An attempt to ride all Muni lines in one day

Illustration by Walter Baumann

Today on the Bold Italic, Steven Leckart writes about something we’ve often dreamed of doing — he set out one morning in June determined to ride all Muni bus, light-rail, streetcar, and cable car routes in one day. Not humanly possible, sure, but it’s more about the journey than the destination, right?

At 9 a.m. on an overcast Wednesday in June, I step out my front door in Noe Valley and within a few minutes hop on the 35-Eureka heading south (the opposite direction I usually go), forgetting the bus would soon loop back around past where I got on. Frustrating if I were a normal commuter, but part of my plan to go for distance and boost my time-in-transit. For two minutes I’m the only passenger on the 35.

In some sense, solo-busing quashes the green pride you’re feeling for removing one car from the road, and it confirms Muni’s recent budget woes. On the other hand, a city employee has become your personal chauffeur – in a vehicle longer than a Hummer limo – for $2 or less.

I sit in the back, staring out the window, doing the math I should have done a lot sooner: A transfer is valid for 90 minutes. Riding from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., without a monthly pass, I’d need to buy seven tickets at a grand total of $14. Conversely, Muni sells an all-you-can-ride 1-Day Passport for $13. Even with my monthly pass, I’d need to repeat this experiment four more times to make back the $60 I spent. Bastards.

Read the rest of Steven’s amazing account at the Bold Italic.


  • Erik

    The laws of physics state that for every overcrowded rush hour bus or train there has to be an empty or nearly-empty bus or train going in the opposite direction.

  • Brandon

    It would be easier in a city where the transit went faster than a bicycle.

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