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Muni’s Equity Toolkit Helps Essential Employees Get to Work

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

The latest data from SFMTA’s new Equity Toolkit shows that Muni service changes are helping people in neighborhoods identified by our Muni Service Equity Strategy access more jobs and support the city’s recovery.  

In winter 2020, we launched the SFMTA Equity Toolkit to understand how service decisions are affecting neighborhoods where there is likely a high prevalence of essential workers who rely predominantly on Muni to get to their essential jobs. Our goal is to make better service decisions based on the trends and impacts we see in the Equity Toolkit.  

Recently, the greatest increases in access to jobs via Muni have been in Hunters Point and Western Addition. The Hunters Point neighborhood saw the largest gains from the addition of the 15 Bayview-Hunters Point Express, as demonstrated in the table below. Thanks to the return of key Muni lines and increased frequencies on connector routes, Inner Mission, Tenderloin, Oceanview-Ingleside and Treasure Island have also seen increased access to jobs via Muni.  

Hunters Point Job Access via Transit

Commute duration

Jobs Accessible via Transit in August 2020

Jobs Accessible via Transit
as of January 23, 2021

30-minute commute

3,500

14,500

45-minute commute

34,000

325,000

60-minute commute

310,000

630,000

 

30-Minute Commute Job Access via Transit

Neighborhood

Jobs Accessible by Transit in August 2020

Jobs Accessible by Transit as of January 23, 2021

Change in Muni Service

Western Addition

180,000

270,000

More frequent service on 5 Fulton
New 22 Fillmore route to Mission Bay

Oceanview-Ingleside

13,700

35,000

More frequent service on 14 Mission and K Ingleside

Tenderloin

440,000

460,000

Return of 27 Bryant
More frequent service on 38 Geary

Inner Mission

430,000

450,000

Return of 27 Bryant and 33 Ashbury
More frequent service on 14 Mission and 14 Mission Rapid

 

Lessons Learned 

The Equity Toolkit also shows some decreases in job access via transit in other neighborhoods identified by the Muni Service Equity Strategy. This reflects the Toolkit’s methodology and/or the impacts of service changes and helps us to understand where we need to make improvements in our data collection, transit service or both. 

Bayview job access increased for commutes of 45 and 60-minutes but decreased 11% for 30-minute commutes. How can that be? The answer is that when the T Third bus substitution was replaced with rail service in December 2020, the rail service only went to Embarcadero Station, making fewer stops than the bus within a 30-minute time period. Overall, Bayview residents are still able to access more jobs now than in August 2020 – roughly 644,500 now compared to 624,000 then, a 3% increase. 

In addition, we rely on fixed points of reference, such as the Bayview Opera House, to gather data and Bayview is a large neighborhood. We learned that using one community landmark for this area is not enough, so we will be adding additional landmarks in future analyses to more accurately capture service change impacts. 

In Visitacion Valley we see decreases in job access via transit across the board. Like in the Bayview, we determined that the issue is both methodology and service. When we redistributed buses from the 8 Bayshore to 8AX to respond to changes in ridership, the community landmark (John King Senior Community) we were using to track the data only showed us the decrease from the 8 Bayshore, not the increase from the 8AX. 

By comparison, more affluent areas show very low to no increases in job access via transit. This reflects our decision to prioritize resources on Muni service for essential workers and essential travel, especially for communities with the fewest options during this unprecedented pandemic. More affluent neighborhoods have more transportation alternatives readily available and more people who are able to work from home. 

These findings give us insights we didn’t have before and help us think about service in new ways. As we learn from the Equity Toolkit we will continue to refine it and make it more detailed by adding more reference points for our data analysis.  

As San Francisco gradually reopens and we continue to add back Muni service, we will also continue to evaluate the impacts through our Equity Toolkit and work to use these insights to inform service adjustments that support our city’s economic recovery. 

Read more about changes to our network on the SFMTA’s Transportation Recovery Plan webpage