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Press Release - Muni Ridership rises 25% in 2023

Monday, February 5, 2024

SAN FRANCISCOMuni ridership rose 25% in 2023 compared with 2022, to 433,000 average weekday riders, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) reported in its latest data. The agency’s ridership continues to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and ended last year with 71% of pre-pandemic (2019) ridership. Weekday ridership is at 68% of 2019, while weekend ridership is at 86% of 2019.  

“Few cities have been more impacted by work-from-home than San Francisco. The loss of downtown commuters severely impacted Muni transit ridership and our finances,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Jeffrey Tumlin. “Yet in many ways, Muni is back and better than ever, with ridership on lines like the 22-Fillmore at 138% of pre-COVID weekend numbers. We've done this by rearranging service to match today's travel patterns, and a relentless focus on making transit: fast frequent reliable clean and safe.” 

Before the pandemic, downtown commutes were the backbone of Muni’s ridership, but with the shift to remote work, Muni has adapted its service to reflect changing ridership patterns, focusing on connecting neighborhoods. Ridership on five routes now exceeds pre-pandemic levels. These include: 

  • 14 Mission Rapid weekday ridership in 2023 was up to 106% of 2019 levels, while weekend ridership was 117% of that year. 
  • 22 Fillmore had 14,100 average weekend riders, or 138% of 2019, while it had 19,500 weekday riders, or 110% of 2019.  

Almost half of all Bay Area transit trips are on Muni, data from the SFMTA showed. 

While ridership is increasing, delays are falling, thanks to the new subway fleet and the SFMTA’s improved maintenance programs. Major subway delays fell 76% since 2019, and short delays dropped by 89% from that year. Meanwhile, headway adherence – ensuring that trains and buses are evenly spaced – rose 6% from 2022.  

Riders are noticing the improvements, recent Muni customer surveys show. In the SFMTA’s most recent rider survey, two-thirds (66%) of respondents rated Muni service as “good” or “excellent,” a 9-point increase from 2021. In the 2023 community survey, 71% of respondents approve of the job SFMTA is doing.  

For more data and charts illustrating Muni’s recovery, read our new blog Last Year Made it Clear: Muni is Back, and Better. For more detail on the SFMTA’s fiscal year 2022-2023, see our latest annual report. SFMTA reports results on a fiscal-year calendar, which ended on June 30, 2023.  

ABOUT SFMTA 

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is a department of the City and County of San Francisco responsible for the management of all ground transportation in the city. The SFMTA has oversight over the Municipal Railway (Muni) public transit, as well as bicycling, paratransit, parking, traffic, walking, and taxis. Established by voter mandate in 1999, the SFMTA aggregated multiple San Francisco city agencies, including the Department of Parking and Traffic, Muni, and since 2007, the Taxi Commission.