Best People-Watching

Any Bus Ride on AC Transit


AC Transit is kind of like a meteor shower or a surprise party or a
traveling circus: You never know quite when it’ll show up, but when it
does, it’s damn good entertainment. Laughably unreliable schedule
notwithstanding (and besides the fact that it’s greener than driving,
cheaper than BART, and faster than walking), AC Transit is worth taking
simply for its alternately hilarious, horrifying, and head-scratching
people-watching. After all, public transportation is the great
equalizer, and if we’re talking subcultures, these Belgian beauties
host the full spectrum of East Bay archetypes, all crammed together in
one place. Though any seasoned rider will tell you that AC is
chock-full of crazy 24 hours a day, there’s a noticeable method to the
madness: During the day, you tend to get your crackheads, your
conspiracy theorists, your gossiping high-school kids, your Cal
students, your senior citizens, and your guitar-playing hippies —
generally anyone who wouldn’t have a nine-to-five. In the late
afternoon and evening, newspaper-reading professionals fill the seats,
and later at night, the crowd is a little sketchier and decidedly
drunker. No matter when you go, though, it’s certain to be some of the
best voyeurism $2 can buy.