The City’s transit authority voted Tuesday to make major changes to the N-Judah line, reducing the wait time between each rail car by three minutes in an effort to ease commuter crowding.
Riders will see the frequency of the N-Judah increase from every seven minutes to every four minutes during peak weekday hours starting this summer.
However, the changes approved unanimously by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board will also reduce the N-Judah line to single-car trains on weekends, which sparked concern among residents and SFMTA board members.
“The N-Judah is one of the ways that fans get to Giants games on the weekends,” SFMTA board Vice President Malcolm Heinicke noted.
Sean Kennedy, program manager for the Muni Forward project, which addresses reliability and safety for commuters, said there would be shuttles for special events, including Giants baseball games.
“The N is the only line that we still use two cars on the weekend,” Kennedy said. “We think we can handle the loads on the N with a one-car train on the weekend.”
“I am very skeptical of one-car trains on the weekend,” said Peter Straus, a board member for the San Francisco Transit Riders. “Thats a step in the wrong direction, clearly I don’t think that is something that is possible or desirable.”
The SFMTA Board of Directors voted the item into action on Tuesday afternoon as a part of the newest transportation Equity Strategy, a plan to make public transportation more accessible and affordable for minority groups in The City.
“I’m going to urge this board to do whatever we can to fund these improvements,” SFMTA chairman, Joel Ramos, said at the Tuesday meeting. “They are a lifeline for these people getting to work”
A second major change approved Tuesday was the realignment of the T-Third line through the new Central Subway, which is projected to be in service by December 2019, according to planning documents.
Once the Central Subway project is completed, the T-Third line will no longer share the same route with the K-Ingleside line and will instead reach the densely populated areas of The City by extending through the South of Market neighborhood, Union Square and China Town.