Improvements to Muni Service Coming in January
Muni often receives public requests to add a bus or increase the frequency of a line, but given our recent operator shortages, we often lack the people power to fill current levels of service, and requests cannot always be met. That’s why Muni is focusing on data-driven solutions to improve service across the city while managing staffing constraints and hiring more operators. In addition to looking at the data to most effectively dispatch our resources, Muni also incorporates customer feedback and operator input into service changes we implement. Muni’s next round of service changes, scheduled for January 2020, will be our next opportunity to bring exciting improvements to try to keep pace with the transportation demands in San Francisco.
These upcoming changes build on recent successes and continue a commitment to a system-wide approach to improvements, with a focus on equity and improving transit for underserved neighborhoods. Customers value recent updates to the 27 Bryant route to improve reliability, the launch of the West Portal pilot project to address bottlenecks at West Portal Station, the extension of the L Owl to Fisherman’s Wharf to increase transit options for workers and our new fleet of trains and buses.
Bigger buses for the 7 Haight/Noriega:
By upgrading to 60-foot buses on weekdays, customers will have more room on their commute. “The 7-Haight is a great way to get east and west across District 5, and like the N-Judah, lots of District 5 residents pack onto it daily,” said District 5 Supervisor Vallie Brown, “The goal of these bigger, 60-foot buses is to help reduce overcrowding, especially during the morning and evening commutes when we can all really use a little more room to breathe and get ready for the day, and then later on, to unwind before getting home.”
This upgrade will match the 60-foot buses that already serve the route during weekends. “Bigger buses means more seats for more riders and a more comfortable experience for regular commuters. It also means more room for new riders to give Muni a try,” Cat Cater, Spokesperson, San Francisco Transit Riders.
Improving Customer Connections
Improved early morning weekend service:
In the very early mornings, Saturday and Sunday customers on Muni’s rail lines have to transfer multiple times between trains and buses to get downtown due to the later opening of the shared BART/Muni stations. A comment from our passenger survey stated, “If weekend L to the subway doesn't require a transfer, just a direct ride to downtown, that would be best.” That one-seat ride is exactly what we’re providing! Muni will now run a new early morning bus service that mirrors rail lines and offers customers an easier ride with no transfers for their entire trip.
Returning transit to Rincon Hill:
Extending the 12 Folsom/Pacific into Rincon Hill brings Muni back to the neighborhood after a decade without service. With as many as 10,000 new residents expected in the neighborhood — including affordable housing for seniors — there is a strong need for more transit service. “We must continue to ensure all residents have easy access to transit,” said District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney. “This is an important improvement that connects Rincon Hill to Muni’s service network.” This update follows more than a year of outreach to neighbors and Muni customers. “Thank you for all your work with the community on this project. We couldn't be more excited about the return of the 12 Folsom/Pacific to the neighborhood,” Andrew Robinson, Executive Director The East Cut Community Benefit District.
Better connections for Visitacion Valley:
Muni is also improving early morning service on the 9R Route in response to customer feedback with earlier departures from McLaren Park so that early morning commuters in the Visitacion Valley neighborhood can utilize it for faster trips downtown.
Reducing Missed Service
Muni is excited to bring these improvements based on demand and customer feedback. However, recognize we must make data-driven tradeoffs given our resources. For example, we have identified that the last evening trip of the 1AX, 1BX, 31AX, 31BX, 38AX and 38BX Richmond express buses are not as well used. By shifting these resources, Muni will have more operators available for other lines that serve neighborhoods outlined in the Muni Service Equity Strategy.
These changes will go through the operator sign up process in November, when operators have the opportunity to change lines and divisions. Customers will see changes go into effect early 2020.