This Thursday a good friend of mine, Carol of Comcast, invited me to a screening of an HBO documentary about the Obama campaign. Prior to our screening at Fort Mason, she and I and her awesome colleagues at Comcast and I hung out in the Marina (!), which all I can say is now I get it when Beth Spotswood makes that joke about getting passports stamped and currency exchanged in a strange land.
What was once familiar to me ages go was a bewildering place, and thanks to SF Weekly’s “Bouncer” column I was able to locate the Horseshoe Tavern, probably the only place out there that doesn’t offer “roofies” in the bathroom. (Oh and btw, the bartender there was super nice and pours a nice drink.)
But I digress.
That’s because, dear readers, Muni rolled a hard six. It’s been known to happen before, for sure, but in these days of anarchy and budget cuts, not likely. And yet, I had that moment when sh*t got done the way we expect it.
So, first off I did some trip planning. The Google and the 511 were telling me to take a batsh!t crazy route that involved the N and the 28, when upon looking at my final destination, I realized the zany 43 Masonic could take me literally from a block away home to the doorstep of my intended destination, Chestnut and Fillmore(!). WTF, computer dudes?
I checked out Nextmuni and OMGWTF? It’s actually on time? Holy Frak!
So I got changed and went over to the stop on 7th and Judah and there came my limo/bus. I say that because it was spotless. Now, do recall that the 43 has one of the more interesting routes around town. The fact that late in the afternoon it was this clean and vacant meant…either something was going right or something was gonna go bad soon.
We twisted and turned through Cole Valley, the Haight, through the Tunnel of Death (AKA Masonic via Fell and Oak). We passed the Lucky Store. We turned at the Old Sears Place. We blew through the Presidio.
And then we were There.
Wow. I had door to door service because of ….Muni?
So anyhoo, I had a nice night. I got to see a preview screening of an HBO Documentary about the Obama for President campaign aka “By the People”, which was interesting. They had an awesome reception afterwards with all kinds of “Top Chef” like appetizers, including mini corn dogs and mini burgers. (which was fine but the food at Circa was better and they make a decent Old Fashioned).
When we all broke up and everyone drove home from places north (Sacramento), and east (East Bay) and so on, I looked up the NextMuni and OMGWTF? The 43 was either leaving IN THAT MOMENT or in 45 minutes!
Realizing I was looking at a long night getting home at best, and missing the Inner Sunset Neighborhood Group’s meetup at the Little Shamrock, I did what anyone would do – I ran.
And lo and behold the Muni driver, noting that there was absolutely no traffic on Fillmore, and seeing me run like an idiot, let me board.
At that moment, the driver could have asked me for a kidney and I’d have been happy, since this meant the indirect 22 to the N/71 home was no more. I was just on the happy bus to home.
While on Le Bus, a passenger boarded and asked “do you go near Irving and 9th?” As the driver had never driven anywhere near there, she was unsure what to say. I shouted “Yes, get on and it’s all good!” and our new passenger got on.
We both got off the bus at 9th and Judah. I, headed to the Inner Sunset mixer at the Little Shamrock, my comrade Kim walking to Le Video to return a video. We chatted amiably and then I went to the Shamrock where I and the folks there had a nice time.
All in all, Muni rolled that hard six and all I can say to the drivers of the 43, and Muni in general, THANK YOU! Finally someone at Muni is “doin it rite!” as the LOLCATS might say….
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Huzzah, a happy MUNI story! Keep in mind the “computer dudes” may be right. For reasons I don’t really understand, I end up in the Marina fairly often. We’ve found that even though the 43 stops practically in front of my house, it’s marginally faster to go to 19th and take the 28. From Irving to Fillmore, the 43 has almost 3 times the number of stops as the 28, travels on slower streets, and has inferior scenic views (IMHO). 28 FTW!
Actually, IIRC, MUNI bus operators are required to pick up passengers between stops after a particular time at night. It’s not a well known or publicized regulation. I think it’s 8 or 9PM.
@joseph: well I learn something new every day. The fact that in both rides, the operators were super cool and courteous, and both buses were clean was a bonus.
But I was also impressed by the fact that the operator did take care to make sure there were no cars or peds when she stopped for my frantic running self as I did not want to sit around for 45 minutes waiting for a bus home, esp. when one was practically door-to-door right there.
It’s easy to always say Muni bites, but when you get good results, I think it’s important to give praise so others at Muni realize that we all do appreciate it when someone takes the time to do the little extra that makes Muni potentially a kick ass system. Sadly, few at City Hall seem to get this.
Glad you had a good 43 experience, because recently I’ve found them to be travelling in packs of three at 45 minute intervals in the evenings.