Make our city's transportation EFFICIENT by...

BretCecil's picture

IMPROVE TRAFFIC FLOW

  Convert all of our city streets to one-way streets.

      Time/phase traffic lights to allow traffic to travel at the posted speed limit so as not to be stopped at every intersection. This would greatly improve traffic movement as well as reducing fuel usage and tail-pipe emissions to say nothing of the time saved in transit.

   Enforce traffic laws for vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians alike.

 

IMPROVE MUNI EFFICIENCY

   Increase the distance between bus stops. Currently most buses stop on nearly every corner. Placing a stop every 3 to 5 blocks would provide fantastic service and GREATLY improve the flow of the bus system. This would make rides quicker, turn the buses around faster. Using the same number of buses would actually bring the next bus to the stop faster. Or from another point-of-view, the same fewer buses would provide the same capacity...

vaudeville's picture

Noise from the buses turn signal

Only in San Francisco, the buses make this high pitch noise when the turn signal is ON. I wondered that those bus drivers have not complain about hearing loses after hour of working. 

I noticed in Seattle or was it in Vancouver Canada that there is sign on the back of the buses like "yield right of way when the buses are pulling out".   The car drivers here in SF will try to over-pass the bus ever when they see the left-turning signals of the buses on the way of pulling out. 

Phil Ting's picture

Decreasing number of bus stops

Increasing efficiency would be easy and not require major investments which might include altering our roads.  We should reduce the number of bus stops, but the issue is akin to military base closures.  Everyone loves the idea as long as their bus stop or military base is not the one which is closed. 

Could we have a fair and objective way to reduce the number of stops? 

Should we appoint an impartial commission of transportation experts and then ask the Supes or Mayor to vote up or down so they could not save a stop here or there?  I think about this every time I ride the N Judah and watch it stop every three to four blocks.  Even in NY where it seems like there is a bus stop or subway stop on every corner you are expected to walk five to ten mins sometimes more to your stop.  Maybe we need to encourage long walks to your bus stop and get a guarantee of more frequent buses or trains.

bobbyh's picture

I like Phil's idea

"Should we appoint an impartial commission of transportation experts and then ask the Supes or Mayor to vote up or down so they could not save a stop here or there?"

I think this is a great idea.  It's crazy that we don't have an efficient public transportation system because of the lack of political will to make it happen.  There are so many issues like this that exist in San Francisco, whereby the right thing isn't done because of the objections of a small, but often vocal, group.  With Muni, it's a simple case of reality.  We need a bus system, and we can't have a system that stops every 30 seconds because it simply doesn't work, so we have to eliminate some stops.  To continue with a broken system that everyone suffers from is not the solution. 

Let's take an independent look at the facts as Phl suggests and see where we can eliminate bus stops, with no interference from political or neighborhood activists...this should be based on simple public policy and what makes the system most efficient.

BretCecil's picture

Make this improvement simple...

No need to form a committee, how about just cutting the number of stops in half? Who could honestly complain about walking one additional block? This alone would make a great improvement. Test it on a couple of different lines and see...
ExcelsiorMom's picture

How about having more

How about having more "Limited" or "express" busses?  I think the limited or express busses work well a lot of the time.  I never get on the 38 Geary for example, and always wait for the 38L.  It still has a lot of stops, but it works well much of the time, as I don't mind walking a couple extra blocks at my final destination.  This option, however, wouldn't have worked when I was pregnant.  Sometimes having a stop a couple extra blocks nearer your destination is invaluable -- especially for the elderly, disabled, and those with temporary conditions (like pregnant women). 

bobbyh's picture

BRT

I have always supported BRT, and agree that it is a great way to move people around in a convenient and efficient manner.  The big issue, as Eric mentions, is how adversely the construction and operation of the BRT would impact businesses.  Particularly now, we don't want to create more hardship for businesses and I know they have concerns, not just with the construction, but also the long-term impacts on parking as the new BRT lines can result in less on-street parking for customers.  There has to be a compromise here that everyone can live with, and the result would be a vast improvement to our local transportation options. 

Bernadette's picture

Aside from the problem that

Aside from the problem that the elderly, disabled, and pregnant passengers would face with fewer stops as mentioned by ExcelsiorMom, I think that a great way to gain support for any change to the number of stops, particularly a decrease in stops, is to frame the issue in a traffic flow manner and then add the idea of using this as a great way to facilitate healthy exercise habits ("A couple extra steps to a great health future!").  Finding a solution that allows for a decrease in stops but also doesn't pose a burden for those who are not as mobile is still of utmost importance though.

Bernadette's picture

Aside from the problem that

Aside from the problem that the elderly, disabled, and pregnant passengers would face with fewer stops as mentioned by ExcelsiorMom, I think that a great way to gain support for any change to the number of stops, particularly a decrease in stops, is to frame the issue in a traffic flow manner and then add the idea of using this as a great way to facilitate healthy exercise habits ("A couple extra steps to a great health future!").  Finding a solution that allows for a decrease in stops but also doesn't pose a burden for those who are not as mobile is still of utmost importance though.

BretCecil's picture

'Limited' Bus Services

Using existing limited services on bus lines as well as converting other routes' stops to mirror a limited service seems a likely solution to improving service on buses. For those whose needs preclude use of the basic transit service, I believe that there are paratransit services available to fit such needs, www.sfparatransit.com.

Reducing the efficiency of the system to accommodate needs for which service is already provided seems like a step backwards in improving service. There are exceptions in every system. For this paratransit was created.

fagmango's picture

Why can't MUNI be expected to run on schedule.

There are posted schedules for MUNI at every stop.  The reality is we all know the MUNI "schedule" is we get there when we get there.  I have been to many stops and seen three buses back to back and missed it only to find the next bus will not arrive for an hour or more.  It's very clear there is no monitoring whatsoever.  If I have to get somewhere on time I know I have to plan to take a taxi or hope BART is an option since BART does run on schedule.  

Sadly we have all come to accept that this is the best MUNI has to offer and it's a take it or leave it option.  Having lowered expectations doesn't begin to cover my feelings around MUNI.  

creigs's picture

sfparatransit not the answer

The sfparatransit web site says that you must plan your trip one to 7 days in advance, and be prepared to wait up to an hour for each ride. This severely limits a person's mobility compared to a public transit system that goes whenever you want (during the day) within 15 to 30 minutes.

When I had a torn MCL, I didn't know about sfparatransit, but I'm not sure it would have made any difference. I ended up driving most places, except to work, where I was "lucky" I could get to with two bus rides and a Bart ride without walking more than half a block. Except for work, most excursions were unplanned, and I would have been stuck at home if I couldn't get to them via car, Muni, or Bart.

But realistically, I support reducing the stops for buses to one every four blocks, for trains up to six blocks, or better still, put in parallel limited service on most routes. It might mean those who have difficulty walking may drive, but overall, it would still be more efficient.

Bradixp's picture

Limit the bus stops

Elderly and pregnant people are not completely without their own physical abilities to walk a few extra blocks.  Don't create scapegoats or pity cases for your own bleeding hearts.  We have cabs that are wheelchair friendly if necessary and other services.  My wife is 7 months pregnant and still bikes in the Mission.  If we limit the stops the buses can run faster.  I think we also need a review of all MUNI employees and terminate those who did not pass the driving exams.

Eric Jaye's picture

Thank You Will Reisman

Great piece this Sunday in the San Francisco Examiner about MUNI.

Reporter Will Reisman seems to be owning this story.

http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/transportation/2011/02/storm-factors-cause-muni-vehicles-miss-mark

He does a good job of letting MUNI hang itself with a series of defensive quotes. They basically blame everyone and everything else for their poor performance. 

Dave Snyder gets the job of defending riders in this story. He strikes a very patient but firm tone. He calls MUNI on their excuses without sounding angry. 

Hopefully Reisman will take on the Clipper Card disaster next. 

Paid for by Phil Ting for Assembly 2012. FPPC ID# 1343137