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September 18, 2017


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When I moved to the Bay Area in 1958, jitneys--then typically long-body Checker cars--operated along Mission Street. As I recall, the fare was 15 cents if your destination lay within a single zone (Embarcadero to 22nd Street, 22nd to Geneva Avenue) or 25 cents if your trip crossed the zone boundary. You hailed them at bus stops but, unlike the buses which made every stop, jitneys stopped only to pick up and discharge passengers, which meant that in off-peak periods you might get a nonstop ride for a considerable distance--a lot quicker than the 14 bus.

In the late 1980s, teh library shuttle (that was supposed to be for research, but often used just for transpo) between UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz was known as The Jitney.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, my mother and I rode on jitneys like the one pictured. They ran along Mission Street with a route from downtown San Francisco to "top of the hill" in Daly City. My recollection is that they were much faster than a bus and less expensive, too. And unlike the buses, everyone had a seat.

Link to video of Matthew's Top of the Hill Daly City —

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