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Tag Archives: 38-Geary

Richmond District holding two Muni meetings this week

It’s been a while since I last updated The Daily Dose with some current Muni news. A couple of community meetings are happening this week in the Richmond District. One has to do with a proposal for a 5-Fulton limited bus line and the other is on the Geary corridor bus rapid transit project.

Supervisor Eric Mar is inviting Richmond District residents tomorrow night at 5:30 p.m. to learn about the 5-Fulton limited bus proposal from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. It’s taking place at the Richmond District police station community room on Sixth Avenue near Geary Boulevard. The 5L-Fulton would a mix of local (La Playa to Sixth Avenue) and limited stops (Eighth Avenue to Van Ness) during peak hours.

The regular 5-Fulton will still run, but the proposal calls for the regular service to begin at Eighth Avenue.

Geary corridor bus rapid transit

The San Francisco Riders Transit Union is hosting a forum discussing the bus rapid transit project on Geary. Transportation planners from the San Francisco County Transportation Authority will be there to update residents on the project.

The riders transit union will also present findings of a survey they conducted of Muni riders on the Geary project. The meeting is on Wednesday at the Richmond District Public Library from 6 to 8 p.m. The meeting room is only accessible through the 10th Avenue entrance.

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Posted by on August 20, 2012 in MUNI

 

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Muni’s all-door boarding plan sees modest improvements in waiting times

Five of Muni’s busiest routes have seen a decrease in the time spent loading passengers at bus stops since the transit agency’s all-door boarding policy went into effect in July. Photo by Jason Winshell/SF Public Press

Published August 13, 2012
San Francisco Public Press

Muni’s all-door boarding policy that went into effect July 1 appears to be working – although riders on at least one line are complaining about everyone not lining up at the front.

A transit agency report found that passengers spent less time waiting at bus stops for riders to board while use of the back door became more frequent. The agency timed bus loading at stops with 10 or more passengers waiting to board.

The preliminary report highlights the 1-California, 1AX- California, 14-Mission, 38-Geary and 49-Van Ness /Mission routes.

The 1-California saw an average decline of about six seconds at bus stops that had 10 or more passengers boarding. If this were to hold true for at least 20 of the 1-California’s bus stops east of Van Ness Avenue, riders could save as much as two minutes of traveling time from home to work, said Muni spokesman Paul Rose.

The 1-California saw a 116 percent increase in riders using the back door compared to the same time last year when it was illegal for passengers to board the back of Muni buses.

Roughly 10 percent of riders would board the back of the bus last year, but now up to 40 percent are using the back doors, Rose said.

The 1AX-California, an express bus from the Richmond District to downtown, saw a whopping 1,186 percent increase of riders using the back door. Traditionally, express bus riders lined up at the bus stops to board the front door, but the new policy has changed all that.

Riders on the 1AX have complained to Muni that queuing in front of the bus has become more difficult now that riders are able to board at the back of the bus. Those who wait in the line at the front of the bus are finding that seats are full by the time they board.

The 1AX saw a six second decrease in boarding times at two of its stops in the downtown area.

The 14 and 49 Muni lines saw little change in boarding times, but did see increases in riders boarding through back of the bus.

The 38-Geary, which has a weekday average ridership of 25,000, saved more than a minute during the commute home.

“When we look at situations where large numbers of passengers are boarding a vehicle, the preliminary numbers suggest that the policy is working,” Rose said.

Muni has received 58 complaints since the new policy went into effect. More than half of the complaints were about drivers not opening the back doors. Most of the rest were from express bus riders.

Muni officials plan to also look at revenue and entire route times of its buses as more information becomes available. They have claimed that the all-boarding policy could generate more revenue for the transit agency.

Average time saved at bus stops with 10 more passengers

1-California: 6.2 seconds

1AX-California: 6.2 seconds

38-Geary: 4 second

14-Mission: 0.4 seconds

49-Van Ness/Mission: 0.2 seconds

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2012 in MUNI

 

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Geary bus rapid transit project poses design challenges for city transportation planners

Conceptual alternatives for Geary Corridor Bus Rapid Transit. Source: San Francisco County Transportation Authority.

Published July 25, 2012
San Francisco Public Press

Those hoping for a quicker ride down Geary Boulevard on a shiny new bus rapid transit system will have to be patient. Current plans say it won’t go into service until 2019 at the earliest.

Bus rapid transit, which is meant as a cheaper substitute to light rail by using special buses in dedicated traffic lanes, is set to debut on Van Ness Avenue in 2016. However, design challenges and funding are slowing down plans for the Geary route.

Transportation planners from the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, the lead agency in planning for the project, have spent more than a year researching ideas for the best way to implement the estimated $200 million plan. Currently, the 38-Geary, 38L, 38AX and 38BX bus lines, which have a combined 50,000 passengers a day, run along the corridor that connects riders to the inner and outer Richmond District and downtown San Francisco.

Planners said bus rapid transit on Geary Boulevard could save riders up to eight minutes of travel time on the 38L (between 33rd Avenue and Gough Street) and boost ridership by up to 25 percent (depending on the street design). The current plan has dedicated transit lanes starting at 25th Avenue and ending at Gough Street, with the 38L as the line using those lanes. But two major intersections between the starting and end points have complicated the design process, said Chester Fung, principal planner for the Geary project.

Masonic Avenue and Fillmore Street have underpasses, which separate traffic on Geary Boulevard for those motorists who want to connect to those streets.

“It’s relatively complex and poses constraints to us in how we provide both the dedicated bus lane and how we provide a transit station in this area,” Fung said.

Fung said planners have gone through at least a dozen designs just for those two intersections during the past year, but have narrowed them down to three. One option is keep to have bus rapid transit above the underpass (street level), using side roads. Parking and loading zones along those streets would be affected, but the plan would not require new transit stations.

The other options call for putting a center lane for bus rapid transit using either a single or double median, but that would require putting transit centers at the underpass. Fung said a staircase and elevator would be needed at the top of the underpass so riders can access the bus stop. Fillmore Street has a similar problem. Because of an 8 percent grade below the underpass, it would not be possible to put transit stations in the center unless the underpass is filled and the streets are leveled. Fung said that could cost as much as $50 million.

Muni rider Johanna Ward, who attended one of three community meetings held by the authority last month, said the project looked “very promising.” Ward was not fond of the idea of putting a bus stop below the underpass. She said it would be difficult for riders who have baby strollers to walk up and down the stairs and was worried about the elevators malfunctioning, which they often do currently in the Muni Metro stations.

Further complicating the timing of the project is a lack of funding. Fung said the authority is working on applying for a federal grant. It is also trying to persuade the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to help with funding. The authority could get as much as $75 million from the federal grant and $50 million from the local sales tax, leaving it $75 million short. A final design is supposed to be chosen by 2014 with construction beginning in 2017.

Riders who missed the three community meetings can visit the Geary bus rapid project website to submit comments or to stay up-to-date on the project. Link: http://www.sfcta.org/content/view/37/70.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2012 in MUNI

 

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