You hear it often. Rrrrr, rr, rr, rrrrrrr…rrrrrr. It’s a tough sound to write in text, but it’s the sound of the diesel bus they run on the Muni Number 2 line past my house sometimes and it is dying.
Usually, you just get that whirring sound as the electric busses cruise effortlessly up Sutter Street, only sometimes interrupted by a, “Please hold on…” or a “Please reserve the front seats for people with disabilities or lazy folk…” Every so often this dying beast comes floundering up the street though. I equate it to what it must have been like in the first evolutionary trials of animals going from sea to land. Such a sad, overused diesel engine. And I’m sure it keeps getting kicked around the fleet once a driver has just had enough of it and tenure be damned, it’s either him or the bus that need to go.
I had to ride it once and it coughed and sputtered its way up and down the hills. It was sad. You could tell the driver was coaxing it to get all he could from it, but once we turned right on to Masonic, he pulled up next to another driver who was waiting at the same light, opened the door and yelled out with a laugh, “I hate the bus. It’s sooo slow!” The other driver smirked, offered waning condolences and sped off in her electric steed.
Someday, one driver will get wise to it and pour some form of silicate polishing compound in to the motor oil to firmly put the damned thing out of its misery. The only noise along Sutter you’ll hear that day will be a unanimous sigh as we who are residents will hear the dying autobus no more.
In case you’re interested, go to Muni and find a spot to take the 2, to share in the glory of this bus. Trust me, you’ll know it when it comes.