Today’s Headlines

  • SFGate Makes a Case in Favor of Alameda County’s Transpo Measure B1
  • More on BART’s Record-Setting Weekend Ridership (CoCo Times)
  • LiveSOMA Looks at the Second Street Improvement Project
  • CurbedSF: New Parklet on Townsend Pays Homage to SOMA History
  • South SF to Approve New Bike Lane Projects (Patch)
  • Two Bicyclists Injured by Car Driver Near Saint Helena (KTVU)
  • Bicycle Rider Seriously Injured by Hit-Run Motorcyclist in Rohnert Park (Press Demo)
  • Fremont Cyclist Suffers Head Injuries in Early Morning Crash, Police Seeking Witnesses (CoCo Times)
  • Greater Marin: How to Re-Engineer Novato Streets for Safer Bike, Ped Access
  • Berkeley to Host “Open Streets” on Shattuck Ave. This Weekend (DailyCal)
  • Oakland Looks to Expand Controversial Red Light Camera Program (SFGateOak Trib)
  • Castro Valley Wrapping Up Two-Year Streetscape Project (Review)
  • CA Senators Calling for Federal Gas Price Investigation (KRON)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • voltairesmistress

    Re: Coco Times on record BART use: After looking at those BART stats, can anyone seriously argue that Bay Area residents are wedded to personal car use and opposed to taking transit? Caltrain is also experiencing a surge in commuter ridership as the local economy recovers. Rideshare and taxi alternatives and bicycle use gaining share. But MUNI’s ridership gains are modest to non-existent.  The reason is not aversion to public transit, but rather aversion to slow transit.  We won’t get new riders or revenue by offering free transit to youth.  But we will get new riders if we build a SF transit system that gets people where they need to go efficiently.

  • A different take – MUNI has had more riders than it could handle for a long time. Now that Caltrain is attracting ridership up to the level of subsidy, the service is struggling to provide workable service. BART is also bursting at the seams and becoming less useful.

    MUNI was the canary in the coalmine that we didn’t listen to, to fund it more and prepare for the ridership increases of the other systems.

  • mikesonn

    Muni has a ton of low hanging fruit, mainly enforcing bus only lanes. So simple it is painful.

  • Muni could also, very cheaply and quickly, implement the TEP stop consolidation recommendations. (If Muni stopped every third block instead of every other block, or instead of sometimes twice on the *same* block, it would see significant speed improvements.)  And maybe, just maybe, Muni could fix tracks in the Twin Peaks tunnel so that train speeds could double and return to historical top speeds of 50mph.

    It’s important to note that Muni also carried huge numbers of people over the weekend, 35% more than usual.  Muni generally carries 730,000 people per *day*, more than double BARTs new single day ridership record.  (And this in a city of 812,000 people.) On a ridership basis, Muni is incredibly successful. On a speed and efficiency basis, I completely agree that Muni has vast room for improvement.

    I think what made this “eventageddon” weekend a non-gridlock success was the media hype warning people not to bring cars to the city combined with high gas prices which made people more susceptible than usual to driving alternatives. I hear that Caltrain, which didn’t add much service even in light of all the demand, was packed to the gills and very uncomfortable which is unfortunate.  Caltrain is generally very pleasant to ride, and if people have a bad first experience with public transit, it may be a while before they try it again.

  • On the other hand, Karen, if some peninsulite who doesn’t support the train in geenral and never takes it, but takes it to the Giants because they hear SF is going to be a crapshow, and gets on it and sees that the train is SRO – it might negate their thinking that “nobody takes that thing anyway”

  • mikesonn

    Caltrain did add service, just not nearly enough.
    On Sat, Caltrain ran 9 extra NB & 6 extra SB + extra baseball srv to accommodate the increased crowds.

  • voltairesmistress

     Karen, I agree that Muni carries a good number of passengers, but is that number growing?  And if so, at what rate?  I ask, because that’s how private companies are analyzed — not by their current size but by their rate of growth as an indicator of future value.  I don’t see a lot of new riders with higher expectations for transit — but that’s more an impression.  To me, long term riders seem to have inured themselves to poor transit times.  And I ask you, because you usually have a lot of data.

  • I’ve seen no stats that MUNI’s ridership is growing, it always seems to be 700,000 per day.

    A few thoughts.

    Caltrain’s ridership has grown for three major reasons. 1) Express trains and service increases. 2) Job migration – the reverse commute has expanded far faster than the traditional commute 3) Gas prices

    BART’s ridership increases – due to traffic issues (why else a 4th bore of the Caldecott and carpool lanes, etc…), population increases in Alameda and Contra Costa County, gas prices.

    MUNI’s ridership could in fact decrease due to job migration – people leaving the city on Caltrain or a google bus do not need to take MUNI. Gas prices are in the noise for an intra-city commuter in SF, with short commutes and expensive parking. Has traffic become an issue in SF (voltaire would say no…). The population of the city has remained fairly static – SF is already built out.

    MUNI has a pretty solid share of transportation in the city as it is. Certainly we don’t need to figure out how to bring more people into SF so that more people ride MUNI?

    It’s much easier for a system like BART or Caltrain to target growth when they have such a nominal fraction of the overall transport market.

    The primary issue for MUNI is simply to provide better service to the existing customer base. By doing so they would attract more riders, but there isn’t much room for growth because they’ve captured a pretty big chunk of the market.

  • The Greasybear

    Yes, Muni is growing. APTA’s most recent report (for Q2) shows ridership grew 3.2% year over year.