When Muni started the 48 Quintara bus line some where back in the 80’s I was happy because I could be a lazy guy and just walk down to the corner to catch a bus. I like many never stayed on past West Portal station, but now I’ve been given a reason to and it’s an interesting trip that shows the social and cultural stratification of the people along the route.
I hop on in the central Sunset and most of the people that are on or getting on are of Asian decent. Most of elderly or at least in the 60+ category [60 is young nowadays]. As you continue on the route the people who get on are mostly Asian again until you hit West Portal. Then the bus empties out. There might be 5 people left at most. Then as you continue on the drive up Portola into Diamond heights the crowd changes. Once you make the turn off of Clipper onto Grandview the crowd gets decidedly hip and Caucasian. I see younger people with iPhones and iPad looking at no one else except their screens. As the bus turns off of Douglas onto 24th street you now start to see the age go down. early 40’s on Grandview to 30’s on 24th and Douglas and then it drops down to the 20’s around Castro and 24th street.
As the bus reaches Valencia street all the young hipsters vacate the bus probably stopping at a cafe before going to work or the Mission campus of City College to help them develop their mad skills in graphic design or computer programing. The next stop is Mission street where the last stragglers get off to hop onto BART, which as I have noted is a nice ride. This is also the part where all the Hispanic people jump on the bus.
I find it interesting that San Francisco as a city has worked to integrate everyone together over the years making it so people of all races can live together, but when you get on the bus you see the real picture. While we don’t mind people of other races, we still like to live amongst our kind.