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Monday, July 4, 2016

The Worst and Absurd Public Transit I've Taken on a 4th of July Holdiay Weekend

Improved Muni on Rock Photo
Akit comes out of retirement... once again.  I felt the need to blog because this weekend just sucked trying to get around the city.  This has to be the strangest 4th of July weekends I've been through involving public transportation.

Saturday: The scariest stuff I've seen...

I'm waiting for a 47 or 49 bus at Van Ness and Sacramento and I'm looking at the diagonal corner where a mentally ill woman is harassing some people sitting on the street.  One of them sitting down decides to chase her and the woman quickly runs away, by walking in between two parked vehicles and into the street.  Less than a second later when she runs into the street, she gets hit (sideswiped) by a passing Muni bus, and I was hoping she just didn't get killed.  The Muni bus pulled over across the street and I hurried to call 911.

Ugh, the 911 operator is telling me to get to the lady quickly; is the guy nuts? I'm not running through several lanes of active traffic while I'm on a diagonal corner.  Fortunately, the fire truck arrived and I'm telling them what I saw.  The lady who was hit was lucky, she was walking around when the medics found her.  If she entered the street less than a second prior, she would have hit the front of the bus and likely be dead.

Sunday: I experienced one too many moments of absolute absurdity on Muni

(1) I'm on the 47-Van Ness bus going from Market Street towards the Wharf and the bus pulls over to pick-up a wheelchair passenger.  I and another passenger are sitting in the designated wheelchair spot, so we both get up, and I'm trying to look for the lever to raise the seat.  The bus driver insisted he wants to do it, but since I'm standing there, I insist I handle it.  He re-emphasizes that he has to do it because he claims he'll "be fired if you get hurt."

This is one of those "what the fuck" moments when this society is so damn afraid of litigation, and so I let the damn driver do the seat, while all the passengers laugh with me at the amount of absurdity that just happened.  It's not like I'm grabbing a wrench and fixing a broken bus.  Hell, you are more likely to get injured lifting your bike on the Muni bike rack or ride the running board on a Cable Car than lifting a seat on a bus like any nice person would do.

The driver sounded pissed while trying to act nice when I insisted can do it.  But I had the last word right before I exited when a lady was asking the driver why he didn't stop at California Street, so I told her the agency cut some stops on Van Ness to speed up the bus line, but this driver is going so damn slow on Van Ness (like there's no traffic and he's going like snail) it's an insult.

(2) Later that day, I'm taking a F-Market bus substitute and it stops in front of the Market Street Railway museum on Don Chee Way.  And the bus just sits there, for five minutes while the driver bails the bus.  He's trying to look for his relief driver and all of us are sardine packed in the bus wondering WTF is going on?  Eventually he kicks everyone off the bus to ride the next one and the Muni supervisor wearing blue isn't doing shit or even apologizing to the passengers.  Yeah, taxpayer dollars being used well.

Monday: Golden Gate Transit just SUCKS

I wanted to visit Sausalito, so I decided to pick-up the 30 bus at the Golden Gate Bridge toll plaza because it takes less time than going all the way downtown for the ferry boat.  Things went okay until the driver didn't take the Alexander Avenue exit to go downhill to Sausalito, and the driver drops us off at some odd Marin City bus transit center.  The driver said to everyone to catch the 17 bus which after waiting 30+ minutes never arrived.  Hell, two Muir Woods shuttles came by, and some other buses, all while any Sausalito bound buses never came by; only until a West Marin Stagecoach van came by to pick us all up.  I only had less than an hour to enjoy Sausalito before I had to take the ferry back, otherwise I'd be stuck in the town much longer waiting for another boat.

You know what's bad about Golden Gate Transit?  EVERYTHING.  The 30 bus driver didn't disclose anything to the passengers about not stopping in Sausalito.  That alone would have saved me time and money because I would have gone somewhere else.  And waiting at the Marin bus hub was a fat insult, just nothing was coming by and all the buses arriving was LATE AS HELL.  But what about NextBus?  IT DOESN'T EXIST!  They can afford wifi on buses, but not GPS technology to tell us when the bus is going to arrive.  Oh, and trying to call for assistance to Golden Gate Transit's hotline?  The phones are not answered on holidays.

Seriously?  Golden Gate Transit is a flat out piece of crap.  At least the Golden Gate Ferry service is worth it, because it arrives on-time, it leaves on-time, they have nice employees.  I don't know how people can tolerate Golden Gate Transit, it's makes Muni look awesome in comparison to this trash.

And that's my three day weekend.


Anonymous said...

Not sure why you blamed Golden Gate Transit for Sausalito having a 4th of July parade. They even posted a notice on their website: http://goldengatetransit.org/schedules/routedetours.php

Akit said...

Hey Anonymous, the driver has a responsibility to notify people about this. At least half of the passengers were tourists.

Frankvl1 said...

I use GG Transit almost everyday. The seats are nice, never get hassled & free Wifi. To your point, the weekend service is slow but otherwise, its way better than Muni.

Anonymous said...

OK, I'll give you that point. But otherwise I like riding GGT a lot more than Muni. Buses are relatively on time, nice seats, no standing, free Wi-Fi. A lot more expensive than Muni, of course, but you get what you pay for!