Best Muni Adrenalin Rush San Francisco 2001 - 48 Quintara
In many ways, Muni's buses are not unlike those ancient, rickety Coney Island roller coasters. Not just because of the dips and twists of the city's plate-tectonics-ravaged terrain either. Like those old coaster cars, Muni's aged buses rattle just enough to raise doubts about whether they could stop if they had to. As for which lines are most in need of one of those "you must be this tall" signs, the 48 Quintara is a prime candidate. After a steep and scenic drop from Portola Drive down through Noe Valley into the Mission District, the bus chugs along 24th Street until it hits Potrero Hill, which it labors up, eventually reaching 20th and narrow Texas Street. After a slow and ominous turn, it barrels down Texas (barely clearing the parked cars on each side) at a frightening pace. As the slope levels off and the bus bounds toward Third Street, it's hard to miss the collective sigh from the passengers, most of whom are slowly unhanding the objects they clung to during the descent.