Thursday, March 22, 2012

The strange case of the Inner Richmond Muni line

So we've lived in the Inner Richmond for about a month now and we have been acclimating and slowly learning Your Local Customs and whatnot and it's cool, I mean, it's mellow except for the Screaming Drunk USF College Student Girls on Thursday-Sunday nights, but that's no biggie. There is one strange thing I've noticed here, though, that I wasn't prepared for. Where I come from, at your average Muni stop there is your usual agglomeration of pathetic humanity hanging around until the bus pulls up and then BOOM it's like a soccer riot and every man woman and child for themselves and elbowing and pushing their way onto the bus and people coming out the front door like they're not supposed to and weeping and moaning and general human malaise. You know what I mean?

Not in the Inner Richmond! Imagine my surprise when I came around the corner one morning to go to my stop and there was a NEAT AND ORDERLY LINE OF PEOPLE extending from the bus stop itself down the street. Like this, but with more people staring at tiny screens.

WHAT THE WHAT NOW. This is a Strange and Magical Land! I had no frame of reference for this kind of behavior. As it happens, I've only seen something similar once before. Many years ago, I went to Zeitgeist quite coincidentally on the same day as the Dyke March and the instant I walked through the door I knew something was up because instead of the usual pathetic crowd up and down the bar yelling and waving bills trying to catch the attention of the surly and jaded bartenders, instead the ladies had formed an ORDERLY LINE from the bar back. It was the equivalent of seeing a class of preschoolers suddenly and spontaneously start performing Shakespeare. I simply could not grasp it.

SO. Are Inner Richmonders all secretly lesbians? How are we to explain this bizarre behavior?

(SIDE NOTE. The Line People, I've noticed, are queued for the express bus to downtown, and so they all file onto it and leave me and maybe one other person - usually Baseball Cap Guy or Vaguely Indian Girl - to take the regular non-express bus when it comes.)

(SIDE NOTE 2. Today the regular non-express bus took us about 5 blocks and then forced us all out with some "last stop" bullshit. Thanks for fucking up again, Muni!)


GG said...

I think it might have something to do with order of boarding *mattering* a lot more when you're in the middle of nowhere. I also used to live in the middle of nowhere, and boarding first versus last might mean the difference between standing and sitting for a 40-minute ride, or not being able to board at all if the car was full -- a big deal when buses/trains only come through a middle-of-nowhere stop every 15 minutes, and the result might be that you're late for work. People respect that being first is more important in this situation, and some take care to arrive early in order to be at the front of the line, because it matters. It's very different from taking a bus from 24th Street to Cortland when you'll only be squished into an uncomfortable position for a few minutes if you board last, and if you don't get on, there will be another bus in 3 minutes. Just my armchair sociological analysis.

Tamagosan said...

There is no excuse for civility on MUNI!

Rachel said...

Welcome to the hood, TK!
Where are you catching Muni? I've never seen an organized line in the Richmond, sounds exotic and strange.

oldest daughter said...

google bus? here in da noe they line up exaqctly like that, and the google buses ( tech buses in general) work off of the MUNI major stops

Alissa said...

Have you never been on BART? Those assholes line up in single file behind the little black rectangles that indicate where the door will open, and they get really mad if you do anything to interrupt their system. When I lived in Oakland (for 4 months in 2008, its embarrassing) I would deliberately try to fuck up these losers every single day by swooping into the car while they were still waiting for people to exit. Anyway, my point is, lining up for public transportation is bullshit - none of you are going to get a seat anyway.

Slappy said...

The AX and BX has a fairly civil crowd at most stops (6th avenue seems to be a bit hectic) but what it boils down to is you see the same people at the same time every day because we're all on the way to work.