Freestylin’ 49, Part 2
Photo by Flickr user DaveFayram
I hate bagging on Muni drivers, whether it’s via the relative anonymity of the interwebs, to a friend at a party, or to their faces. It accomplishes nothing, as you’re still shit out of luck even after you’ve gotten worked up, right? But I had to say something this time.
Background: I spun this yarn a few weeks ago about a 49-Van Ness/Mission that inexplicably stopped at 14th Street, instead of continuing further south like it’s supposed to. Fine. Whatever. But during each of the three times this has happened to me, news of the offbeat route was announced with an inside voice that could shame the quietest church whispers. The 49 isn’t exactly quiet, either. All signs indicated that this was indeed a 49 that went the full route.
During my charmed third time on the 49-Stops at 14th Street, the bus pulls to a stop, and the same driver (at the same time of day) opens all the doors. He steps outside the bus, walks the length of one side, and notifies people with his inside voice, “last stop…last stop…last stop.”
As 50 people stare at one another confusedly, wondering if the driver simply bailed to the gas station for a snack, I stepped outside and asked if this was the last stop. I said he needs to actually announce this to people next time, because no one can hear him. That is why 50 people are still sitting on his bus.
His response: “The PA is broken, what do you want me to do?”
Yes, PAs break, especially on Muni, where a lot of things break all the time. And he’s apparently driving the same broke-ass bus every time, hence the regular lack of aurally acceptable announcements. Shitty. But come on; why did he go outside, first of all, instead of walking the length of the inside of the bus?
Consider this another plea for better communication between drivers and passengers.
If you’re curious, the bus turns east on 14th Street after slowly emptying its confused load of folks.