I have a long standing relationship with San Francisco Municipal Railways, Muni. I have been a rider of Muni buses my whole life. Everyone in San Francisco likes to complain about our bus system, but the fact is Muni makes it possible to get anywhere in SF without a car. Now that the buses have bicycle racks on them, getting around on public transportation is easier than ever. However, there are issues.
Two years ago I had to call the Muni complaint line several times a week because bus drivers along my route refused to change lanes to pass anyone on a bicycle . Several times I was pushed into parked cars because Muni drivers would not give me room when they passed. Many times they tailed me too closely and honked for me to get out of their way (on a two lane road) or cut me off after passing unsafely at bus stops. After about the 12th complaint I noticed that this was no longer a problem and that someone had decided to do some training. Not one driver on that line has since been a problem in the last two years. When a second bus line was added to our street I had to start the complaints again because no one had taught the new bus line drivers that being aggressive with 70 ton buses against human beings on bicycles was unprofessional. That has changed and I now find all of the Muni drivers to be very courteous and considerate. I never have any problems with them anymore (thanks Muni!!)
So here is my new battle. Can you see the problem(s)?
This is an outbound 43 Masonic and this is the sorry excuse for a bus stop that you can find at Judson and Gennessee. During school hours, (school meaning CCSF, the largest learning institution in the United States, and Riordan High School) every single 43 driver stops here, blocking all lanes of traffic and forcing dozens of bus passengers at a time to exit into an active bike lane. As you can see. there are usually cars involved, too. There are times I have been stuck here, swarmed by people for as long as 3 minutes at a time. It is a very, very busy drop off. Absolutely no attempt has been made to make this a safe stop for anyone and there is always tension as a result. Other than a strip of paint, there is no formal bus stop here.
This happens at the even busier 43 stop on the inbound route on Phelan Blvd. at the college's main entrance. At that stop I am frequently passed by 43 drivers who cross a double yellow line into moving traffic to allow enough room to make a sharp right turn cutting off the lane of car traffic, and the bike lane without actually stopping near the bus shelter. This forces me to make emergency stops to prevent being hit by the tail of the bus while I am simultaneously swarmed by passengers walking out into the street and bike lane to meet the bus (many times the back end of the bus is still partially blocking the traffic in the opposite direction!)
I have called to complain about this, but I have seen no change. So now I am calling Muni out publicly. Muni drivers are professional drivers with special licenses and they know better. Muni needs to do something about this. Now! The area around CCSF is extremely busy and is a primary bicycle corridor. Drivers need to drive like professionals who care about the people around them and Muni and the City need to ensure that every bus stop in this corridor is planned for the safety of all. Get on it, people!
Addendum- and here is the same stop back in April, at the tale end of about 40 people getting off the bus.