Think Muni Is Crowded? – It’s Going to Get Worse

Crowded Muni buses are going to become even more common Reset readers know we don’t have a crush on Muni, but a new report shows they have a crush on us – on all of us.

This week we attended a presentation of the San Francisco Transportation Authority’s 25-year transportation plan at SPUR. San Francisco County Transportation Authority’s Tilly Chang, Deputy Director for Planning, and Zabe Bent, Principal Transportation Planner led discussion of the plan.

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In addition to pointing out the obvious – Muni is really slow compared to cars, Bent and Chang also discussed how projected population growth in San Francisco will affect space on transportation, and the news isn’t great. 

Muni Lines are Approaching Crush Capacity 

Muni crowds are close to crush capacity One of the San Francisco Transportation Authority’s main forecasts of concern related to crush capacity on Muni. What is crush capacity? It’s when a bus or train is operating at 95% of its passenger capacity, with standing room only shoulder-to-shoulder space. “Crowded” means that the train is at 85% capacity. In other words, it’s when the bus or train is so crowded you get to know your fellow San Franciscan a little too well.

According to the SFCTA, as of 2010, five Muni lines were approaching crush capacity limits: the F outbound, 30 inbound, 38L outbound, 45 outbound, and J outbound. While many Muni lines are already crowded especially at peak ridership times, their projections show things are only going to get worse. By 2035, the crush capacity trend spreads to 35 Muni lines. The 38L, and F outbound will be at two times their capacity.

Crush Capacity Affects Muni Speed and Reliability

The news about Muni crowding affects not just your comfort level and ability to breathe on Muni. When Muni lines are at crush capacity, they run slower – yes even slower than they do now. When lines are running at their capacity limit they are forced to skip stops because they cannot take any additional passengers. This results in less reliable Muni service and longer wait times. It is also a main cause of bus bunching – when no bus comes forever and then three show up back to back.

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority wants to hear from those of us affected by increased Muni ridership. You can read more details and share your thoughts online


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