Learning West Portal the Hard Way

48 Quintara
Photo by skew-t

Helene, who penned “Beginner’s luck on the Bayshore Express,” has another tale of her early Muni-riding days:

My sister and I had gone into Noe Valley one fine February Sunday. We were checking out bookstores in the area since it was her last day in the city.

After we were finished looking around, I didn’t feel like going back onto the J-Church inbound and transferring to the N-Judah. The 48-Quintara bus stop was just across the street, so I insisted we take that bus line back to Outer Sunset.

We boarded the bus and went up and down the hills. When we got to West Portal, the bus stopped and all the other passengers got off. I was befuddled. Surely the 48-Quintara went out further than West Portal? Why else would it be called the Quintara bus?

My sister and I got off the bus and tried to figure out the situation. Then I decided that maybe the bus in front was going to continue on to the Outer Sunset, so we hopped on. That bus started driving back the same direction we had just came from, so we got off at Portola Drive.

We were somewhat stranded in West Portal, but then we found comfort in another bookstore there. After the Quintara bus shocker, I looked around at the street signs and decided that we could actually find our way out to 19th Avenue by following Wawona or Ulloa. We walked down one of those streets and I felt great relief from seeing the busy traffic go by on 19th Avenue. We boarded the 28 and transferred to the N-Judah to get back home safely.

Later on, I checked Muni’s website and discovered that the 48-Quintara only continued out to Quintara on weekdays. Oops. But luckily, this was just another tale of getting lost on Muni with a happy ending.


  • A

    Why wasn’t the L ever an option? I’m rather confused by this story…

    • I didn’t think of the L at that point because I was disoriented by the 48. When I figured out my bearings I decided that walking down to 19th Avenue was easier for us. Plus, the walk wasn’t so bad. 🙂

  • B

    If only you had the courage or inkling to ask the driver for help, I wouldn’t have had to read this pointless story.

  • Michelle

    The story of the 48 Quintara is even stranger than that…

    It only continues that far ON SCHOOL DAYS. And then, only around school start time and school end time.

    So, if, say, you need to get to Hoover Middle School at some time other than 9AM (let’s say 12 noon, to help with a class project) you have to hike up from West Portal Muni.


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