Give Your Line Some Love: Enter GOOD Magazine’s Best Bus Route Contest

Photo: GOOD
Photo: GOOD

While many Americans may not think riding a bus is the sexiest form of transportation, the reality is that a majority of public transit trips in the U.S. are taken by bus. The numbers are even higher in the Bay Area. Every one of the hundreds of thousands of passengers who boarded a bus in the last year has a story to tell and there are probably lots of Streetsblog readers who would love to share a tale about their favorite line. So why not nominate it as the best bus route in America?

Transportation Alternatives, New York City’s advocacy group for bicycling, walking and public transit, has joined with GOOD Magazine for a contest asking public transit riders to email in their photos and brief captions making a case for why their bus ride is the better one. From GOOD’s website:

Bicycles can be chic, subways artful, but buses? Buses are not exactly the golden child of transportation. They’re more like the red-headed step child: Deep down you know they mean well but they’re just a little harder to love.

Yet public buses are an essential form of transit in cities across the country, and they account for a big chunk of the nearly 10.2 billion trips Americans took on public transportation in 2009. We think it’s time to give a little love to one of the least celebrated modes of transit. To that end, we’ve teamed up with Transportation Alternatives and an impressive group of bus-loving jurors to see and hear why your bus route is the best in America.

What is it about your bus route that you love? Is your bus driver brilliant? Is the view from your window breathtaking? Do your fellow riders characters belong in a Hemingway novel?

The judges include Earl Blumenauer, Enrique Peñalosa and TA Executive Director Paul Steely White. I’m honored to also be a judge. You only have until next Wednesday, November 10th, to submit your entry. You can email them to or tweet the entry to @GOOD and use the hashtag #bestbusride. Good luck!

  • 22-Filmore FTW!

  • 30-Stockton FTW!

  • fuck yeah N Judah!

  • oh duh, bus only? well fuck that then!

  • You don’t ride the N-Judah at 2am Greg?

  • @Greg – N Owl!

  • 33-Stanyan.

  • As far as nature & sights, 29’s rather scenic (except when school gets out).

  • Nick

    The 26 was one of my favorites.

  • Brian Toy

    The 76-Marin Headlands, case closed.

  • 72X

    Downtown SF. Golden Gate Bridge. Express. Wine Country.

    A guy on the bus was talking to someone on the cellphone and said it was like getting in a spaceship. “I got in, it was 60 degrees. I’m looking at windsurfers from the Golden Gate Bridge right now, in an hour I’ll be in 90 degree temperatures drinking wine and looking at the vineyards”

    Comfy coach bus with very high seats for great viewing. Wi-fi. Inexpensive.

  • 24/3rd/Palou

  • Sean

    Algood 24 babee

  • 0101!

    14 Mission at 230am. You haven’t lived unless you’ve ridden this run.

  • GoGregorio

    I know I’m in the minority here, but I rely on VTA line 25. At a sad 10-minute headway, it’s the most frequent bus in the system!

  • Mad Park

    The 37/53 routes in Seattle circumnavigate the West Seattle neighborhood along the waters of Puget Sound with city and mountain views, and then travel through some scenic neighborhoods uphill to the major “Urban Village” in West Seattle. Sadly they are now pretty much weekday rush hour services only w/ a smattering of service on Saturday.

  • Sean H

    MUNI 76, one of the last Victorian style routes that hasnt been slashed. Its akin to the old streetcars going to Colma on Sundays (in Victorian times the cemeteries served a dual purpose as parks). For $2, its the best bus ride in America.

  • Joseph E

    I don’t live in the San Fernando Valley, but someone who rides the Metro Orange Line (bus rapid transit) should submit it. As a rapid transit line it’s low-end, but for a bus it’s great, with frequent and fairly reliable buses all day long, off-vehicle payment, proof-of-payment, and other “rail-like” features. Sure, it should have been build as a light rail line, but it’s a great bus.

  • FDW

    54-felton, it’s one of the most under-appreciated lines in the city, and it’s has some awesome views from the crests of hills as it winds through side streets.

  • 76-Marin Headlands or the West Marin Stagecoach 68 westward to Point Reyes.