Muni Releases List of Service Enhancements As Supes Near Rejection Vote

1394717576_8cfde646c1.jpgService on the 14 Limited would be expanded from mid days to 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Flickr photo by Octoferret.

MTA Executive Director Nat Ford has released a list of proposed service enhancements on 14 lines that run parallel or near lines that are being eliminated or scaled back in this year’s budget. The move comes following a "deal" worked out by Board of Supervisors President David Chiu that would put about $8.7 million back into the MTA budget for transit service enchancements, a compromise that some other supervisors say still falls short, and may lead to a vote to reject the spending plan tomorrow.

In a letter to the MTA Board of Directors Friday, Ford said his plan would tweak the schedules, creating better running times by investing "about 150 service hours per day to better match the scheduled running time with the actual time." He said the Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP) estimated the system needs about 230 hours of additional service per day to meet running times.

The lines slated for enhancements include the 9-San Bruno, 14-Mission (included the limited), 49-Van Ness/Mission, 4-Van Ness, 38-Geary Limited, 82X-Levi Plaza Express, 44-O’Shaughnessy, 5-Fulton, 10-Townsend, 48-Quintara, 39-Coit, the 1A-BX California Expresses and the J-Church. See the full list of here (PDF).

Ford made sure to include enhancements on a line in each supervisorial district.

The 14-Mission Limited would see some of the biggest enhancements. Currently, it only operates mid days and Saturdays, but service would be extended from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. to "help absorb customers who switch to Muni because of the BART Premium Pass. It will also represent additional capacity on Mission Street, which will help ameliorate the proposal to discontinue the 26-Valencia."

The Board of Supervisors has scheduled a special meeting at noon tomorrow to again consider rejecting the budget. It was unclear whether Chiu and Supervisor Sophie Maxwell would be voting to reject, but Maxwell appeared willing to consider supporting adding Sunday and evening parking enforcement back in, something Supervisor John Avalos proposed in a "Transit Justice Package."

  • theo

    The other TEP shoe drops. Whoever said it was just a package of cuts was wrong, wrong, wrong. 🙂

    I like the 14 Mission and 38 Geary and 9 San Bruno components of the proposal, which align with the TEP aim of strengthening the rapid network (good policy and good politics, as it connects all the districts).

    But the Haight/Western Addition area, District 5, is getting bupkis. The TEP proposed a 5L express service, more service on the 71, and extending the 6 to West Portal. None of that is on this plan, although the 5 will get slightly shorter waits.

  • enhance the J – I will believe it when I see it.

  • theo

    A small correction: I didn’t realize the original “Service Reductions” package ( retained a small number of service enhancements from the TEP.

    Including more service on the 5 and 6 and 71 during peak hours to make up for the elimination of the peak-hour 7-Haight.

    The original point is still valid: the level of service on the important Haight corridor isn’t increasing, unlike Mission and Geary.

  • Is it even possible to extend the 6 to West Portal? Where the 6 terminates now is on the north side of a hill that’s very steep on the south side (there are three sets of stairs that get you down from the top of that hill to West Portal). I’d be surprised if it was technically feasible or that you could somehow get it past the people who live on Forest Hill.

  • jim

    A good start. Now if we could only get Nat to enhance service by consolidating stops and enforcing bus lanes we could improve service systemwide.

    In addition to extending the 10 bus to General Hospital they should cut the number of stops on it. There is no reason it needs to stop 6 times on the 1 mile distance between Levis Plaza and Market.

  • As explained to me, declaring a fiscal crisis gave the SFMTA some breathing room to make service changes without environmental study, but they can’t just use it as a pretense to implement the entire TEP. Adjustments to service on lines like the 5 or 14 might be alright where adding the new 5L or that 6 extension might be going to far and get them into murky legal waters.

    Last month, stop consolidation work was already underway, but it was going to be several months still before it was ready.

  • susan

    Interesting 1ax/bx thoughts – I get on the BX at 8th – the ax’s go by solidly packed already, I’m not sure where they think they’ll put the people that currently ride the bx?

  • Jeffrey W. Baker

    Susan as I’m sure you’re aware the BX often skips the Fillmore pickup because it’s already packed, and the TEP adds a pickup at Van Ness. Perhaps moving the AX/BX demarcation is intended to free up capacity on the BX so it’s not crush loaded at Fillmore.

  • theo

    @Jeffrey: TEP recommendations are here:

    That first block of 14th Ave is pretty steep, but it’s no worse than Clay and Sacramento streets which the 1 California travels daily with very short headways. Electric trolleybuses are much better on hills than diesels (more torque).

    Whether they can overcome NIMBYs, that’s another story.

  • theo

    @Jamison: interesting news about the stop reductions — dare I say, some of the best news to come out of this financial crisis.

    Does that mean we should send our suggestions for stop elimination to Muni, via the TEP email address?

  • marcos

    Everything’s going to be okay so long as Donald Fisher’s employees get from CalTrain to work on time due to enhancements of the 82X-Levi Plaza Express and tourists get to Coit Tower on the 39 Coit.

    It is always important for our public services to take care of commuters and tourists before San Franciscans.


  • jim

    @marcos – Don Fisher is Gap, not Levis. Service to Levis Plaza is quite important as there not only Gap, but Williams Sonoma and all manner of law firms and ad agencies.

    As for the 39 Coit, they are keeping service on it for the roughly 20 people that use it on Telegraph Hill. It actually inconveniences tourists since the bus takes a strange trip to the top of Union St after coming down from Coit Tower. Streetsblog should do a story on the travesty that is the 39 Coit.

  • Extending the 39-Coit is an attempt to draw in enough ridership to maintain 2 busses on the route instead of cutting it down to just 1 bus and cutting out the low-ridership Union Street leg of the line.

  • marcos

    @jim, is Levis Plaza unique in its connection to CalTrain to the extent that it deserves that intense a level of service? Aren’t those 8[123]X lines all paid for by the MTC to provide connectivity to CalTrain? I’d rather see an express connection between Church Street Station and CalTrain which would serve more people and more San Franciscans. I believe that all of that money is used to bring commuters into San Francisco rather than bring San Franciscans to their commutes.


  • jim

    @marcos: We would not need dedicated express service to Levis Plaza except for the fact that the 10 bus is very slow because it stops so often. If we could cut half the stops, the trip would be much faster with more frequent service. Your belief that our existing very short distances between stops be maintained results in inefficiencies at all levels which must be compensated for by even more service modes such as express buses.

    This is not to say that express buses are not necessary in some cases, but their use would be mitigated by rational bus stop spacing and other operational efficiencies such as enforced dedicated bus lanes and POP.


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