Twice as I was writing that title, I mistyped it as "The bug lane." This may be a Freudian typo (is there such a thing?) because I am about to write a bitter rant about another of San Francisco's public transportation abominations, the diamond lanes devoted exclusively to buses. Now, I've heard the Muni representatives complain about how there are always cars in these lanes, and how if they're going to be expected to run their buses on time, then SFPD needs to step up its enforcement of people driving and double-parking in the bus lane. With which I'm wholly in agreement, in a strictly technical sense.
Unfortunately, as any SF denizen knows, nothing in this city works in the strictly technical sense! And in my opinion as both a driver and experienced public transport passenger (in cities across the world), here in San Francisco, the problem begins with the buses, with their dangerous and unpredictable swerving out into traffic (and I'm talking about the driving lane) after picking up passengers; their slow driving so they block not just the bus lane but the driving lane too; their slowing down at green lights about to turn yellow (because hey, we all know they're not in a rush); and their erratic schedules, which mean the dedicated bus lanes are often completely underutilized for spans of 45 minutes at a time.
I'll be honest, in my four years of commuting down Mission Street (the SOMA portion of which has a dedicated bus lane), there really aren't all that many citizen automobiles double-parked there during rush hour. I'm not sure why this is, but, while I'm perfectly ready to complain about inconsiderate jerks double parking on Valencia or Haight (and I'd be more than happy to share my compassion with the bus drivers who have to contend with that nuisance on a daily basis), I can't give them that on Mission, and yet the buses still run erratically and obstruct traffic horribly. This leads me to believe that the erratic, traffic-obstructing Muni driving is due to something other than bus-lane violations, and the Muni guy should STFU when he's using this as an excuse. It's feeble!