Ugliest Rush Hour in San Francisco

An electrical signaling problem shut down all MUNI lines today, affecting 40-50K commuters from 6pm onward. One of them was yours truly, who naturally took note of some of the hilarious, awkward and downright rude moments that happened when San Francisco’s friendly & verbose populace had to face an ugly commute.

I got on the MUNI at 6.15p.m., which stopped after traveling about a block’s distance. The conductor announced that there were problems and let us get off, which I was grateful for since only a week ago I’d been stuck in a tunnel on the MUNI for over an hour. I walked up to the bus stop at Embarcadero, the first stop on that bus line, so I was the lucky first person to get a seat. Two stops later, the bus was already overflowing and the bus stop even more so.

A guy took out his earbud and shot an annoyed look at the guy standing to his left.

“Could you stop leaning on me?”
“I’m not leaning on you, man.”
“Yes, you are.”
“Naw I’m not.”

At the next stop, one clearly harried woman yelled, “Move back! C’mon guys, move in!” She tried to wedge onto the bus, but the doors don’t close when anyone is standing in the stairwell. As she continued telling everyone to move in, a woman near the door muttered, “Don’t do it,” and threw back, “Just get a cab!”

As the bus drove off without her on it, the harried woman let her middle finger fly at all those people who disobediently refused to shuffle inward.

At the next bus stop, a mentally unstable man walked through the crowd of people trying to board the bus. One person took off his hat and started hitting the man with it, a disgusted look on his face.

A few people loosened up as the bus went on, carrying on conversation about this and that. One guy used a phrase I’d never heard before to express his need for a puff of weed. A woman replied that someone on the bus could probably give him some.

All told, my commute took 1.5 hours, AGAIN. But it was an interesting ride, to say the least.

The thing is, this only underscores what annoys me every day. The personal-space bubble out here is so much bigger, and San Franciscans are really bad about moving into trains and buses during rush hour. They are overly sensitive if their space gets violated, but totally lack awareness when they’re butting into someone else. I regularly, daily, get THWACKED by some techie dude’s backpack.

San Franciscans, PLEASE be better commuters.

And MUNI / SFMTA, PLEASE be more reliable. Because you are the worst.


6 thoughts on “Ugliest Rush Hour in San Francisco

    1. Ah, hello quieteating! Oh my goodness, Tokyo is a whole nother level of crazy when it comes to commuting. Korea too. Asians don’t have personal-space-bubbles, which is bad news bears. Hope you’re well!

  1. You would hate public transportation in Spain! Spaniards have no sense of public space in general. People don’t move out of the way when the bus/metro doors open, you have to fight your way out or loudly say “Perdona” as you elbow your way through. I got bumped into or hit by purses, backpacks, other people’s body parts, and strollers on a regular basis. People rarely apologized and when they did, I was always surprised. If you don’t apologize in the US, you get such dirty looks!

    1. I didn’t notice that being as problematic (when on holiday, one usually doesn’t have to deal with rush hour is the plus side), but I DID almost get pickpocketed. Grr!

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