Muni makes major changes to services

November 24, 2009 6:48:40 PM PST
If you ride Muni occasionally or every day, you need to know about major changes coming next week. Faced with a deficit of nearly $130 million, the transit agency is cutting service. Some lines running for the past 30 years will be discontinued or altered.

The 10-Townsend bus on Sansome is about to disappear. Service running past Levi's Plaza will discontinue beginning December 5th.

"I was on the 10 about eight days ago and a driver yelled out to all of the passengers, 'Hey, you know, this bus is being discontinued' and we all said, 'Huh?'" says Judi Basolo, a Muni rider.

That change is part of a sweeping overhaul of Muni, which is the first in 30 years.

"We're talking about 60 percent of the MUNI system that you have experienced for the last 30 years is going to be changed on December 5," said Nathaniel Ford from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, or SFMTA.

The changes are about saving money -- $3.2 million a year. Muni's deficit is $129 million.

There will be service reductions, but also some enhancements, like 15 percent increased capacity on the 38 serving Geary Boulevard. It's the busiest bus line west of the Mississippi.

Mayor Newsom says the changes are a work in progress.

"Nothing is permanent, nothing is fixed in our minds, we're open to argument," says San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

Choices were made based on an exhaustive study produced before the deficit.

"As we entered into this era where we needed to make some changes to our service, we were able to do out from a very sophisticated, data-rich process and not doing it by feel. We actually did it by fact," says Ford.

Basolo relies on the 10 line to get to and from work. She doesn't own a car.

"My fast pass went up $10 from $45 to $55 in September, however my service is being discontinued. I don't call that a cutback, I call that a real problem," said Basolo.

Muni printed 100,000 service change brochures hoping to reach its 700,000 daily riders.

LINKS: Muni service changes starting Dec. 5, 2009

or Call 311


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