Riding the F Bus to San Francisco

Today was the first day of my internship. However, I wanted to share with you guys my experience riding the AC Transit Transbay F Bus to work, because it might convince you to give it a shot in the future. A little background info: I can’t stand buses. They’re slow, inefficient, and my bicycle can pretty much beat it to any location in Berkeley.

Just one problem – my bicycle can’t cross the Bay Bridge to SF. Oh, and a BART ticket costs about $7 roundtrip. Which is why I finally decided to give AC Transit a chance (it’s free for students – included in tuition). And you know what? It wasn’t that bad – I just might be doing this every day over the summer.

I woke up really early today because I wanted to leave time in case transportation didn’t work out. I also brought my bike so I could quickly get to my workplace after arriving at SF.  After waiting a bit, I was picked up at the Piedmont and Bancroft stop (across the street from I-House) at 7:29 AM.

The bus hit the main stop, Bancroft and Telegraph around 7:33 AM, and after the driver killed the engine for about 10 minutes to wait for last-minute passengers, we were off. Following countless stops past Ashby BART station and Emeryville, we finally hit 80-W, and it was smooth sailing from there.

There were two perks I noticed on that commute. 1) We bypassed a ton of traffic around the toll booth area of I-80, because we were in the FastPass carpool lane. 2) The view of the bay from the Bay Bridge definitely beats the tunnel/darkness of BART.

Photo courtesy of John Ketola (via Flickr.com).

Plus, the bus wasn’t crowded at all and was clean and quiet. Of course, the hard plastic seats left something to be desired, but I’m just nitpicking, and they still beat the germ-infested BART seats, right?

I arrived at the Transbay Temporary Terminal (halfway between the Embarcadero and Montgomery BART stations) about an hour after I first boarded the bus. Biked the rest of the way, and got to my office with twenty minutes to spare before 9 AM.

All in all, I had no major complaints about my experience on the F line. It’s definitely a viable (and cheaper) alternative than BART, as well as driving a car (an even bigger headache in SF). Give it a shot if it works out for your SF destination.

Magic school buses at randomtidbitsofthought.wordpress.com.

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