Today’s Headlines

  • A Look Inside the Twin Peaks Tunnel Rebuild (CBSLocal)
  • Twin Peaks Tunnel Repairs Could Speed up Commutes (SFExaminer)
  • Friday’s Minor Derailment at Castro Station (Hoodline)
  • Cable Car Hit by Truck (SFExaminer)
  • Reviews of Antioch Extension (EastBayTimes)
  • More on Scooters Ordered off the Streets (Curbed, Hoodline)
  • Scooters on Bay Bridge (EastBayTimes)
  • Differing Views on Encampments (SFChron)
  • Honey Bear Mural in SoMa (Curbed)
  • Commentary: Focus on the Downtown Rail Connection (SFExaminer)
  • Commentary: Year-Round Housing for Marin Homeless (MarinIJ)

Get state headlines at Streetsblog CA, national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Re: speeding up Muni commutes in TP tunnel…upgrading rail and overhead wires speeds up the train in theory, but when Muni continues to funnel 5 lines of trains into one tunnel the back ups will persist thereby negating any potentials gains on travel. Muni is consistently stop-go between Castro and Embarcadero after 7:30am for the morning rush. This is a huge design flaw of the system itself. Perhaps one of the progressive mayoral candidates has a solution. Not.

  • david vartanoff

    When the tunnel first opened, Ks, Ls, Ms, often combined at WP to run downtown and back.
    The math is inexorable; 5 routes x 2 minutes apart =10 min apart for each route barely adequate in rush hour, especially as more offices open downtown. If the promised increase of Ns in response to growing ridership actually happens, that makes gaps for the other trains longer. Over the years, shifting the J back to surface running on Market has been floated, but not implemented. Others have suggested running the K as a shuttle between WP and Balboa Park which should trigger abolishing the BART surcharge on Fastpasses.
    Bottom line, getting trains less than 2 minutes apart is impractical, and anything less fails to move riders fast enough to prevent persistent delays.
    Outbound service in PM rush suffers from ‘missing’ trains on one route or another resulting in crowded platforms and longer loading dwell when the absent train finally appears. For years, I and others have recommended dynamic reassignment of outbound trains to serve each route as scheduled. I have been told there would be massive resistance by train operators, and mgmt has never tried it.
    MUNI needs to confront the physical limits of the tunnel with smarter operational policies, and double stopping is worse than doing nothing as it delays following trains even more.

  • Muni needs to run a basic, efficient service before even thinking about achieving 2-minute headways. Surface routes prevent any real schedule. All it takes is for a train to get stuck at a light in mixed traffic to throw everything off, which is the daily norm with Muni. How often do we see 15 inbound trains bunched up in the tunnel and nothing outbound? Or, 3 Ks within 5 minutes then a 25 minute wait?
    As for the J, remove it from the tunnel and run it along the N between Duboce and somewhere in the inner Sunset where it can switch back without messing up street traffic. 19th Ave perhaps?

  • “massive resistance” and “mgmt has never tried it”
    sounds like an excerpt straight from the SFMTA employee handbook and mission statement. this is exactly the attitude that holds back SF becoming anywhere near that of a transit first city. when the agency itself has excuse after excuse and blunders through projects without a clue then this is the end result.

  • crazyvag

    Double birthing would be helpful if practiced only on IB Embarcadero stops. Alternatively, put up better platform signs and stop each train only once. Either at front or back of the platform.

  • david vartanoff

    a basic efficient service REQUIRES tight headways. I am aware of the surface traffic sabotage issues. You mention 3 Ks then none–that is exactly what dynamic reassignment is meant to cure. I believe a rush hour supervisor/inspector should be re changing your 3 Ks WB into a K, L, M, respectively. The point is to continually tune the sequence so each route gets service at reasonable headways. Between shorter waits for each route and thus lower crowding on the platforms, outbound trains should move faster. The other necessity at Embarcadero is to have the WB operator board and enter the WB cab as the inbound is offloading pax. The inbound operator takes the train into the switchback area, talks to the outbound opr, on the PA and the train comes back to EMB to load up. The previous opr steps off with a few minutes to perhaps use the facilities, then becomes the boarding WB opr boarding the next unloading train. The point is to make time lost switching ends go away while keeping everyone moving.
    As to moving the J to the surface–an obvious place to turn Js would be a loop at the museums in the Park. A very short spur into the park on 9th and over to the museums, then back to Balboa Park.
    The current situation of the inmates running the asylum for their own convenience i FUBAR and must be replaced.

  • mx

    Embarcadero is often a mess because trains sit idle for too long waiting for operators to change. Even the really simple improvement of making sure operators are there waiting and having supervisors committed to turning trains at Embarcadero as quickly as possible would prevent a lot of the “subway traffic.”

  • Double berthing has proven not to effectively work. There’s absolutely no rhyme or reason of its implementation between Civic Center and Montgomery stations.

  • I’m with @disqus_LTe9tFCdxI:disqus, but I know the reason why…

    Double-stopping was a feature SFMTA added at the request of riders, and probably everyone SFMTA talked to and asked for ideas from. It doesn’t do anything to improve speed or reliability and only actually works under ideal circumstances. If you’re a rider in the second train, it will get you off a little faster, so there is some value.

    More trains and shuttles will have more of an impact, with three-car shuttle and N-Judah trains in the next few years, I don’t think SFMTA has made much of an effort to making double-stopping work.

  • crazyvag

    Right. But my point was that that it would be VERY beneficial in Embarcadero Inbound since majority of trains end their trip there and stop for a longer period while they are searched for people still on.

    Double berthing could be better if trains only stopped once. A few extra screens could direct passengers. Anyone who misses their train will have a 10 minute lesson while they wait for the next one, but a month later, few will still be confused.

  • crazyvag

    Or how about we send the trains empty and operators rejoin on the outbound side.

  • mx

    Double berthing makes sense if you’re trapped in “traffic” and just want off the damn train now. I can attest that this is a common enough need. It does not make sense in terms of running an efficient transit service where trains don’t double berth because they they aren’t stuck in a 12-car queue between Montgomery and Embarcadero.

    The years of effort that went into implementing it should have been spent preventing the problem in the first place.

  • SFMTA spent a lot of money and time looking into double berthing and the result has been far from stellar. I’ll agree that after 20 minutes of start-stop from Castro to Montgomery I am more than ready to get off the sardine train when it first pulls into Montgomery. The problem is that sometimes the train stops twice at the station, sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve also seen double berthing happen a handful of times outbound leaving rush hour riders on the platform dazed and confused.
    As for 3-car trains, that should be implemented now. There is absolutely no reason other than “massive employee resistance” or “mgmt. never tried it” to run longer train sets between 4th/King and West Portal during rush. Once the T opens the K will revert back to its original route so during rush run the K between Balboa Park/22nd Taraval and the M/L between Balboa Park/Zoo. As a Sunset rider I have absolutely no problem transferring from the L at West Portal to a longer shuttle train to downtown. This also benefits riders if the tunnel is closed for whatever reason…they can stay on 1 train to Balboa Park and transfer to BART.