Not only do I pay my $2.00 fare unlike most San Franciscans who think fares are voluntary, but I also pay taxes for my city which subsidizes my bus rides at that $2.00 fare. I expect to be taken the length of the line, not stranded. If I wanted to be stranded and get home 90 minutes later of what should be only a 20 minute bus ride, Id have just walked the length of the bus line instead.


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