Tuesday, August 15, 2006

the underground shuttle

The Presidigo Shuttle is definitely some long-lost descendant to the Underground Railroad. Now, before you jump all over me and say "Hey, a-hole, the Underground Railroad was an enormous civil rights victory against oppression that saved thousands of lives while the Presidigo is just a bus that runs into downtown San Francisco," let me say "yes. you're right." But, CLEARLY the great-great grandson of the person who scheduled Underground Railroad stops and stations is the one in charge of organizing the Presidigo.

You see, as best as I can figure, the Presidigo is this mysterious shuttle that just shows up at random places in the city, picks up people who live or work in the Presidio, and then carts them back off behind the walls of the Lombard Gate. The thing is, there are no signs for it anywhere in town. No where. Caltrain doesn't know anything about it. BART doesn't know anything about it. MUNI doesn't know anything about it. And yet, you'll see people waiting on random, completely unmarked street corners who just somehow know that at 9:33 the Presidigo will be stopping next to Old Man Johnson's barn and that they should get on if they want to make it to freedom ... or you know, the Presidio.

But how did they figure this out? I got off of BART this morning to get onto the Presidigo and started hunting around for signs. Nothing. With no indication of where the shuttle picks people up in the morning, I decided that I'd go wait where it dropped me off the night before. I walked two blocks to the Transbay Terminal, made my way under an overpass, and stood next to a completely unassuming light post. There was no sign indicating the Presidigo. I'm lucky that I have a decent sense of direction and a pretty good memory for visual landmarks, but even I wasn't sure I was at the right random light post.

After about 10 minutes, I was convinced that I was being completely ridiculous. There was no indication that any kind of anything was going to stop under the overpass to pick people up. Just when I thought I was officially retahded for even trying this location point, some random guy walked up and also started to loiter near the light post. I can't tell you how excited I was. It was like I'd figured out a secret handshake or hacked my way around some fancy-schmancy firewall. Sure enough, a few minutes later the Presidigo pulled up and I got on.

Harry Potter has the Night Bus. England has London Below. San Francisco has the Presidigo.

1 comment:

EmoRiot said...



or the pdf of the stops:


i googled "presidigo" and it was the number one result. Actually, now that you mention it, the "Underground Railroad" was successful because of it's google ranking too! ;)