January 6, 2012

Muni has the distinction of being one of the slowest transit systems in the nation, with an average speed of only eight miles an hour. One of the biggest contributing factors to Muni’s slow pace is its number and frequency of stops. Studies show that the boarding process accounts for 25 percent of delays on Muni.

There are 3,500 Muni rail and bus stops in San Francisco. But this statistic is no surprise to regular Muni riders who see buses stop at every block, sometimes even multiple times on the same block. Even the SFMTA admits the amount and proximity of some stops needs to be reexamined. According to SFMTA standards, there should be at least 800 feet between bus stops and 1,000 feet between rail stops.

Muni Eliminating Stops To Speed Up Service

In an attempt to help alleviate slow Muni lines, the SFMTA is looking at eliminating Muni stops along several routes including the 5 Fulton, N Judah, J Church, 30 Stockton through Chinatown and several buses that run along Mission Street. Parts of the routes of the 22 Fillmore, 28, 45 Union, 8x Bayshore and 9 San Bruno will also be changed. The SFMTA estimate that by eliminating stops, some routes could see average route times speed up by 5 to 6 minutes. Under the new guidelines Muni bus stops would need to be at least 800 feet apart but no more than 1,360 feet apart. In hilly areas with grades above 10 percent, stops could be as close as 500 feet. Muni rail line stops would need to be 900 to 1,500 feet apart.

So-called stop consolidation has been proposed before. We often discussed the idea with Muni riders at our Muni town halls. Would you give up a bus stop to help speed up Muni?