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Usually I don’t run into too many problems traveling on MUNI to work, only from work, but that didn’t seem to be the case a few mornings ago. As usual, I board a relatively full bus at my bus stop, ride all the way to Eighth Street (I need to get off at Third Street) and upon almost reaching the actual bus stop, come to a sudden halt. The bus driver then tells everyone that they have to get off here, that the bus will be going no further. Of course, everyone starts mumbling little expletive-filled comments to themselves, as most people take the bus all the way down Market Street to the end of the line in the financial district and we were still quite a ways from there. While getting off the bus I notice that we are 3rd or 4th in a line of halted buses, all stopped at the bus stop, all with people piling off of them. At first I thought that the first bus must be broken down, but then hear shouting and see a small crowd of onlookers gathered around the front of the first bus. It turns out that there was a vagrant/homeless-looking guy in a wheelchair purposely sitting in the road right in front of the bus! People were yelling things to the tune of “just get out of the fucking road, why’re ya in the road, why’re ya making everybody late?” Wheelchair Guy was visibly hostile and kept whacking the front of the bus with his cane and snarling back, the only comment that I happened to overhear being “You can just walk! You people can just walk!”

At this point there were 5 buses and a trolley all stopped, one after another, held up by the relatively small and hostile Wheelchair Guy. When I saw that the entire reason why I had to get off the bus, walk a block to the nearest underground stop, and start my commute basically from scratch by waiting for yet another mode of San Francisco-flawed public transportation was not, contrary to popular belief, the fault of MUNI this time, but the fault of a crazy homeless/vagrant guy basically just being an asshole, I literally felt my blood pressure go sky-high. I felt like a cartoon character with a tingling red line of anger rising up my whole face little by little, eventually making my entire face bright red — the only thing missing was the smoke coming out of my ears accompanied by the sound of a train whistle. I wasn’t quite sure why someone couldn’t have just picked him up, wheelchair and all, and deposited him back on the sidewalk…or even wheeled him somewhere (preferably into oncoming traffic, I was thinking as I began my “those damned homeless people” diatribe in my head.) I wonder if the reason that there are so many crazy people in San Francisco is because the city just grates on people, little annoyance after little annoyance, until they just can’t take it anymore.

Posted in Muni Chronicles.

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