Underperforming Muni routes fall victim to transit project findings

For Kimberly Bell, the 75-minute trek on public transportation from her home in Hunters Point to her son’s house in the Outer Sunset is long enough. Now, with new route changes proposed by Muni officials, Bell’s trip could take even longer.

Bell was one of about 15 riders Friday on the 66-Quintara, a little-used community-connector bus line in the Sunset district. The route is one of several slated for elimination as part of an overhaul of The City’s public transportation system.

“I really need the 66,” Bell said. “I visit [my son] at least twice a week and this bus drops me off just a block from his house.”

The route elimination was proposed in response to results of an 18-month study of Muni called the Transit Effectiveness Project.

The study reviewed ridership data from various bus and metro routes to determine how Muni could operate its fleet in the fastest and most cost-effective way possible.

As a result, Muni has proposed that some of its busier routes, such as the N-Judah, receive enhanced service, while smaller, less-traveled lines are eliminated and absorbed into by other routes.

The 66-Quintara is one of Muni’s least-traveled buses, carrying an average daily load of 772 passengers. By comparison, the nearby 48-Quintara-24th Street — which has a longer route — carries 9,270 passengers on an average day.

“The TEP draft proposals include the elimination of a few [of] our least-performing routes,” San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman Judson True said. “Numerous other routes in the Sunset will receive significant improvements, including the 48, which will run 20 hours a day.”

Muni officials are conducting meetings this month with the public to review the proposed changes to the system.

“We’ll make adjustments to our proposals after all the meetings take place,” True said.

A meeting with Sunset residents is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. today at Dianne Feinstein Elementary School, 2550 25th Ave. It is the third in a series of 11 community meetings.

wreisman@examiner.com

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