The Sun Sets on the 26 Valencia

by Karen Topakian

It’s just a bus route. I know. Hard to get all worked up about it when there are 30,000 men and women heading to Afghanistan. But this bus route and I go way back. 

When I first moved to SF in 1984 this was my ride to graduate school. At the SF Art Institute on Russian Hill. The 26 to the 30 Stockton. Talk about a long slow journey.

I rode the 26 along Valencia and Market Streets in the rain and shine. Toting my 16 mm Bolex movie camera, Sony tape recorder and brilliant ideas.

Years later, I rode it in the opposite direction to my book writing class in Glen Park. I waited, rarely patiently, at 19th and Valencia for the number 26 to chug along. This time clutching the latest chapter of my long-suffering novel.

For all of the right reasons, MUNI is discontinuing this route. I should know. My partner Peg worked long and hard on the Transit Effectiveness Project that recommended these important changes.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t mourn the loss of one of my favorite bus routes, does it?


  1. Pamela Gerard says:

    I know just what you mean. I miss the 55 Sacramento. I used to take that
    bus and transfer to a cable car to get to school – the same school as yours.
    I’m glad you took the ride today and took the photos. RIP #26.

  2. Karen,

    It’s nice to see someone mourning the loss of a bus route but also acknowledging it’s the right thing to do. Are you going to take “one last ride” on it’s last day?

    • Karen Topakian says:

      I did take one last ride this afternoon. the driver stayed at the stop long enough when i exited to take my photos.

  3. When I lived on Valencia, the 26 was my main transport out to City College & SF State. Loved that bus line. I’m just glad the eastern 67 route was spared. I get why the cuts needed to be made but it’s still part of that feeling of government cut backs that leads people to have less faith in government.

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