Last night we headed over to the Galleria at SF Design Center for Wine & Spirits' Top 100 Wines event. We bought the plebe tickets and had a discount on those, so the evening was the cost of a nice dinner. Walked down the hill and caught the 10-Townsend at Levi's Plaza. A while and a ways later, we arrived just as the plebe doors opened at 6:30P.
Fine time. In addition to the wineries that made the list (of which we had far fewer than 100 tastes and red-wine-only at that), the interspersed foodie tables included wares from Flour & Water, Il Cane Rosso, Hog Island Oysters, Heaven's Dog, Gitane, Cliff House, and more.
The event was shutting down at 8:30P, and with a last hurrah we handed our Riedel wine glasses to the gent at the exit and left to catch the bus home. The 10-Townsend stops running at 8P or so, but we could catch the 19-Polk at 15th and Rhode Island and take it up to Union and Polk where we'd catch the 45 down to Washington Square Park.
We walked around the corner and down a block to the bus stop. NextBus signage said the next bus was due in 20 minutes or so. We could wait. The weather's been relatively warm with the Japanese storm and it wasn't raining. Thanks be.
The signage counted down (with some hiccups) to four minutes more to wait and then, suddenly, flipped to saying the next bus was due in 15 minutes. Wah?
The signage counted down (again) (again with some hiccups) until it said, "ARRIVING."
We watched a different bus heading south on an adjacent parallel street and our next bus info changed its mind. Our next bus was now due in twenty-two minutes.
Is NextBus based on GPS in the buses? Or is it all just wet-finger guessology?
One of the other people waiting for the phantom bus called to see where the 19-Polk might be and when we could expect it. Oh, the answer came back after he'd been put on hold, there was a shooting and that's why your bus is delayed.
(So tell me again why it said, "ARRIVING," if it had had no intention of arriving and was, in fact, twenty-some minutes away?)
(Still can't find any news reports of such a thing online this AM. Had we misunderstood? Would a fire at Union Square interrupt a bus route on Polk, because that's the only trouble that happened last night that seems to have been deemed newsworthy.)
It's now quarter to ten rather than quarter to nine, when we first arrived at the bus stop. No bus. No one knows if the latest ETA is even accurate. When will the next 19 arrive? None of us trust the system at this point. Pretty crummy for bus service that is supposed to arrive every twenty minutes at that time of the day.
The crowd waiting for the 19 at 15th and Rhode Island started to disperse. Each of us headed off to the location we thought would most likely result in a bus ride before midnight.
We opted to walk from 15th & Rhode Island to 4th and Townsend (a little less than a mile) to catch the 30 back to Washington Square Park, which still would leave us about half a mile up hill (and down) home. (Most of the other nearby bus stops we knew about were either no-longer-running 10s or the mysteriously-missing 19.)
Finally reached home around quarter to eleven. Far later than we'd intended.
What if we hadn't been in shape or willing to walk over to catch the 30? Would the 19 ever have arrived?
What responsibility does SFMTA have to their customers waiting after dark (or during the day for that matter) to get them from where they are to where they are wanting to go according to the published schedules?