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Queuing

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

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Queuing is another manifestation of delay in the subway and is a direct relation to an unpleasant rider experience: when trains are ”stuck” between stations. The chart represents how often trains are queued at Embarcadero station (eastbound) waiting to arrive at the station. Subway congestion usually starts at Embarcadero and is at its worst there as well. Because it is the last stop for several lines, trains take extra time on the platform there. This location is the “bottleneck” (or slowest point) for the entire Muni Metro subway. Just like a crowded roadway, when more trains arrive at Embarcadero than can be sent out of the station, they begin to backup, or queue. Passengers remember this frustrating experience of sitting on the Muni Metro in the subway tunnel between stations or being able to see the platform out of the window, without being let off.

This chart represents the probability someone riding a train between Montgomery and Embarcadero station during the selected period would be delayed in a queue or get stuck in a severe queue (three or more trains). In normal, uncongested operations, trains automatically depart Montgomery station and then pull into Embarcadero station without stopping in between. In our methodology, since trains do not stop unless they are queuing, a train is counted as “in queue” from the moment it first stops in the tunnel after leaving the Montgomery, to the moment it opens its doors at Embarcadero station. If a train does not stop between the two stations, it is not counted. The probability percentage is calculated by the number of minutes in the selected period that a queue was present divided by the total number of minutes in that period.