An Afternoon Ride on Muni, With Pictures

While El Nińo hasn’t come through with the rain and snow we need for the water we REALLY need, it is nice to be outside. I spent today running errands and walked for most of them because I could. That was fun!

Then, I had to get myself way over to the former Hilton on Jones Street, basically near Fisherman’s Wharf. I was supposed to arrive by 5pm, so I left the Inner Sunset at 4pm. What could possibly go wrong, I wondered?

What happened next reinforced something I’ve come to believe about relying on Muni for your transportation needs. You can cobble together the bestest NextBus thingy, the bestest plans, and whatnot, but in the end, what seems to work best is some variant of “Let go, Let God*” if you want to get somewhere AND keep your cool.

Boarding the N inbound was a cinch, and I figured it’d be easy to catch the 30 Stockton downtown. Surely it can’t take an hour to get to my final destination, right? Plus, I’d just received a call from a good friend who is returning to San Francisco after being Far Away for a while, and that was good to hear. Everything was coming up Milhouse!

However, once we got to Duboce and Church, the N stopped and we sat there for quite a while. There really wasn’t an option to de-board and go Elsewhere for a ride, and frankly I didn’t want to get off the train. Instead I ended up waiting and while we lurched through the intersection I took this random photo of a cloud and it came out a lot better than I thought it would:

A photo posted by G. Dewar (@njudah) on

The train continued this stop-start fun all through the tunnel to Van Ness, and on toward Montgomery. When I went up the escalator, I caught this sign as I left Montgomery Station…

A photo posted by G. Dewar (@njudah) on

Now, usually if you try to board a 30 Stockton during a busy time like I was, it’s rather crowded but I somehow lucked out and got a half empty bus. This happens so rarely, I used the Pocket Supercomputer to tell the world, because it’s such a Big Deal…

Unfortunately, soon after we got through the Stockton Tunnel, things slowed down and then suddenly stopped. The driver basically said “Sorry! The bus is stopped! You can wait here or you might want to leave!” At first I just thought it was traffic but when I asked him what was up, he pointed out that a pretty serious accident was shutting down traffic in both directions.

On Stockton.

At 4-something pm.

It was not looking good. To his credit our operator did offer passengers who were unsure what to do next suggestions, but it was pretty snarled up.

A photo posted by G. Dewar (@njudah) on

Even James Bond gets stuck in traffic lol

A photo posted by G. Dewar (@njudah) on

So I decided to walk to my final destination. It was not really that far, but I doubted I’d make it by 5pm so I texted my friend that I might be late, and started walking. I decided to make the best of it, and it was a nice day out. I even got to meet this cat who was sitting on the sidewalk, keeping his cool and watching all the people.

This cat in Chinatown calmly surveyed the traffic jam

A photo posted by G. Dewar (@njudah) on

I tried to take a better picture but the cat was having none of it and kept looking away.

The buses stacked up pretty fast, and no one was going anywhere.

I walked down Columbus, and realized it’d been a while since I’d walked here. Then..

A 30 bus pulled up behind me. At this point I really didn’t need to board it but I did just because I could. I figured they’d somehow got some Wharf-bound buses through the traffic jam. I arrived at 5pm EXACTLY, despite a delay and a rather intense traffic jam, all at rush hour.

I’d long ago given up on getting too angry about these things to begin with, but today just reinforced my suspicion that Muni truly is the world’s only faith-based transit system. Sometime you just have to “let go” and not worry about things too much.

PS: Several people asked “wtf were you doing going to Fisherman’s Wharf” and the reason was I was meeting someone who was in from Out Of Town, and they chose to stay at the former Hilton by Columbus and Bay on Jones because it was near the office they were using while they were in town.

PS 2: *God, or the Universe, or the Force, or Buddha, Spongebob, or whatever thing you believe in, or just luck if that is your thing. Whatever works for you.

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