Commuting on the Muni 67 Bus Is Like Waiting for Godot

Reader Teri asks:

Can someone can shed some light on this? How come the 67 never comes?! I waited for it for 40 minutes this morning and it made me entirely late for work. I try to catch it at 24th and Mission to get back up the hill between 5 and 5:30pm, and IT JUST DOESN’T COME.

It’s really kind of hard and inconvenient to get to BART from the top of the hill. Now i have to re-assess my commute because the 67 makes me late every day. I could have walked to BART faster than that! (I’m on the southeast slope so it is not that cool a walk).

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23 Responses to Commuting on the Muni 67 Bus Is Like Waiting for Godot

  1. Gail says:

    Not sure why it doesn’t come, but you can track arrivals/departures of Muni on nextbus.com. It’s accessible from smartphones as well, and very handy!

  2. Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

    Yeah, if you have a smart phone I heartily recommend the “Nextmuni” app, for whatever reason it is even more exact/reliable than Nextbus.

    But yeah, I stopped taking the 67 after they gutted the service last year (or was it late 2009?) because it it stopped going where I wanted to go.

  3. KC says:

    The 67 is one of the most expensive lines in the MUNI system in terms of cost/ride. I think its time to reconsider the local feeder routes and replace them with jitney service where you call for a ride which will take you to a well-served transit stop like BART or a suitable MUNI stop. The city already has MAP van service – this would just be an expansion of that funded by the savings of shutting down useless local lines like the 67. Each rider pays a MUNI fare like a normal bus. For those of us that remember the last jitney service on Mission Street, this would be different. MAP vans are clean and safe. The service would not compete with MUNI but augment it and bring more riders into the system.

    Just daydreaming…

  4. Katharina says:

    The 67 doesn’t show because it’s hanging with the 22 outbound…

  5. bldxyz says:

    The 67 is unreliable.

    How to deal with it/NextBus.
    Yes, NextBus is a great resource and, I have seen cases where the next bus was reported as arriving within, say, 10 minutes, and all of a sudden it’ll jump to 30 minutes. Your best bet to walk up to Cortland and take either the 67 or the 24 (then the 49/14), whichever comes first.

    Why is it that way?
    Here’s some second/third-hand info. I recall there was some sort of community meeting a few years (or more) back which had some sort of Muni/City representative there. The question was posed about the unreliability of the 67. The answer given was something to the effect of saying the 67 was a secondary class of bus service — that the goals for reliability were lower than buses that were considered more essential. Maddening, yes?

  6. Olive says:

    This has been happening to me as well, and I think the 24th Street stop location has changed to the other side of the intersection. Three times I showed up at the right time according to NextMuni only to see that the bus did not come to where I was standing, but to the northeast corner where the bus drops off from Bernal. From there, the bus turns left onto Mission towards Bernal. I think it must go around the block and back onto 24th street, retracing its route rather than making a full loop.

  7. Danny says:

    I love the 67. I love its endless variegated path that it takes up and down and in and out of Bernal, and how you never quite know whether you’re inbound or outbound. It’s like the dragon curve and moebius strip of bus routes combined.

    My daughter used to shout “67! CRAZY BUS!” whenever she saw it doddering from one mysterious place to another.

  8. WJ says:

    What timing, after I busted my butt to get to the 24th St stop yesterday a full 5 minutes before the 67 was scheduled to arrive. It never showed. There was a whole crowd of us waiting (in the rain, mind you), just watching the worthless nextmuni display count down from 5 minutes to “Arriving” to “Departing” to 20 minutes. I had to wait 25 minutes for the bus.

    The 67 runs on a 20 minute (or occasionally without any obvious pattern, 40 minute) schedule. From what I can tell nextmuni does not use GPS to track these buses, it simply runs by the schedule. If the bus is late, you have no way of knowing it.

    To add insult to injury, in the evenings when the buses finish their routes early at 24th St Mission, the drivers are apparently free to do whatever they please until the bus is scheduled to leave. On occasion I have seen buses arrive more than 10 minutes before they are scheduled to take off again. During these breaks I’ve seen many, many drivers run into McDonald’s. One guy in particular likes to go into Carlo’s Bar and hang with his friends. A couple months ago one driver fell asleep in his bus and someone at the stop woke him up to get him to go. The same guy who frequents the bar also gave me a massive attitude one evening when he decided to sit on the bus reading a newspaper and talking to a friend even though he was supposed to have left several minutes beforehand. I made the mistake of asking him if he was planning on driving his route and was dismissed while he went back to his paper for a few minutes just to make a point.

    I know these guys deserve breaks but really, napping? Going into a bar? The buses could be RUNNING instead of just sitting at the curb for 5-10 minutes. What a waste! And I can’t help but get burned up about the constant fare increases whenever I see these guys just shooting the shit with their buddies.

    As you can tell I am totally fed up with this bus. But the 14/24 is a hassle and the 67 is so convenient when it actually runs on time. I’ve already voiced my complaints to Muni and received no response. I’ve started keeping a running document of my grievances complete with dates, times, and bus numbers, with the intention of eventually reporting them to Muni, but it’s probably a waste of time since I won’t get a response from them. Maybe if other people voiced their complaints they’d do something.

    Or maybe it would just make them cut the line completely out of spite.

    • Zell says:

      Makes me miss the days when drivers would let passengers in during their “break”. Of course we wouldn’t leave for another 5-10 minutes, the driver would be reading his newspaper or having a smoke break outside, but it was nice to be able to grab a seat while waiting for the bus to leave. Now they just make us stand out there like fools.

      I think they run to Carlo’s bar or McDonald’s for a bathroom break.

      • WJ says:

        Perhaps, but they always come out of McDonald’s with food, and the one guy who I see in the bar is always just standing there talking to his friends.

        I wish they’d let people sit on the bus too! Especially in the rain.

    • As far as I can tell, next bus is not based entirely on live GPS coordinates, but on estimates based on when the individual busses/trains pass certain way points along their route.

      So if a bus stops after the nearest way point, the system apparently has no way of knowing it is delayed. Or if it makes unusually good time between the way point and your stop it isn’t reflected, either.

      I am lucky to live near Crescent, where I have a choice between the 67 and the 23. Usually, one of the two runs every 20 mins or so. There’s no real time difference in my commute between the quick trip to Glen Park and the scenic route over the hill. Though I often end up walking home from Glen Park at night, because the 23 becomes increasingly unreliable after 6.

  9. Jen says:

    When the 67 runs on schedule, it is a mean lean commuting machine making it possible to get from the SE side of Bernal to BART with little fuss. I really love this bus when it runs the way it is supposed to.

    However, it seems to break down in one direction (that is usually why a bus will “drop” from the nextbus notification) at least once every other week – requiring me to do the 14 to 24 ride to get home in the evening or turn around and drive to work in the morning.

  10. steve says:

    67 Pro Tip:

    If you’re catching it at 24th street and it’s not about to leave, (doubly so if it’s raining) or if it is nowhere in sight, walk down to Philz Coffee. You get the bonus of potentially intercepting the bus enroute and if it doesn’t show during the short walk you should have time to grab a tasty beverage and shelter in/around Philz.

  11. BernalDweller says:

    I actually love the 67 too. It does suffer from “missing bus syndrome” maybe once or twice a month (this morning was one of those times, unfortunately), but other than that, and unlike most MUNI routes, it actually runs like clockwork. I know I can rely on it 90% of the time to be at my stop on the hour, twenty past and twenty till. NextBus has a few issues, too, but is generally accurate. The nice thing about south Bernal is the added convenience of taking the 24, although I gotta say I hate hate hate taking the 14. Now the 14L, there was one of the best MUNI improvements to come along in a long time.

  12. JoAnna says:

    I was also waiting in the rain yesterday for the 67 that never showed at 24th and Mission. I was forced to go to Rosamunde for a Belgian and a sausage. Forced!

  13. teri says:

    Sounds like we all have the same issues! I do use NextMuni but find that to be unreliable as well. The 14/24 risk is always interesting in the evening … after bolting off the 14 for my life to watch the 24 roll up the hill and out of sight. There’s always the option of taking the 23 to Glen Park Bart, but that seems a waste to go the opposite direction of where I need to be.

    Last month the 67 driver was asking all passengers if they rode her bus the previous morning, when a woman flew from the back of the bus to the windshield going down Alabama. She said the passenger was paralyzed from her fall. Wheeeeeeeeeeee!

    All I can say is: Thank god I work from home one day a week!

  14. Frank P says:

    Bring back the 13 Ellsworth!

  15. viaMissionSt says:

    If it’s Thursday, the Attic has $2.50 well Manhattans. At least they used to. Two sips of one of those bad boys and you won’t be caring too much how on time the 67 is anymore.

    • teri says:

      Good one. I’ve done Philz and the Attic waiting for that bus. Today I parked on Mission and Bosworth and walked to Glen Park. Easy enough, and I won’t get stuck in the Mission after work.

  16. Kristy says:

    Also agree with the one or two others above that in the wide world of Muni, the 67 is actually not that awful – honestly, compared to the N Judah it is a picnic. You just always have to have a backup plan when taking Muni, and the 67 is no exception. Here are a few of my backups:

    – if the 67 isn’t coming/is late to the 24th and Mission stop, just cross the street and take the 14 or 49 down Mission to 30th. Get off at Mission & 30th or Mission/Cortland. Check and see if the 24 is coming at either stop, then take that up the Hill. Or if you don’t feel like waiting for the 24, just hike up the Hill.

    - If you catch the 67 at Cortland and Folsom – you should see the bus go by in the opposite direction on Folsom about 10-15 min. before it is due. This is the same bus that is going to circle right back at Alemany Blvd. and pick you up. So if you are waiting for 15 min. and do not see the bus go by, then it is going to be late. Now, the 23 at Folsom and Crescent comes almost exactly 10 min. after the 67 is due at Cortland/Folsom. So I know that if I don’t see the 67 within 5 min. of when it is supposed to show (or when Nextbus/Nextmuni says it isn’t coming), to book it down the hill to catch the 23. Alternatively, if you see the 24 coming up Cortland, just hop on that to catch the 24 to the 14/49 on Mission.

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