In one of the most documented Muni rides that didn’t end in personal or property damage, on Saturday a small but (politely) rowdy gang of folks joined us on one of the Culture Bus’ final runs. You can see a little video report VidSF‘s Kieran Farr did, with editing by Hannah Choe above.

Sadly, on the entire route we were only joined by three “legit” riders, who hopped on at the Academy of Science and hopped off in Union Square. We’re told that somebody had to get Greg Dewar in a headlock to keep him from yelling “just take the N!”

The end of the Culture Bus road generated a lot of pixels, the Chron, Muni Diaries, Rescue Muni, Whole Wheat Toast, Octoferret, plug1, raqcoon, and SF Citizen all memorialized it.

So what’s next for the dearly departed 74x? Muni spokesperson Kristen Holland told us that the Culture Bus would rejoin the general population this week, with its festive yellow plumage removed (perhaps to avoid getting its ass kicked by the other, street-hardened buses). We know from experience that its TransLink card reader is already set for normal street use — our Saturday attempts to swipe our TransLink cards meant we got charged $2, then had to pony up the other $8 (or $5 for FastPassers) with cash money.

We asked our driver what was next for him, and he said he hadn’t gotten his assignment yet, but he’d be happy no matter what. Even with the 14? “I love the 14!” he said.

Others aren’t so sanguine about its departure: already, a movement to “Restore the 74” has arisen, sending some (ahem) more literal-minded internet users into an enraged frenzy.

As the Restore site notes “Wouldn’t it be great to ride a bus around town, pointing at the cool stuff and stopping to see the fun stuff?” “It doesn’t have to be $10. It doesn’t need to make you wait an hour to catch it. It doesn’t have to be the city’s best-kept secret. In fact, it probably shouldn’t be any of those things.”

Even the (ahem) literalists would have to agree: that’s a Culture Bus we’d all be proud to get aboard.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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