This past weekend, after sitting down with my friend Nick for some tasty BBQ wings and a pint at Gordon Biersch restaurant, I decided to spend the day riding a mode of public transportation I rarely use.
I first thought of taking the BART around town, but the ride is expensive compared to the free ride I get on the MUNI with my USF bus pass. It also has a limited amount of stops within San Francisco compared to the MUNI.
The cable cars are dominated by tourists, and there is no real sensible route to take for me personally to get to work, school, or home.
As I weighed my options, I looked to my left at the breezy bay and remembered that the N-Judah train runs along the Embarcadero. I’ve only taken a MUNI rail car once before, but I knew that the N cut across a major section of the city and wound up at Ocean Beach, not too far from where I live.
Riding on the N is a different experience than the noisy BART or the smelly, slow buses. The train was relatively clean and smell-free, traveled at a decent pace-part of the route runs underground where there are no traffic lights or intersections-and it cuts through certain parts of the city that you might not visit every day.
A trip on the N can take you anywhere from the Embarcadero, to Civic Center, Van Ness St., Portola, the Sunset, and Ocean Beach, just to name a few. Check out the entire route I took below.
After doing some research, I found out that the N is the busiest line in the MUNI system. In the early 20th century, it was a heavy rail car vein through the city, and it maintained its immense ridership through the 1970’s when the MUNI rail system was created. According to the Transit Effectiveness Project, currently over 45,000 people ride the N-line each day.
Below is a video of our journey. You should take your own. It’s guaranteed to be different and fun in its own way. Make sure you have some free time to relax and go wherever the tracks take you…