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Transportation

Muni to start express bus to ease crowding on N-Judah

Jerold Chinn, Jun 9 2011 - 10:19am

Muni N-Judah streetcar riders may soon get some relief during their packed morning and evening commute home. A six-month pilot project to run an express bus between Ocean Beach and the Financial District will begin on Monday. With 38,000 daily boardings, the Municipal Transportation Agency says the N-Judah is the most used and crowded of all the rail lines. Complaints have been coming in to the transit agency from passengers who are not able to board the N-Judah during peak hours, according to the agency. The six-month pilot project will operate on weekdays during peak morning and evening hours making stops between Ocean Beach and 19th Avenue and Judah Street in the morning before heading to Montgomery and Bush streets.

New Muni crash comes as agency defends safety record

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Mar 21 2011 - 4:22pm
A Muni light-rail vehicle was struck by a big rig Monday morning, injuring six people, according to San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman Lieutenant Mindy Talmadge, in an incident that highlights the rancorous debate happening right now at the state level concerning the city’s transport safety. The California Public Utilities Commission is weighing a decision to penalize San Francisco's Metropolitan Transit Agency for alleged violations of key safety regulations on its light-rail system, including defective tracks and a malfunctioning automatic train control system. A failure to communicate more regularly, and transparently, with the state was another charge leveled at the agency in a recent report issued by the commission, which oversees safety guidelines for all rail systems in the state..

Bike sharing technologies on display in San Francisco

Jerold Chinn, Shareable.net/SF Public Press — Dec 17 2010 - 4:18pm

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency sponsored demonstrations Friday at Civic Center Plaza to promote a new high-tech way of renting and sharing bikes in the city. The bike sharing pilot program is expected to launch in the of spring 2012 with 500 bikes deployed around the city.

Muni says it will improve practice that forces riders off trains early

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Dec 13 2010 - 11:20am

In the past several months, Muni riders have been frustrated by Muni light-rail vehicles turning around mid-route without informing them of the switch until the very last minute.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which operates Muni, addressed those concerns in a new report and plans to change some of its policies when turning trains around including operator announcements and displaying the correct final stop on the train display.

Treasure Island building plans draw fire

Victoria Schlesinger, Way Out West — Nov 29 2010 - 3:09pm

Foes say development would choke bridge traffic and worsen air

Proposed redevelopment on Treasure Island would increase traffic jams on the Bay Bridge, lengthening commute times and exacerbating Bay Area air pollution, critics say. Residents, environmental organizations and local agencies voiced those concerns this fall in almost 700 written comments on proposed new residential and commercial development that planners have said would make the island a world-class green neighborhood. Comments about the project’s draft environmental impact report submitted by the September deadline expressed deep misgivings with the plan by the city and the developer to limit driving on and off the island.

Muni: In elusive quest for 85% on-time performance, computers are displacing eyes on the street

Jerold Chinn, SF Public Press — Nov 18 2010 - 11:11am

Transit agency says tech will help it turn corner, but money remains tight

Multimillion-dollar vehicle-monitoring technology installed at Muni headquarters is at the heart of a new initiative aimed at solving the transit system’s never-ending performance problems.

By investing $13.6 million in the NextMuni satellite tracking system and a new 24-hour vehicle monitoring center, San Francisco transit officials promise major improvements in keeping the city’s more than 1,000 buses and trains running on schedule. Already this year, Muni Metro trains in the Market Street tunnel are speeding up, they said.

But Muni managers are still struggling with the question of how to get the most out of this new technology to increase performance at a time when budget pressures make it increasingly difficult to do that.

Muni planners say speed to come from untangling messy streetscape

Angela Hart, SF Public Press — Nov 18 2010 - 10:55am

Transit planner calls the city's streets and tunnels 'a nightmare'

San Francisco transit planners say a recipe of small fixes could amount to big changes in the nation’s fifth-largest urban transit system. But without new sources of money, many of these ideas, some of which would change the way the city’s streets are configured, will remain on the drawing board.

The system is chronically slow and crowded in part because its diverse fleet of bus and rail lines operates on a rollercoaster terrain in a fully built-out urban grid. Street fairs and demonstrations, ball games and construction routinely clog major arteries, making schedules seem academic.

The Municipal Transportation Agency launched its Transit Effectiveness Project in 2006, to reconfigure the city’s streets and tunnels — where physical constraints notoriously slow basic public transit to what one Muni planner called “a nightmare.”

Finding the slow buses

Eric Fischer, SF Public Press — Nov 18 2010 - 10:53am

This map shows which San Francisco transit routes have the highest ridership and which adhere most closely to their schedules. Color indicates on-time performance; thickness of the lines indicates ridership.

The 1-California and 30-Stockton, traversing San Francisco’s northern flank, are high-ridership lines (green), with 80 percent or better schedule adherence.

The J-Church, K-Ingleside, T-Third, L-Taraval, and N-Judah Muni Metro lines, and the 14-Mission and 38-Geary bus lines, also have high reliability, with 70 percent or better schedule adherence (yellow).

Reporters’ Notebook: En route: 28-19th Avenue often off schedule

Monica Jensen, Jerold Chinn and Sarah Fidelibus, SF Public Press — Nov 18 2010 - 10:50am

Reporter Jerold Chinn, Multimedia Editor Monica Jensen and Social Media Editor Sarah Fidelibus rode one of the Muni bus lines that has the most trouble keeping on schedule — the 28-19th Avenue.

They documented the problems the bus faced while traveling on a recent Wednesday afternoon along the route from Fort Mason to Daly City. The bus travels for much of its route along 19th Avenue, or Highway 1, which leads to the Golden Gate Bridge to the north and Interstate 280 to the south.

Drivers take the heat for discontent of Muni riders

Sarah Fidelibus, SF Public Press — Nov 18 2010 - 10:48am

Operators face long hours, crowded streets and a sometimes hostile ridership

Proposition G, the initiative that voters overwhelmingly approved to change pay and work rules for Muni operators, focused attention on the system’s drivers, painting them as a reason that San Francisco’s Muni transit system is notoriously slow and unreliable.
And the drivers did little to help their cause on the public relations front — rejecting cuts that other city workers agreed to, boycotting the annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest and threatening to strike if the measure passed.
But on the job, drivers work in a high-stress environment, with long hours and, for many drivers, few breaks.

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