Today is a big day for Muni. This morning, all but one of the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA) Board of Directors approved a massive project aimed at improving the efficiency and reliability of the city’s main bus system.
The changes will begin this sumer.
Called the Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP), the approved proposal will increase Muni’s budget by 12 percent to alter several routes and add service to the most heavily used lines. The final proposal comes after months of community meetings and feedback delivered through the SFMTA’s website TellMuni.com. The San Francisco Examiner reports that today’s meeting included public comments asking for more time for input but the SFMTA directors approved the plan in its entirety.
Paul Rose, a spokesperson for SFMTA, calls the project a “once in a generation opportunity to improve Muni based on information from people who rely on it.”
According to the project’s presentation, which can be read in full on SFMTA’s site, there’s a lot of people who rely on Muni. At a five-year high, the agency clocked an average weekday ridership of nearly 500,000 passengers.
For the people who rely on it in the Mission, the following are the big changes for the bus lines that run through the district:
- Speeding up the 14/14L: For these heavily-used lines running the length of Mission Street, with the highest ridership of all the Mission’s Muni lines, the project aims to significantly reduce travel times along the corridor. This involves a variety of changes including eliminating parking lanes to make bus-only stops and adding more restrictions about turning left at certain intersections. Also, the plan includes adding more times for the 14L. More details about the changes here.
- 49 Fewer Stops, Shorter Trip: The 49, which connects Mission Street to Van Ness is getting an L, for Limited. While the route will make local stops south of Cesar Chavez and on Van Ness Street, it will only be stopping at 24th and 16th Street along Mission. The hope is this will make for a faster trip. It will also benefit from the travel time reduction efforts related to the 14. More details here.
- The 27 is sticking around, but the 12 becomes the 11: After receiving substantial community feedback that there was a lot of need to keep the 27 running along Bryant Street, the project’s architects revised their original plan to keep the 27 untouched. However, they’re getting rid of the 12 Folsom because much of the area it covered, snaking through Nob Hill, is covered by the 27. But fear not, fans of riding Muni up and down Folsom: there’s a new bus in town. It’s called the 11 Downtown Connector, which goes up Folsom Street from Cesar Chavez, moves through SoMa, and then through the Financial District and down Columbus Street. More details here.
- 9/9L speeds up: No route changes are planned for this line, but with travel time reduction projects, it should be a quicker and shorter trip along Potrero Avenue from Cesar Chavez to Alameda. Specific changes include reducing the number of stops, building out stops for faster stops and creating a transit-only lane. More details can be found here.
- 22 Fillmore goes deeper into Mission Bay: In addition to the same kinds of travel time reductions as the Mission Street buses, the 22’s new route no longer dips onto 17th Street, and goes farther east to connect with the 3rd Street rail. More details here.
- 33 Stanyan says goodbye to Potrero Avenue and hello to Potrero Hill neighborhood: The line, which currently runs the length of Potrero Avenue from 26th to 16th, will be re-routed to better serve the other side of Potrero Hill and better connect with the 22nd Street CalTrain and Mission Bay. With better service planned for the 9/9L along Potrero Avenue, this stretch of Potrero Street should have better coverage. More details here.
With all these changes, SFMTA hopes to reduce travel times by 20 percent and generally “modernize Muni and make it more efficient, reliable, safe and comfortable for 700,000 daily passengers,” according to Rose.
Look out for changes coming into effect soon. The first implementation of these changes comes this summer.