Muni Meltdown?

En Español

The 48-Quintara may see its route from the Mission to the Sunset cut short during non-peak morning and evening hours, according to a Friday briefing from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

This was one of more than 10 new service change recommendations to bus routes in the Mission discussed at the governing board’s meeting Friday morning.

There will likely be cutbacks on 58 of 80 routes throughout the already strained transit system affecting most bus frequencies by five to 10 minutes and also decreasing service to select parts of the city, according to the proposals.

SFMTA President/CEO Nathaniel Ford and Board Chairman Tom Nolan digest the newest wave of Muni service reductions

“We looked at ridership and cost of running those buses to determine which buses to alter,” said Julie B. Kirschbaum, a project manager with the MTA.

But riders were outraged by the proposed changes,  which follow service reductions made in December.  Those included changes on nine routes that go through the Mission District.

Forrest Schmidt summed up the consensus among citizens in the room, calling the MTA “useless to do anything,” to avoid the changes.

“You’ve proposed a new transit model to San Francisco,” Schmidt said during his time to address the board. “Your model is how to wreck a transit system.”

Seven Muni routes, including the 67-Bernal Heights, which travels from the Mission at the 24th Street BART station to Bernal Heights, are being reviewed to determine if service should be stopped at 10 p.m.

On the 48-Quintara, the MTA  is proposing that it run its normal route from Third Street to West Portal via 24th Street, but stop at West Portal during non-peak hours instead of going on towards Ocean Beach.

For late-night revelers and workers who need to get around town at night, the MTA also proposed reducing all so-called owl buses that operate between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. to run every 60 minutes instead of every half hour.

Irwin Lum, a spokesman for Transit Workers Union Local 250-A that represents Muni drivers, objected to the changes.

“If this city isn’t careful, there’s going to be a Muni meltdown,” Lum said to the board. “You’re not allowing people to get where they need to go.”

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