43 Bus Favors and Dangers

10 Townsend Picked up the 43 Masonic at Upper Haight tonight (Sat) and rode it almost all the way to northern end of North Beach – a mile or so farther than it usually goes because the driver was returning it to the terminal, which is close to my apt. Score since I had planned on transferring to the 30 – probably involving a wait, at midnight, with bridge and tunnel partiers drunkenly pissing about in the Marina.

Before we got started chatting, he stopped at the Letterman campus. A lady there, started yelling at him , why did the outbound 43 not pick her up? She asked. Because you’re not standing at the right stop, he replied. Go across the street. She still didnt’ get it and continued to yell. He left, then turned to me to explain. Then, we started chatting and figured out that I was near his route’s end. Dangers, after the jump.

I was asking him about whether he got to choose to drive a motored coach versus an electric. He said he did, and he invariably would choose the motors. Some regulars got off, and there were “Merry Christmas” “Happy Holidays” all around. He continued that what he didn’t like about the electrics is that sometimes the wires were old, and when the arms got disconnected, you had to swing them up, and sometimes that broke the wire, and it would come down and shock you (the driver). Other stuff- it was hard to navigate around stalled cars in front of you- fire engines, etc. I usually avoid the motors since I’m so green (yeah right) except this route is fun because it swings through the Presidio- a cheap thrill, like the Staten Island Ferry or the J-Church through Dolores Park. I can’t imagine a job where you regularly run the risk of getting shocked.

6 Comments so far

  1. cd (unregistered) on December 10th, 2006 @ 12:30 am

    I’m impressed the 43 showed up at all. That damn route left me at Masonic and Geary so long so often . . . .

  2. Matt R. (unregistered) on December 10th, 2006 @ 3:26 pm

    Ah, the 43. Took that one for a few years to get to my waiting tables gig in Laurel Heights. When I had moved from Upper Haight to the Hub (Market/Octavia ca 1993), and had to transfer to the 43 at Masonic/Haight, forget it. Bought a motorcycle which I still have to this day.

  3. anna (unregistered) on December 10th, 2006 @ 3:30 pm

    MUNI connections just never work, routinely, I’ve found, for a dependable commute. I had to do the N-Judah to 30-Stockton to get to Caltrain and it was the most stressful thing in the world- to dependably get that 8am train. I endd up doing a 15 minute power walk instead of relying on that bus.

  4. tyler82 (unregistered) on December 10th, 2006 @ 4:49 pm

    That’s nothing, when I was a student @ USF you had to plan your trip an HOUR ahead, the busses were so unreliable. I remember quite a few times wanting to go downtown and seeing three- four Fulton 5’s pass going the other direction before my bus came. I actually stood there for 1 1/2 hours one day waiting for the bus that was suppoesed to come every 20 minutes. Those damn drivers are just never in a hurry because as long as they are at their jobs… :-)

  5. ed (unregistered) on December 11th, 2006 @ 3:14 am

    Ahh bus stories. There are plenty of bad stories but I thought to myself, SF is suppose to have a pretty decent public transportation compared to some of the other locales. Can you imagine how bad it must be for some of our neighbors? The only timely buses that I can remember was when I was back in school over at Davis. Wish we had a more reliable system like Hong Kong or Tokyo and leave the car at home.

  6. Mattymatt (unregistered) on December 11th, 2006 @ 10:07 am

    In that lady’s defense, the 43 bus-stops by the Letterman campus are very confusing. Usually, outbound and inbound stops are across the street from each other, but at that one location they’re a block apart. Also, the route does a weird switchback thing there, so even if you know about the split-up bus-stops, it’s hard to figure out which is for inbound and which is for outbound.

    And of course, there is no map at either stop.

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