Muni fine-tunes transformation

San Franciscans lamenting the elimination of neighborhood bus lines marked for destruction may see those routes resurrected with vans.

The idea to carry passengers through hilly residential areas by van was one of dozens of revised recommendations released by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency on Wednesday as part of the agency’s Transit Effectiveness Project.

The initial recommendations, released in February, include beefing up Muni’s main transit lines in The City’s main corridors and eliminating some of its lesser-used routes. Thursday’s revisions addressed some concerns that riders had voiced in the past five months.

“Obviously, not everyone is going to be happy, but we’ve made efforts to satisfy the majority of riders,”  SFMTA chief Nathaniel Ford said.

The data gathered for the TEP was the first comprehensive review of Muni in a generation. Transit officials found that 75 percent of all daily Muni boardings occur on the 15 busiest corridors in The City.

The study’s recommendations, which serve as a five-year Muni blueprint, include increasing capacity 20 percent on those main lines so that passengers will never have to wait more than 5 to 10 minutes for a ride to show up. Express routes would also be increased.

Jim Meko, chair of the Western SoMa Citizens Planning Task Force, said he was disappointed in the initial recommendations because they didn’t provide sufficient transit to support the growth planned in the South of Market area. On Thursday, however, he said the revisions had “met 75 percent of our concerns.”

The City has also applied for a grant that will allow seniors who do not qualify for paratransit to grocery shop with ease, TEP project manager Julie Kirschbaum said. The plan is to offer door-to-door service to and from supermarkets in each neighborhood one or two days a week, she said.

The revised TEP recommendations will go to the SFMTA board for approval Sept. 16. Routes and recommendations can be found at http://www.sfmta.com/tep.

tbarak@sfexaminer.com

Muni moves?

New lines proposed

  • E-Embarcadero: Would connect Fisherman’s Wharf and the northern waterfront to Caltrain via The Embarcadero and King Street, using historic streetcars.
  • 11-Downtown Corridor: Would run via Polk Street, North Point Street, Powell Street, Columbus Avenue, Sansome Street, Second Street, Folsom Street, Eighth Street, McAllister Street and Larkin Street. Would provide SoMa with downtown connections and connect North Beach with Financial District.
  • 32-Roosevelt: Van line through Diamond Heights and Glen Park

Routes recommended for van service

  • 56-Rutland
  • 66-Quintara
  • 89-Laguna Honda

Source: SFMTA

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