November 21, 2011

The 14 Mission and the 14 Mission Limited are some of the busiest Muni lines, with average daily ridership of 46,500. But these key lines, which run from Daly City to the Financial District, are notoriously slow.

Now the SFMTA is working to make little tweaks that together add up to faster service — and significant cost savings.

At Reset we keep pointing out that Muni’s own data shows the best way to address ongoing deficits is to make the system a little faster — which lowers cost. Estimates show that making each line just one minute faster would save Muni up to $20 million per year. How does that work? If Muni goes just a little faster, you don’t need as many vehicles on each line. Riders get better service, get to work and school faster — and Muni pays less.

SFMTA To Regulate Double Parked Vehicles

Regular riders know the problems: old 1970’s looking buses prone to breakdowns, double-parked cars and delivery trucks. Chief of Operations John Haley has drafted a plan to address each of these main issues by utilizing better equipment and more strategic staffing. Parking control officers will be redeployed to focus on double-parking violations. Additionally, more of the 14 Mission bus fleet will be setting forward-facing exterior cameras to aid parking cops in nabbing illegal drivers.

According to Haley, the SFMTA is hoping to improve the 14 Mission’s service within just 60-90 days.

SFMTA To Improve Muni Mechanics

SFMTA is also planning on decreasing the number of articulated buses on the 14 Mission’s route, as they are more prone to mechanical difficulties. Muni is also planning on keeping more roadside mechanics on call near the 14 Mission route to come to the rescue when the buses break down, and SFMTA says they are working to better manage the spacing of buses to avoid bunching.

The 14 Mission line currently have traffic signal priority along its route, providing buses with priority at key intersections, but SFMTA is planning on improving the maintenance of these signals. Under the new plans, the 14 Mission Limited line will also be extended to the Daly City BART station during peak commute hours, a half mile further than the line’s current route.

This is the fifth Muni line to see improvements recently. A few weeks ago, the SFMTA announced plans to change the stops and frequency of the N Judah, J Church, 28 19th Avenue Limited and F Market lines based on rider feedback, performance data and feedback from drivers and transit operators.

At Reset, we believe that there are solutions out there, so we’re glad that the SFMTA is working toward improvements. Muni riders should definitely have a voice in what changes should be made — and the City should listen.