Here we are on Powell just south of North Point on a Wednesday afternoon; I think we’re looking at a 9 or a 9x. And yes, it’s definitely getting towed.
So, what? Dead engine? Run out of gas? Flat tire(s)? Kind of embarrassing if any of those is the case, because a Muni hotel (parking lot/servicing spot) is less than a block from here. Also, this is the third or fourth stop from the start of the line. I think I speak for everyone when I say, “WTF?”
Obvious questions include: why’s it getting towed? Were people on this bus? Did a bus come to save the day? (SuperBus wasn’t that one in the background, if you were wondering). And was this a freak mechanical/electrical uh-oh or does this happen fairly regularly? Where’s Judson True when you need him?
I hopped on the 9x this week on North Point, right after work. Though this bus stop is on the same corner as my building, I’ve never needed to take a bus from it. I suppose we won’t count the time I tried in vain to grab a crowded 9x heading north toward work; that’s another dear-diary moment altogether.
I do walk by it quite a bit, and it always smells like an olfactory one-two of food garbage and piss. There is a garbage can nearby, and it is a Muni shed; so, months ago, I stored it in the Obvious folder of my brain and called it a day.
But now, we’re talking about now. And, now, up-close and personal, this thing smells horrible. Awful. Shit-awful, almost, but piss-awful is more like it. I sat in the shed for a second, until that rancid, nostril-filling smell of urine hit my nose. At first, it just smelled like a somewhat-dingy public bathroom. Then it smelled like a Port-a-Potty. You know, those really bad ones at beer or wine festivals that you wouldn’t be caught dead in, had it not been for the gallon of liquid now floating about your insides.
(Reposted, with permission, from Tony Long’s North Beach Examiner)
Legendary Chronicle columnist Herb Caen used to run what he called “Sight ’ems” — interesting little oddities he (or one of his legmen) spotted wandering around the old town. Back in Caen’s day this wouldn’t have rated a mention, it being a more civilized burg, but in 2008 I found the scene jarring:
Three tourists, all women, riding a northbound 9x-Bayshore Express, and clearly lost. They didn’t speak any English (I think that was Portuguese I was hearing, but maybe it was … well, who cares?) and the bus driver spoke nothing but English. As they chattered away at the driver, laughing and waving a map under her nose while she crossed Market and headed up Kearny, I expected to hear some very colorful English indeed.
The Examiner takes a close look at the proposed cuts on a couple of linnes with paltry ridership.
A little teaser from the story:
These cuts are two of many proposals being studied by Muni as part of its Transit Effectiveness Project, which, if implemented, would result in the most comprehensive bus rerouting done in my memory. And I’ve been here a long time. There isn’t a single line passing through or near North Beach (save the cable cars) that wouldn’t be affected in some way.
Take it away, Mr. Long.