Under city law, Muni is considered on-time if a bus or train is no more than one minute early or four minutes late. Due to rounding, any time after the minute is rounded down, so a bus or train could be measured as being 4 minutes and 59 seconds late, but still be considered “on-time”. Based on research from the Bay Citizen, the actual Q4 2011 on-time rate was 61.4%, not 71%.
The board of supervisors will vote before July 1 to approve all door boarding on Muni’s buses. Riders will have to tag Clipper when boarding the rear of the bus, provide proof of payment, or suffer a $100 citation. As part of the plan, 10 more fare inspectors will be hired, costing the agency $700k. The upside is big, however, since all door boarding could boost service speed by 1 mph, a savings of $76m a year.
Muni’s on time rate was slightly more timely than usual, now 71.7% for 2011 Q4 compared to Q3′s 71.1%. This ratio continues to fall short of the voter mandated 85% on time rate from 1999′s Prop E. The record for best on time rate based on Prop E’s measurement was set in July 2010: 75%.
Apparently “transit first” doesn’t actually include better transit infrastructure, at least when Hayes Valley is concerned. The SFMTA just approved changes to Hayes Street, (pdf) making it a two way street between Gough and Van Ness – but despite the heavy commute hour traffic, did not include any changes to the 21-Hayes routing nor any bus lanes. (SF Gate, SF Streetsblog.)
One minor change was included, to add a left turn arrow at Hayes and Gough – but this does nothing to get the buses out of the heavy traffic that occurs every evening from Market all the way to Gough, and that will only get worse with the removal of a traffic lane.
Rescue Muni has long supported a two way Hayes – but with a two way bus operation (requiring new overhead wires) to eliminate the wasteful inbound detour from Laguna to Polk, and also with an outbound rush hour bus lane. It’s disappointing that this option was not considered here. (To be fair, it was also excluded from the final Transit Effectiveness Project report, which doesn’t recommend any changes to the “local” 21 line.)
Riders wishing to avoid delays in the evening commute should take the 5-Fulton or 71-Haight/Noriega Limited and walk to Hayes.
The SF Appeal reports inbound delays of 20 minutes or more on the Market Street subway. As usual the cause is problems with the train control system (which caused meltdowns way back in 1998). Check NextMuni before you ride!