Recommended Muni Service Standards
The following is a set of Service Standards (formerly the Customer Bill of Rights) approved as RESCUE MUNI policy at the Steering Committee meeting on January 28.
Your comments are welcome. Please send them to Andrew Sullivan (the author) or David Pilpel (the Standards Committee representative on the Steering Committee).
Note: The "status" element in each section is our assessment of where Muni is today. The SRTP is Muni's Short-Range Transit Plan, a document that Muni publishes annually to discuss its goals and results.
- Reliability - No Missed Service - Cleanliness & Maintenance
Accidents - Crime - Customer Service - Accountability
1. MUNI MUST SCHEDULE A GOOD LEVEL OF SERVICE TO ALL NEIGHBORHOODS.
Muni shall schedule service to all neighborhoods at a minimum of once every twenty minutes from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. and service on key corridors 24 hours a day. Particularly during heavy commute hours, but throughout the day as well, this service must be scheduled at a level to meet demand. (Objectives 1.1 and 1.2 of SRTP) If riders are forced to wait beyond the normal frequency due to overcrowding when substantially all scheduled vehicles are running, then schedules on that route must be revised to meet demand.
Standard: Muni must revise its public schedule based on accurately forecasted demand every three months.
Status: Muni updates its public schedules twice a year, and is not today scheduling to meet peak demand. Riders must frequently wait more than the normal interval due to overcrowding (not to mention delays).
2. MUNI MUST RUN ON TIME.
Muni must publish a dependable schedule and meet it.
Measure: Muni vehicles must not depart early and must leave no more than three minutes late from every scheduled time point to be considered "on time." (This is similar to SRTP Objective 3.5.)
Standard: 70% of trips must be run on time (London standard).
Status: In 1995 and 1996, 53% of bus trips ran on time by Muni's measurement. (Muni did not report light rail or cable car performance.) By comparison, the buses in London, England ran on time almost 70% of the time the previous year, in substantially worse traffic than that of San Francisco. Muni must set its goals at least this high.
3. MUNI MUST PROVIDE THE SERVICE ADVERTISED.
Muni must advertise a level of service that can be provided and provide sufficient vehicles and operators to meet schedule requirements every day.
Measure: Missed hours of service (Objective 3.2 and 3.4 in SRTP).
Standard: Muni must miss no more than 1% of its scheduled service (1995 standard).
Status: In FY 1996-97, Muni reported 3.7% of scheduled service as missed. Of this, 3.2% of missed hours were due to "lack of operators" - when the rate of absenteeism (scheduled and unscheduled) was 24%.
4. MUNI MUST KEEP THE SYSTEM CLEAN AND IN GOOD WORKING ORDER.
This means keeping vehicles and facilities well maintained and free of trash and graffiti. Riders should not be affected by breakdowns or be forced to ride dirty vehicles.
Measure: Trips operated with no "road calls," i.e. failures requiring service.
Standard: 99.5% of trips must be completed without a mechanical breakdown.
Status: No data are available from SRTP, but this can be easily calculated.
Measure: Muni tracks the frequency at which vehicles are cleaned in SRTP Objective 1.6. A better measure of actual cleanliness (not implemented today) would be frequent independent spot checks.
Standard: Vehicles must leave the yard clean and free of graffiti.
Status: Muni claims that it cleans vehicles daily and washes them twice a week. Our committee members expressed skepticism that this goal is really met, since we ride dirty buses and streetcars often.
5. MUNI MUST KEEP ACCIDENTS TO A MINIMUM.
Muni must proactively work to reduce all accidents involving Muni vehicles.
Measure: Accidents per day (derived from accidents per million miles), SRTP Objective 3.6.
Standard: Muni must reduce the number of accidents every year, towards a near-term goal of no more than 5 per day on average.
Status: Muni's accident rate declined slightly in 1995-96 (the latest year for which data are available) to 120 per million miles, which translates to 240 accidents per month, or over 7 per day.
6. MUNI MUST PREVENT CRIME.
For riders to feel safe on the system, Muni must show zero tolerance for crime and harassment of passengers and operators.
Measure: Assaults on operators and passengers, SRTP Figure 4.18.
Standard: Muni and the SF Police Department must make steady progress in reducing crime on Muni, towards a near-term goal of less than 5 crimes per month from the current 17.
Status: Muni did not publish complete crime statistics in FY 1996-97. 17 per month is the most recent cumulative figure, from 1995.
7. MUNI MUST PROVIDE GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE AND ACCURATE INFORMATION.
Muni must provide accurate information on service availability, particularly in cases when service is changed due to construction or emergencies. Muni must also be responsive to customer input and resolve problems quickly.
Measure: Hours of operation for information line and time to reach an operator.
Standard: The information line should be open at least from 6 a.m. to midnight (Muni's normal hours) and an operator should answer the phone in less than 3 minutes.
Status: The help line is only open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., but hold times have been short lately.
Measure: Customer complaints (the closest thing to satisfaction measures). SRTP Figure 4.5.
Standard: Muni must make consistent progress in reducing the number of complaints to national benchmarks.
Status: In FY 1996-97, Muni received around 10,000 complaints for the year, or over 800 complaints per month. This increased substantially from the previous fiscal year.
8. MUNI MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE.
This is the goal on which all of the others depend. Muni must track all statistics discussed here, publishing them on a much more regular basis. Selected data (reliability, customer service) should be audited by an independent firm on a regular basis to ensure accuracy. Most importantly, Muni staff and management must be evaluated and retained or let go on the basis of Muni's performance - something not done today.
Measure: Frequency with which Muni publishes performance stats.
Standard: Muni needs to publish all performance data monthly, on the World Wide Web and in print, and announce them to the Public Transportation Commission. Data compiled daily (e.g. missed runs) should be published daily.
Status: All data used in this discussion are over a year old, since they are only published once a year.
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