I had to make a trip up to the Russian Embassy to pick up a Visa and in order to get there, I had to take the 45 Bus. This bus runs from the Caltrain Depot up to the Presidio. A more diverse terrain for a bus route, I’ll doubt you’ll find.
The start in SOMA is interesting, but not all that amazing. You can see the deritus of the dot-com and trendy lofts in an area that people have paid far too much for in the recent real estate boom.
You pass near to Union Square and see the retail area of town. Lots of people bustling around with fancy bags from expensive stores. It’s nice and a good palce to hop off if you want to buy something from said stores.
Then you hit Chinatown. This is probably the toughest part of the trip. People pack on to the bus. The things you see are pretty grungy. There are a lot of smells which probably aren’t going to appeal to most. Thankfully the worst is over soon, as once you hit Columbus, you’re done with it.
Ah, but then there’s the fun of North Beach passing by quickly. Then you blast past Washington Square Park. From there, it’s over the top of Russian Hill. While the views aren’t as amazing as the ones over the top of Nob Hill on the California Cable Car line, they’re still pretty good.
After you come over the top and get freaked out by how steep the hill is and how it seems the bus is going to run away and lose control, it’s just one great neighborhood after another. You see Upper Polk, Lower Pacific Heights, and of course all the shops along Union Street. Then you end at the Presidio and all its lush greenery.
The F Line Streetcar is a great ride in all that it covers, but I have to say that this bus line is a really fun way to see San Francisco from all that is new to all that has always been here. Just be prepared for Chinatown.