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COVID-19-related Service Changes

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Note: As of January 7, 2023, the K Ingleside and T Third are no longer combined. The K Ingleside continues to run between Balboa Park and Embarcadero stations. The T Third runs between Sunnydale and Chinatown-Rose Pak Station via Central Subway. 

The SFMTA is being strategic as we increase Muni service. Decisions will continue to be based on: 

  • Data for ridership trends and where ridership is highest 
  • Equity efforts like the Muni Service Equity Strategy to prioritize transportation for those with the fewest options 
  • Locations of essential services like hospitals, grocery stores, as well as neighborhood commercial districts 
  • Increasing frequency on routes with crowding to provide more space onboard to physically distance  
  • Feedback from operators, policymakers and the public 

Since March 2020, the SFMTA has modified Muni service based on the above data inputs and staffing availability. More details can be found in blog posts about each of the service changes. See below for an overview of all Muni COVID-19-related service changes. 

  • April 16, 2022: As newly hired operators were phased in, the SFMTA continued to restore Muni lines that had been temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Weekday service on the 8AX Bayshore Express and 8BX Bayshore Express returned. The 56 Rutland was modified to include a connection to Burton High School. The 30 Stockton was supplemented with additional buses on a 30 Stockton “short” route to reduce crowding and wait times. The frequency of the 9R San Bruno Rapid changed from every 10 to every 12 minutes. More information is detailed in this April 2022 blog post and a complete list of service changes can be found on the 2022 Muni Service Network page.

  • February 19, 2022: As part of the first phase of the 2022 Muni Service Network implementation plan, service hours on all Muni Metro rail lines are extended to 12 a.m. daily and the J Church is extended from Balboa Park to Embarcadero Station. More details can be found in this February 2022 blog post.

  • August 14, 2021: To support economic recovery as San Francisco reopens, the SFMTA restored more Muni service, adding several connector routes and bridging service gaps in hilly neighborhoods. The 31 Balboa, 52 Excelsior, 66 Quintara and M Ocean View rail service are among 18 routes that Muni restored, expanded or modified. A new route, the 58 Lake Merced, was also introduced to serve John Muir Drive and connect customers to Muni service in the Mission. Service hours were extended from 5 a.m. to midnight on key bus routes and Muni’s full and original late-night Owl network was restored, providing service from midnight to 5 a.m. For details on all of the restored, expanded and modified times, read our August 2021 blog post

  • May 15, 2021:  The SFMTA continued with service restoration by reopening all Muni Metro subway stations from Embarcadero to West Portal and restarting rail service on the N Judah and KT Ingleside-Third lines. San Francisco’s historic streetcar line, the F Market & Wharves, also returned to service along Market Street and The Embarcadero and a temporary new combined route, the 36/52 Special, was introduced to connect hospitals, grocery stores and vaccination sites in hilly areas. More details can be found in this May 2021 blog post.

  • January 23, 2021:  With nearly a year of COVID-19 transit planning experience and after working closely with key Muni Service Equity communities and listening to public feedback, the SFMTA was able to prioritize vehicle and operator resources to restore service and improve frequencies on multiple routes, including 15 Bayview-Hunters Point Express, 22 Fillmore, 27 Bryant, 33 Ashbury, 55 Dogpatch and the T Third Muni Metro surface rail. Details can be found in this January 2021 blog post.

  • December 19, 2020:  The SFMTA began phasing Muni Metro rail back into service by restoring the J Church surface route to free up buses for additional service changes in January. Details can be found in this December 2020 blog post.

  • August 22, 2020:  To provide more vehicle capacity for essential travel and physical distance, the SFMTA reopened the subway system and restored Muni Metro train service with temporary new route configurations for the J Church, K Ingleside and L Taraval, and a subway-only shuttle. Details can be found in this August 2020 blog post. On August 25, the subway had to be closed again for critical repairs and Muni Metro reverted to bus service. Read about the details in this subsequent subway repairs blog post.

  • June 13, 2020:  To support the community’s economic recovery and with additional staffing available, the SFMTA increased Muni service and frequency by adding select routes into service, extending current routes, and improving frequency on routes with crowding. Restored routes (including shortened routes) include: 7 Noriega, 30 Stockton, and 43 Masonic.  Details can be found in this June 2020 blog post. 

  • May 16, 2020:  The SFMTA increased frequency on a number of lines in Muni’s existing Core Service Network and reinstated the 9R San Bruno Rapid. Find out which routes increased in frequency to address higher passenger volumes in this May 2020 Muni Service Frequency blog post.

  • May 4, 2020:  The M Bus returned as a partial “Community Shuttle” between Balboa Park and West Portal station. For more details, see the May 2020 blog post

  • April 25, 2020:  With additional staff resources, the Core Service network was updated by adding back modified routes and increasing bus frequency on others. Service additions increased coverage across the city and improved connections to additional essential services. Restored routes (including shortened routes) include: 5 Fulton, 12 Pacific, 28 19th Avenue and 54 Felton. The SFMTA also launched the Essential Trip Card to help older adults and people with disabilities take and pay for essential trips in taxis. Details can be found in this April 2020 Service Restoration blog post. 

  • April  8, 2020:  With very limited staffing, service was reduced to a temporary COVID-19 Core Service Network comprised of Muni’s 17 most-used lines, ensuring service was within one mile of all San Franciscans. This network provided service on our busiest lines with the highest demand during the pandemic. See the blog post on how Muni prepared to deliver essential trips only. 

  • March 30, 2020:  The SFMTA implemented subsequent service changes in response to a decline in ridership and staffing availability. These service adjustments focused on routes where redundant service provided more capacity than was needed. All Rapid routes, except for the 14R Mission Rapid, were temporarily discontinued. All Muni Metro and light rail routes were replaced by buses, using stops from the early morning Metro bus service. Closing the Muni Metro underground system allowed us to redirect custodial resources to other, higher-use facilities and minimizes risk to our station agents. Find more details in our blog post from March 26

  • March 17, 2020: In response to a steep drop in ridership and staff availability due to the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order, most express routes, as well as 88 BART Shuttle, and E Embarcadero Streetcar routes were temporarily discontinued. Additionally, in order to reduce risk to operators, Cable Car and F Market service transitioned to using buses, which are equipped with operator security partitions.