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Putt putt putt….

When I leave for work at 7:00 AM, I can usually catch a bus that’s not packed full of people, and many times even get a seat. The past few days have been quite another story. Since I was summoned for jury duty and subsequently (almost immediately, I might add) chosen for one, I don’t have to leave the apartment until 8:30. At that point, you can just about forget about catching a bus, because once they do start to appear, they’re usually too packed to let anyone on.

The first day of jury duty, I had to be at the courthouse at 9:15 AM. As usual, I left the apartment and walked down to the bus stop with a semi-spring in my step that only an extra hour of sleep on a weekday can give you, but the instant I saw the size of the crowd assembled there, a feeling of impending doom took over. Buses were coming by, but they — of course — were packed wall-to-wall with people. Normally, if this happens, I just walk the four or so blocks down to the Underground trains and have better luck. When I got there this time, there was a train sitting at the entrance to the tunnel…not moving. Behind it were two more trains, also, obviously, not moving. At this point, I had already wasted precious commuting minutes waiting for the bus and walking to the trains, but decided to stand around to see if the trains actually started moving, which, of course, they did not. Breaking into a slight panic, I racked my brain trying to think how on earth I was supposed to get to the courthouse. I didn’t have time to walk all that way, there were no alternate bus routes that got me anywhere close, and any part of the Underground would be backed up for god knows how long, at this rate. I decided to run back up to the bus stop.

More precious minutes tick by. I hot-foot it back up the four blocks — uphill, this time — get back to the bus stop, look up the street and feel my panic level rise as I see no busses whatsoever. Cursing the city of San Francisco with all of it’s lenient policies and laid-back attitudes about time and responsibility, I start walking to the courthouse. Quickly. I get all the way to the next bus stop and for the hell of it, turn around to look up the street again and, lo and behold, there’s an actual bus! As it approaches, I realize that there are more people on that bus than the law probably allows, but got on anyway and ended up standing right next to the bus driver (which, if you’re not an avid public transportation-taker like myself, is not exactly the safest place to stand, as there is essentially nothing to hold on to.) Another girl got on behind me and was standing so close to the windshield, she would have had no problem going right through it if the bus had made a quick stop.

The same scenario happened to me today (when will I ever learn?) but this time I actually got on one of the trains and it moved steadily along…until it got the the entrance to the tunnel, where it stopped. And sat. Until it moved 20 or so feet, where it stopped again. And sat. (Repeat this sentence 10 times, while picturing me panic as I picture me walking into a courtroom filled with people waiting for me, and only me, and having the judge yell at me, and only me.)

Last Sunday, the only two things that Avery and I did were go out for dim sum and go to the gym, and between all the waiting, and the putt-putt 15-mph so-called bus-driving, and more waiting, and the transferring to another bus and even more waiting, it literally took us all day. Ahhh, San Francisco.You can’t have a car, because there are virtually no parking spaces, and you can’t take MUNI, because it never runs properly. So, what’s the solution?

I don’t know…a good pair of comfortable shoes?

Posted in Muni Chronicles.

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