'If it gets me, it gets me': Muni riders talk about riding the bus during COVID-19 pandemic

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The coronavirus pandemic has scared away a lot of Muni riders from the system. The drop in ridership in San Francisco can seem eerie at times, with empty buses moving along city streets almost as if they are on autopilot.

Muni slashed service after the drop in demand. But having fewer buses means that passengers who still depend on a bus to get around must crowd into buses at times.

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That can be the case along the 38 Geary line, which is one of Muni's busiest routes.

Drivers are supposed to limit the number of passengers to keep people from crowding, but even with these new guidelines, it is tough to maintain a 6-foot distance.

Some riders, like Merit Lash, take it in stride despite the dangers.

"I am 77 years old. If it gets me it gets me. I've had a good life," said Lash as she rode the bus to pay her rent. "I take precautions. I stay home as much as I have to."

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Others, like Peggy Kang, don't want to feel defeated by the pandemic.

"I can't worry those things anymore," said Kang, who is not wearing a face mask while riding the bus. "Things are going to happen whether you know about it or not. And you just have to be ready to take care of it, whatever happens."

Muni advises the public not to board buses if they are feeling ill, unless they need to get to a doctor. The system has also banned boarding from the front door to protect the drivers, except for passengers in wheelchairs or those who need assistance to board the bus.

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