After a recent trip to the SoMa district I was heading home. Faced with the decision of taking the MUNI or BART, I decided to head over to 6th and Mission and wait for the #26 bus to take me back to the MishMish. It was a break from normal routine, BART gets me home faster and safer than any MUNI line, but the 26 Valencia line would be shutting down in a few days and I was feeling a bit nostalgic, so I was actually looking forward to one last ride on it.
When riding the 26 you have to be in a patient mood. Although it usually comes around twice an hour, there is no telling when those 2 times will be. MUNI’s site is no help, I’ve waited for the 26 on many cold mornings with no sign of the bus, only to see two appear side by side 20 minutes after the scheduled stop. After 10 minutes, I decided to check the 26’s status on NextMuni.com (a transit service that uses on board GPS to track the arrival of buses). According to NextMuni, the next 26 would arrive would be arriving in 64 minutes! Add the 10 minutes I’d already been waiting and you can start to see how bad MUNI had already fucked up the 26!
Last week I had talked to some folks as they waited for the 26 and asked them if they used it regularly. Like me, they tried to use the service but found it too unreliable to use for “need to get there” situations. They would take the bus if they were on Valencia Street and saw one coming, but would walk the extra couple of blocks to BART for their daily commute to work.
MUNI suggests former 26ers start taking the 14 Mission, which for most riders will probably be a dealbreaker. The 14 Mission is THE MOST DANGEROUS MUNI ROUTE, or maybe you’d feel better on the 49… or maybe not.
MUNI had a line that many people wanted to ride, but couldn’t because it was too unreliable. Instead of fixing the line so more riders could use it, they yanked it. Expecting riders to switch from one of the safest routes in the city to the bus with the most violent incidents. In the end,
Luckily, I only live 6 blocks from a BART line and I have a bicycle, so I’m not reliant on any MUNI except for those rare rainy day trips to the Avenues. I only used the 26 once or twice a week, but I will miss it. It was a safe ride down a great street in the Mission. Perfect for those slow sunday trips to Zeitgeist and back.
Other blogs take on the cancellation of the 26: