In Transit

Jill Kunishima


For some, there is no greater dread than riding the public transit system.

For others, there is no choice.

In the past few years I've been at college, I have been one of those unfortunate souls without a car. This means, when I am without a gracious friend to give me a lift, the AC Transit, The BART, and The Muni are my only option.

It isn’t that I don't like doing the public transit thing, it's just that taking public transit does tend to be slow. But when time isn't an issue, I must say riding these various forms of transit has made for some interesting times.

I'm almost convinced that all the crazy (for lack of a better word) people of the East Bay congregate on the AC Transit bus lines. It's not that I'm crazy or anyone who does ride it is a bit nutty; it's just that almost every time I'm on it, strange things happen.

Take for instance, the man with the beautiful voice. Imagine a voice similar to that of an announcer for a game show, or an emcee for an awards show… and then imagine it saying this: "Some people on the bus have bad breath… some people call it shit breath. Heh heh heh." Okay, I guess that ain't too bad… but then he started talking about how some students at UC Berkeley were conspiring with Tom Selleck about… well, you get the point. On another occasion, for all I know it could've been the same man, or his brother, because he too, had a beautiful voice. All was fine until we approached the gate of Mills : "Mills College… like Meal worms… heh heh heh."


There was also the woman on the AC Transit who played the invisible piano. I bet she and the man with the beautiful voice could make a beautiful music together.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe not all the crazy people congregate on the AC Transit. Maybe they're just drawn to it in general. In Berkeley, a city known for interesting characters, there was a woman who decided to cross the street right in front of an AC Transit bus, and she literally barked at it. And after the bus came to a screeching halt, the rabid woman, laughed maniacally at it.


The public transit system in San Francisco also makes for enjoyable times. On the BART, my friend was yelled at: "Just because I'm Mexican, doesn’t mean I have to go back to Mexico!" I assure you, no one told him to go back. Really.

No Bay Area public transit tour would be complete without a ride on the Muni. The Muni is great, but on the way to Reggae in the Park this year, it had me thinking all the people from the AC Transit emigrated to the Muni. First there was the person, who made a "kaching kaching" noise every time someone pulled the string to get off the vehicle. Then there was the man who sounded like he was chanting "huh bluh huh bluh" until he was finally asked to "Stop doing that!" by a man who was conducting a conversation earlier with an imaginary friend. Then there was the wild loud man and his wild loud entourage who wanted to pick a fight with the chanting man…

Good times…