Obit-lettes: 21-Hayes, 10-Townsend

21 Hayes - Downtown and the Ferry Plaza
Photo by Flickr user kodama (home)

SFMTA’s December 5 service changes include the elimination of portions of bus routes, in addition to the total elimination of some routes, and in other cases, increased service. A few riders wanted to share their thoughts on those parts of routes that will go the way of the dodo come this Saturday. First, here’s Noah, sparing no words for how he really feels about lopping off the Fulton portion of the 21-Hayes:

Good riddance.

Before the death of the Fulton portion of the 21-Hayes, people who lived on Fulton between Stanyan and 8th Ave had the benefit of two buses, the 5 and the 21. People who boarded the 21 on Hayes anywhere East of Divis had the benefit of zero buses during rush hour, because the 21 was always too full to stop.

Now, those of us who ride the 21 in a neighborhood where only the 21 goes by actually have a bus we can ride during rush hour.

SF Appeal has a helpful explanation of what exactly will be happening to the 21.

Next up is Muni Diaries favorite Tara, with a tale of woeful days ahead without her 10-Townsend:

Once BART drops me off at Embarcadero each morning at about 8:50, I scramble frantically, depending on what the NextBus prediction says, to Fremont and Market, awaiting my golden chariot: the 10-Townsend. It, usually reliably, takes me from downtown to the north end of town. It’s quiet, filled with polite folks (except for that one old guy I fought with that time), and rolls through one of the most thriving parts of town at 8:55 a.m. on a weekday. That said, it, um, pretty much empties by the time we pass Sansome and Lombard.

Though some lines are meeting their demise come Dec. 5, others, like the 10, are simply getting rerouted at certain points. Though yuppies like me should be able to deal with a minor glitch in his or her morning bus routine, yuppies like me end up having the biggest shitfits over this very thing. Total White Whine, if you will.

The long and short of it is that the 10 is now turning west on Jackson, instead of taking me all the way north, to my building at North Point and Stockton. I will miss you, that-part-of-the-10. Instead of jamming to my iPod or reading some to-be-a-movie-soon novel from Oprah’s list of recommendations, I usually preferred to stare out the window and watch the hubbub unfold. These are people going to work, bustling around in their businesswear and messenger bags. It actually makes me happy to be going to work, too, like we’re all in some sort of metropolitan club from 9-6 on weekdays. The best part was getting to see it all from my chariot, above the fray. I can still do some of that…but then I’ll have waited 10 minutes for a 10 minute bus ride, only to require another 15 minutes of walking. I might just have to bid adieu to the 10 altogether and walk the whole way, as it might not be worth the hassle when all is said and done.

Ultimately, if it’ll save Muni some cash, I can deal with it. The only thing it does is force me to leave the house about 15 minutes earlier in the morning, allowing me time to walk from downtown to Way Up There. Or, it forces me to hop on a 9x or a 9BX (soon to be rechristened the 8X, etc.), in the event I feel like a nice pushy morning ride or an elbow to the ribs is needed to jolt me awake for the day ahead. Either way, I will deal with it. But it doesn’t stop me from complaining about it here.

We’ll give you a break, Muni, if it’ll save you the cash. But try to cut us some slack next week while we all begrudgingly try to turn the speeding freight train around on our befuddled morning selves.

Check back tomorrow for the last of our Muni obituaries. It will be an all-day tribute to the almost-dearly departed 26-Valencia.

Photo diary: The Passion of the 53-Southern Heights

Photo by Whole Wheat Toast

For those who don’t know, the 53-Southern Heights is one of seven Muni routes scheduled to be completely eliminated on Dec. 5. It served parts of Potrero Hill for many years. And trust me, you don’t wanna walk that hill every day.

There’s some talk of various ways to honor these great urban warriors: flash mobs, wakes, “last rides” (a religious reference for those who haven’t had their coffee yet). How are you going to mark this grievous occasion?

Muni Diaries, being of the written word and all, is asking you to pen an obituary for your most beloved dying Muni route. The deadline passed on Sunday, but you can still sneak one in. We’ll be running them in the upcoming weeks. Details are here. Write a diary here.

*Yes, the title here is an allusion to the story of Jesus. Deal.

74X-Culture Bus Funeral March This Saturday

74X Culture Bus Final Day August 15th
Photo by Steve Rhodes

Eve and Matt over at SF Appeal reminded us of this Saturday’s somber-yet-timely death of the 74X-Culture Bus. So SF Appeal is proposing a ride on the Culture Bus on its last day of service to our fair tourists. Go show this waste of a Muni route your love, and show the world that San Francisco still has a lot of culture, just no need for an overpriced, redundant bus route with no riders.

Read more

Spontaneous Guitar Lessons on the 49

Life on the J
Photo by Flickr user nuzz

It was pretty interesting when I was taking the 49 home from the Mission the other day. There was this kid playing the Tenor. Then, this guy gets on the bus at 24th with a guitar, and soon notices the teenager playing the tenor. He looks, and the guy who is playing the tenor smiles. They chat, although there’s a language barrier between them, one who speaks little English (the one with the guitar) and the one who speaks no Spanish (the one who has the tenor).

They talk a little, and they play a mini duet by the time we get to 16th. Some lady eating a Fruit & Yogurt Parfait watches them play, as well as some other people on the bus.

The guy with the guitar gets off at Sutter with his other pal sitting opposite to him, opposite of the back door where the kid was playing. He gets off later. Don’t know where. Don’t care. But it’s interesting to see a teenager teaching someone to play and getting some fun out of it.

Send us your observations of poignancy on Muni, and anything else you feel like sharing.

Mohawk Town


From our inbox from a Muni rider:

Last night I took the K to West Portal. I don’t know when she got on the train because I was busy playing with the new apps on my blackberry, but sometime between Forest Hill and West Portal I looked up and saw her. She looked like a beautiful, swirly and colorful cartoon. She had stars and swirly things painted on her face. She had fake flowers tucked into her mohawk. I’m so glad I put down my crackberry and enjoyed the ride.

Saw something intriging on the bus? Email us at

Good Morning, My American Friends!


I love my outbound L train conductor so much. Here are some things he has told us:

Good morning, my American friends! We are on time today! (What? It’s 8:31!)

Help us stay on time. It is up to you. Anticipate your exit. Be patient. We all work together. America is beautiful, and trust me, I’ve lived in a lot of places. Everyone here helps each other.

It is a beautiful morning! I request this time for working because you are all so special to me. Someone out there loves you. Muni loves you. You are just beginning your day, but I am ending mine now. Have a beautiful day.

One time he told us the set-up of a joke at the start of the tunnel and told us the answer at Embarcadero. I want to write to Muni and tell them how great he is, but I keep forgetting to write down the coach number.

Photo by Flickr user The Retrospective.


Share your own Muni driver story! One can only hope we have more drivers like this.

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