Muni seeks to cut down on ‘bunches and gaps’ on transit lines

It’s a situation that every Muni passenger knows all too well — you wait for 30 minutes at your stop without a single vehicle in sight, and then all of a sudden five different buses arrive simultaneously.

There is a term for that unpleasant scenario — it’s called “bunches and gaps” — and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which runs Muni, wants to cut down significantly on those problems over the next six years.

For years, Muni has been plagued by its low on-time performance rate, a problem that happens when transit vehicles don’t stick to the agency’s predetermined schedule. But since few passengers are even aware of the Muni schedule, the agency wants to place more emphasis on measuring its performance from its “bunches and gaps” statistics.

By the 2014 fiscal year, the SFMTA wants to reduce the number of recorded “bunches and gaps” on each line by 25 percent. By 2016, it wants to cut down those instances by 45 percent, and by 2018, “bunches and gaps” should be reduced by 65 percent.

Those benchmarks were set in the agency’s new Strategic Plan, which was presented to the SFMTA board of directors on Monday.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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