On June 13th, the SFMTA will begin express service for the N-Judah to supplement existing street car service during rush hour. During our May 23rd board meeting, we decided that while we applaud the MTA’s attempt to address over-crowding and early turn-backs, the $1.8m annual cost to run the express bus service is not the best use of money during a fiscal crisis.
We voted to recommend that instead of using the funds for additional service, Muni couple 3 car trains along the N-Judah line and run the existing service, which would increase capacity for a trivial additional cost. With the $1.8m that would have gone to the Nx bus, Muni could install and implement signal priority between Duboce & Church all the way to Carl & Cole, along with a signal at the UCSF garage and 19th Ave. All these changes could be made for less than $1.8m, and provide a long-term solution to the N’s on-time rate and capacity issues.
While Muni is going ahead with the Nx bus, SFMTA’s Transit Director John Haley will go ahead and pilot 3 car trains, which could be a small future victory for N-Judah riders.