The launch of Muni’s Cole Valley Shuttle has reportedly alleviated a great deal of commuter traffic on the N-Judah line. (Mike Koozmin/2014 S.F. Examiner)

New shuttles launched in N-Judah line show congestion is improving

The numbers are in, and they show the recent launch of Muni’s Cole Valley Shuttle — intended to alleviate commute-hour congestion on the N-Judah, Muni’s busiest rail line —has been a success.

Ed Reiskin, director of transportation for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, told the agency’s Board of Directors on Tuesday that the Cole Valley shuttle was helping some customers who unable to board too-crowded N-Judah train cars.

The problem area was primarily Hillway Avenue, near UC San Francisco.

In September, the SFMTA launched two new shuttles between Hillway Avenue and The Embarcadero, and now some 500 additional daily passengers are able to board the train, which carries 40,000 passengers daily — Muni’s busiest rail line.

“Most importantly,” Reiskin said, “the feedback that we are getting from our customers is that they are really happy.”

Capacity specifically along the inner portion of the route increased by 18 percent, Reiskin said, and an SFMTA spokesperson later added trains passing customers up (due to being full) declined by 63 percent in the morning commute hours.

Before, if a rider tried to catch an N-Judah along Hillway Avenue, Reiskin said, “Your odds of getting on a train between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. were not very good.”

SFMTA Director of Transit John Haley previously said the additional routes would cost about $40,000 annually.

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