33-Stanyan x 2 = 66-AMAZING (update)

Update (9:05 p.m.): Mike updated Flickr with a better photo of the situation at Market/Clayton. He says:

The foreground bus seems to have gotten stuck when the driver took the turn way too tight, as evidenced by the fact that thing isn’t anywhere near the line it normally takes (painted on the ground). It was so far off, he couldn’t get it attached to the cables and had to just park it while he waited for help.

It sat there for a bit over half an hour, snarling traffic in both directions of Market and up Clayton. Eventually some help arrived and they managed to connect it back into the grid long enough to get it out of the intersection. Amazingly, through all of that time, most people still sat and patiently waited on the bus.

Thanks, Mike!

Original post:

Mike Dillon suggests, “Betcha you’ve never seen two 33s take this turn at the same time before…” You’re right, Mike. To which I’d add, “Dayum!”


  • Mike Dillon

    Really didn’t think it was possible. Guess ya learn something new every day. 🙂 I just dropped a different shot with a bit more explanation into the Flickr pool. Market is happily moving again at this point.

  • TonyV

    My partner was on the 33 one day, and it was the drivers first day on that route, and she had received no training before hand, the passengers had to tell her how to negotiate that turn.

    • Mike Dillon

      New 33 drivers must have nightmares about that turn. It’s not only that it’s technical, but if they screw it up, all of the sudden all of the traffic around them has green lights and starts squeezing past so there’s no where for the bus to go. Gotta be tough to handle it alone the first time even with adequate training.

      It’s a fun corner to live near, though. Who needs TV when there’s crazy Muni drama unfolding just outside?

  • A Vuncular

    Back when that line was streetcars, they (Muni or White Front?) ran double-enders on it. And this wasn’t a curve but a Y-track switchback. The streetcar went into the stem of the Y. Then the operator went to the other end of the car and drove it forward into the other stem of the Y. A Peruvian railway uses the same system multiple times on a steep mountain pass.

  • Maxi Slate

    I don’t understand why the inbound 33 operator just use the Emergency Propulsion Unit (EPU) and drive up Clayton and put the poles back on the overhead there. There’s clearly lots of space to avoid that wall. I do understand if the operator was new and needed help to negotiate the turn.

    I only did that inbound turn once while I was in training with and instructor and good thing I was able to clear the turn without loosing the poles.

    I think the hardest turn for a 40-foot trolley coach to do is switching back outbound to inbound on Union making a sharp hairpin left turn onto Columbus because there are parked vehicles on Columbus and there’s that island where the left rear wheel needs to avoid.

    • Mike Dillon

      Does the emergency propulsion run out of juice pretty quick? I can’t say I know much about it, other than having seen 33s pull up the street a bit when they come off the wires in the past.

      It looked like he was trying to clear out of the intersection at first, but the bus wouldn’t run. When the help arrived, it seemed like they couldn’t move it until they attached it back to the wires. It popped off immediately again once they started moving it, but at that point, they were able to move it up Clayton a bit. I assumed that, for whatever reason, the backup power was dead.

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