As many of you know, I take the bus. I am nearly 30 years old and I still take the bus to get to where I have to go. I don’t really mind taking the bus. It doesn’t bother me that I don’t drive, or that I don’t own a car. I live in a city where a car is optional. I can get anywhere and at any time of day on public transit. I am not going to rag on San Francisco’s MUNI system. That is a subject that I have not had the stomach to tackle and truth be told, if I were to write about MUNI it would be at least a 2 or 3 part blog entry. Not in mood for that. I do want to talk about one line, well two lines in particular that are both great and the fucking bane of my existence. The MUNI line I am talking about is the 9 San Bruno and the 9 San Bruno Limited.
First, let me talk about the 9 San Bruno Limited. The Limited bus is a great bus. It is really fast getting downtown. From San Bruno and Silver Ave to Market and 4th street in just a shade under 20 minutes. That is really fast and I mean screamingly fast. Sometimes it is faster taking that bus downtown then it is driving. The really neat thing about the 9 San Bruno Limited is that it is usually empty and one can have a seat and be comfortable. To me that is an odd thing to happen. I mean all the other Limited buses, like the 38 Geary Limited or the 71 Limited are always packed to the brim. It is like trying to travel in a sardine can in any of those bus lines.
Those were the pros about the 9 San Bruno Limited. The shitty things about the 9L are as follows. The most annoying part about that bus line is the simple fact that it only runs from Monday to Friday and from like 8am until 6pm. I know it is a convenience bus and I should not expect it to always run, but that should not be an excuse. The 38 Geary Limited runs until 930pm Mondays to Fridays, so not having the bus run in the evening is a bunch of bullshit. I know I am sounding like I am complaining but it sucks to hop on the regular 9 San Bruno at 830pm and it is still jam packed.
Another thing that I don’t like about the 9L is the fact that sometimes it does not come. I mean for the most part the 9L is a reliable bus, if you miss it you often have to wait about 14 minutes of so. Not so bad, but in the last year or so this has not been the fucking case. If you miss the 9L sometimes it takes fucking 45 minutes in order to catch the next one. If you’re going to wait that long then you might as well just catch the regular one. The 9L is actually a pretty good bus, when it comes. It has such sparse stops that it is usually empty and you can easily sit down. Now for it’s brother line the regular 9 that is a whole different story.
The 9 San Bruno is a brutally shitty and disgusting bus. It goes the same route as the 9L but it stops at every fucking stop, so it is slow and funky. I don’t mind the slowness of the bus, but 9 times out 10 the 9 San Bruno is jam packed. The reason why that bus is always jam packed is for two very shitty reasons. During the weekdays all the 9 San Bruno’s are smaller average sized buses. This would normally be okay, if they came every 7 or 8 minutes like the 24 Divisadero bus does, but no the 9 San Bruno comes every fucking 20 minutes and since it is a bus that connects people to all over the city, of course it is going to be fucking packed to the gills.
The other reason why the 9 San Bruno is always jam packed is because the fucking city refuses to give back the large double buses that can hold 3 times as many people. On the 38 Geary there at least 20 or 25 double buses that are running constantly. I get it that Geary is a busy street, but so is the fucking 9 San Bruno and it’s cross city voyage through SOMA and Potrero Hill. It seems to be that it is simply disrespectful, the 9 San Bruno is in the poorer section of town while Geary is more affluent. Whatever the case may be the 9 San Bruno is always packed, and its due to the fact that there is a massive demand for that line while the actual buses used to meet that demand are small.
The fact that the 9 San Bruno being crowded is not my biggest gripe with the line. Why I truly hate that line is the stench and the fact that it stops at San Francisco’s General Hospital. I don’t mind the sick people who go there, what I do mind are the out patient people or the methadone people who stink, are loud and fucking disgusting. I really wish those people would have their own buses. I have no problem with people who are in recovery but do these people have to be so fucking gross. Where does it say that when you’re a recovering drug addict, you are allergic to showering or deodorant? It’s sickening.
Often times these same people would crowd on the bus and cause problems on the bus. The 9 San Bruno is also one of the most violent buses I ride. Everyone talks about 44 or the T Line being violent but I have seen more shouting and more fist fights on the 9 San Bruno. The 9 San Bruno has a wretched stink to it as well. The reason being that since it goes down Market street it picks up a lot of homeless and scummy people. I really wish there was a law that said that if you had body odor you should not be allowed on the bus.
The 9 San Bruno also has a bunch of thugs ridding on their. These thugs are of every color. Black, Latin, White and Asian. The reason being that the 9 is such a vastly large bus route that it travels through a lot of different ghettos so as a rider you get to see thugs of every color of the rainbow.
As you can see my disdain for the 9 and 9L is pretty high. I don’t get why it is so fucking gross. I ride other bus lines and they are just as crowded but are not consistently disgusting. The 9 San Bruno and the 9 San Bruno Limited are two of the shittiest lines. If you are in San Francisco, avoid these lines at all costs.