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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Man on a Muni bus feeding cash bills into a farebox.
A growing number of Muni riders board with their proof of payment in pocket. Thanks for paying your fare and for riding Muni.

If it ever seems that only a few Muni riders pay their fare, it may be because most customers simply pay before they board.

Under our system of fare enforcement, everyone on Muni is expected to have proof of payment ready to show fare inspectors, who could request it any time. So anyone who has a valid paper transfer, monthly Clipper card pass or an activated ticket on the MuniMobile app may not feel the need to take it out of their pocket until requested by fare inspectors.

And by and large, they do. The rate of fare evasion was estimated at just 7.9 percent in 2014 (PDF), the last year we conducted a survey (expected to be updated this year). That estimate dropped from 9.5 percent in 2009.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Photo of a Chinese lantern with "CAM," "Happy New Year" and "Muni" written in English next to Chinese characters, on the inside of a motorized cable car.
A Chinese lantern inside a motorized cable car during the 2016 Chinese New Year Parade.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Two photos of newly-renovated Mansell Street in McLaren Park, before and after it was redesigned. The top, older photo shows the roadway with only vehicle traffic on either side of a center planted median. The bottom, newer photo shows the road with walking and biking paths on one side of the median, and vehicle traffic on the other.
Mansell Street in McLaren Park, before (top) and after (bottom). Top photo: SF Rec and Park. Bottom photo: SF Public Works/Twitter.

Half of Mansell Street in McLaren Park is now a beautiful path for walking, biking and jogging.

Despite the rain this weekend, we joined community members and our partners to celebrate the opening of San Francisco’s first-of-its-kind street transformation.

Mansell is now a much more fun and inviting way to enjoy and cross McLaren Park, SF’s second-largest city-owned park, between the Visitacion Valley, Portola and Excelsior neighborhoods. One side of the roadway on Mansell, which used to have four lightly-used traffic lanes split by a median — and no formal path for people on foot or bike — is now car-free.

Mansell’s previous design was conceived in the 1950s as part of a cross-town freeway that was never completed. The new design, on the other hand, was chosen by community members through a two-year public planning process.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Bike lane at road-level, with green-painted pavement and plastic posts separating it from vehicle traffic.
In light of findings on raised bike lanes on Market Street (shown here before it was raised), Polk Street's northbound bike lane will now look similar to this.

With construction on Polk Street’s two-year transformation underway, we’ve made a change to the plan for a raised bike lane in light of our recent research on best design practices.

The previous plan for the Polk Streetscape Project included a raised bike lane, with a two-inch mountable curb, on the northbound side of Polk from McAllister to Pine streets. But in our experiment with different curb designs last year on Market Street, we found that raised bike lanes on commercial streets like Polk should have a parking-protected configuration, with a lane of car parking and loading zones between the bike lane and the roadway, to prevent drivers from parking in the bikeway.

Making room for that parking lane on Polk would require major changes to the plan already under construction. To make the bike lane safer without a major delay, the northbound bike lane will no longer be raised but will be built at road level with plastic safe-hit posts and a painted buffer zone to separate it from the traffic lanes.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

In 1949, the 5 Fulton took you out to the fun part of town: Playland-at-the-Beach.

Playland was an exhilarating (and often foggy) seaside assemblage of good times, with bumper cars, an infamous fun house with the mechanical Laffin’ Sal, an arcade and treats like the famous “IT’S-IT” ice cream sandwiches.

The image of Playland below was taken at the height of the fun, on February 2, 1949 – 68 years ago today. It shows the end of Muni’s 5 Fulton route with a new bus turnaround under construction at the foot of a towering wooden ride.

Black and white photograph looking south from Balboa and La Playa streets at construction of bus terminal in 1949.  To the right is a wooden amusement ride in Playland at the Beach amusement park.
In 1949, a new loop was under construction to allow trolley buses to turn around at the end of the 5 Fulton route at LaPlaya and Balboa streets. Playland structures are visible to the right and in the background.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Muni bus travelling on the Great Highway under a bright blue sky.
A southbound 18 46th Avenue bus on the Great Highway in February 2015.

Event:

KP SF Half Marathon & 5K
Sunday, 8 a.m.
Golden Gate Park

While many people will be spending their Sunday morning getting ready for the big game in Houston, a dedicated few will be lacing up their running shoes to tackle the most scenic running course in the country — the Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon. This certified 13.1 mile course will lead participants through picturesque Golden Gate Park and out onto the Great Highway for the natural beauty of Ocean Beach. Runners will then head south to the San Francisco Zoo and then back up to the park to hit the finish line on JFK Drive.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

To people who feel underprivileged and out of sync: rising to the top can happen to those who persevere and compete. - Curtis E. Green

Those were the encouraging words of Curtis Green in 1982, when he retired from the San Francisco Municipal Railway as the first black general manager of a major transit system in the nation.

Green's career at Muni spanned 37 years, from 1945 to 1982, during which he helped shape the system we know today. He was known to be well liked by everyone, including personal friend Supervisor Harvey Milk. 

Black and white photo of Curtis Green and Harvey Milk standing in front of a streetcar.
Muni General Manager Curtis Green (left) selling Supervisor Harvey Milk a Fast Pass on Feb. 2, 1978.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Muni’s Kirkland bus division has a storied history with the Fisherman’s Wharf district. Located near Pier 39, Kirkland is one of San Francisco’s smallest and oldest bus yards — but also one of the most visible.

To add to the rich history of the area, we recently added banners along the fence around the yard that display a timeline of Muni’s history and photographs from our historic archive. To see the images in order, follow the timeline along the block of Powell Street from Beach to North Point Street.

Two photos of the fence outside Kirkland bus yard on Powell at Beach Street. In one photo, a 47 Van Ness Muni bus is next to the curb.
A new banner along the Kirkland bus yard at Powell and Beach streets features a timeline of Muni history.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

 A cable car with riders heads down a hill towards the bay during daytime in 1947.
Friedel Klussman (left) examining the inner workings of the cable car turntable at Powell and Market streets in 1949.

Cable cars are, truly, only in San Francisco. And for that, we have Friedel Klussmann to thank.

Seventy years ago, some city leaders wanted to tear out the 1870s-era transit system of wooden vehicles towed by an underground cable system, which they saw as more of a costly nuisance than a joyous marvel. Klussman led the campaign that preserved much of the wondrous system that still draws millions of visitors from around the world each year (and, yes, carries some of us commuters).

Klussmann was remembered in an article in the SF Chronicle this week, which marks the 70-year anniversary of when “Mayor Roger Lapham proclaimed, ‘Junk the cable cars!”’ (as the Chronicle’s headline put it at the time).