By Max DeNike : sfweekly – excerpt
After 44 years of regular service, San Francisco’s last jitney has sat idly on a SoMa street corner for weeks.
Every day since the Nixon Administration, Jess Losa drove from the Caltrain station on Fourth Street to downtown in the blue No. 97 coach. It used to be a decrepit, 1970s GMC van, but more recently it was a 2002 Ford you might mistake for an airport shuttle. Without fail, Losa bobbed and weaved through morning and evening commutes as San Francisco’s one and only jitney — a privately-operated one-man bus service.
His route made a loop from the station north on Third Street to Market then back to the trains south on Fourth Street, a trip he was known to make in five sometimes-daunting minutes. Most recently, it cost $2.25 each way, the same as a Muni trip. But in late January, Losa posted a sign near the train station on Fourth Street informing his customers they’d paid their last fare. The jitney is out of service… (more)