The San Francisco Municipal Railway, commonly known as Muni, is the public transit system for the city and county of San Francisco, California. In 2006, it served with an operating budget of about $700 million. In terms of ridership, Muni is the seventh largest transit system in the United States, with 210,848,310 rides in 2006.
Muni is an integral part of public transit in the City of San Francisco, operating 365 days a year and connecting with regional transportation services, such as Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), SamTrans, and AC Transit. Its network consists of 54 bus lines, 17 trolley bus lines, 7 light rail lines (known as the Muni Metro), 3 cable car lines, and a heritage streetcar line known as the F Market & Wharves. Many weekday riders are commuters, as the daytime weekday population in San Francisco exceeds its normal residential population. Muni shares four metro stations with BART, which can lead to confusion amongst visitors. Travelers can connect to San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport via BART.
Several routes operate 24 hours a day, which are called OWL lines. Muni routes operate on a schedule, and the frequency of service varies at various times of day. Trip planning has been made easier by the implementation of GPS monitoring for most routes through NextBus, allowing for easier predictions of arrival times.
Most bus lines are scheduled to operate every five to fifteen minutes during peak hours, every five to twenty minutes middays, about every ten to twenty minutes from 9 pm to midnight, and roughly every half hour for the late night "owl" routes. On weekends, most Muni bus lines are scheduled to run every ten to twenty minutes. However, complaints of unreliability, especially on less-often-served lines and older (pre-battery backup) trolleybus lines, are a system-wide problem. A February 20 2007, article in the San Francisco Chronicle noted that Muni was not able to meet its modest goal of 85% voter-demanded on-time service.
All Muni lines run roughly inside San Francisco city limits, with the exception of several lines that serve some locations in the northern part of neighboring Daly City, and the 76 Marin Headlands line to the Marin Headlands area on Sundays and various holidays. Most intercity connections are provided by BART and Caltrain heavy rail, AC Transit buses at the Transbay Terminal and Golden Gate Transit and SamTrans downtown.
Bus and car stops throughout the city vary from Metro stations with raised platforms in the subway and at the more heavily used surface stops, to small shelters to signposts to simply a yellow stripe on a utility pole or on the road surface.
Muni is short for the "Municipal" in "San Francisco Municipal Railway" and is not an acronym; thus, when it is written in plain text, only Muni (not MUNI) is correct. However, many San Franciscans, including some of those who work for Muni, write it MUNI. The Muni Metro is often called "the train" or "the streetcar".
The F Market & Wharves line is referred to by Muni as a "historic streetcar line" rather than as a "heritage railway".
Muni's logo is a stylized, trademarked "worm" version of the word "MUNI". This logo was designed by San Francisco-based graphic designer Walter Landor in the mid-1970s.
Cable car fare is $5 per trip, with no transfers issued or accepted. "Passports" are folding scratch-off passes that can be purchased by mail, or at various places throughout the city; they are good on all regular-service lines without surcharge, including cable cars, and cost $11 for a 1-day pass, $18 for a 3-day pass, or $24 for a 7-day pass.
Special round-trip fares are set for buses going to Candlestick Park during football games. They are $7 for adults, $5 for children and seniors, and $3 for anyone with a pass. Riders are given a special pass once they pay the fare, which they can then use on the return trip from the park.
Muni has partially implemented a dual-mode smart card payment system known as TransLink. The transponders have been in use since at least 2004 and are officially in the testing stages. TransLink was expected to be rolled out in summer 2008 on Muni, but this expansion has suffered delays. Both BART and Caltrain plan to utilize the TransLink system.
Express lines only run during peak hours (with the sole exception of the 9X Bayshore Express); during mornings they run towards downtown (the Financial District) and during the evening they run away from downtown. All express lines have an "X", "AX", or "BX" following the line's number. Longer lines are divided into A and B Expresses. The B Express line is shorter and has stops that are closer to downtown, while the A Express makes stops further away from downtown and will make few or no stops in the area where the B Express stops.
Limited-service lines provide limited service along their routes. They make fewer stops than the standard line in order to provide for faster travel, but stops are interspersed at greater intervals along the entire line (as opposed to the expresses, which make frequent local stops near the origin and destination, but not in the middle). All limited buses have an "L" following the line's number.
Muni operates about 1,000 vehicles: diesel, electric, and hybrid electric transit buses, light rail vehicles, streetcars, historic streetcars, and cable cars. Many buses are diesel-powered, but more than 300 are zero-emissions trolleybuses powered by overhead electrical wires. The electricity to run all of Muni's trolleybuses and streetcars comes from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park.
In 2006, Muni purchased 86 hybrid electric transit buses from Orion Bus Industries that are diesel-fueled but feature lower emissions and 19% reduced fuel consumption.
All Muni lines except for cable cars are wheelchair accessible (). All bus lines have bicycle racks, but streetcars and cable cars do not.
The longest Muni line is the 91 Owl, a nighttime-only route that blends several other routes together, while the longest daytime route is the 29 Sunset. The shortest route is the 89 Laguna Honda at . The steepest grade climbed by Muni vehicle is 23.1% by a diesel bus on the 67 Bernal Heights line, 22.8% by a trolleybus on the 24 Divisadero line, and 21% by a cable car on the Powell-Hyde line.
The busiest Muni bus line is the 38 Geary, which travels in the east–west direction along the Geary corridor, and has an average speed of only . Door to door, it takes over 50 minutes to traverse the distance from the Richmond District to the Transbay Terminal when operating on schedule.
At Powell and Market Streets and California and Market Streets, three types of rail gauges come within a few hundred feet of each other: Bay Area Rapid Transit's broad gauge (which is underground in the lower level of the tunnels), Muni Metro's (also underground in the upper level of the tunnels), and the San Francisco cable car system's narrow gauge (at street level a few hundred feet away to the north of Market Street in both cases). The F Market heritage railway is also present here, at street level on Market Street. The rail lines, however, do not physically intersect.
The F Market and Wharves line uses the same standard gauge as the Muni Metro, and in fact uses the J Church tracks to travel between its regular route and the storage facility near Balboa Park Station.
Since the passage of Proposition E in November 1999, Muni has been part of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA), a semi-independent city agency created by that ballot measure. The agency, which includes the Department of Parking and Traffic and the Parking Authority, is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Board of Supervisors. The executive director and CEO of the MTA is Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr., who previously served as general manager and CEO of MARTA, and before that, as a manager for BART. Mr. Ford makes $298,000 a year, and is San Francisco's highest paid public employee.
Muni soon started on a large building program. On December 29 1914, the new Stockton Street Tunnel under Nob Hill opened, allowing streetcars from downtown to go to North Beach and the new Marina District. On February 3 1918, the Twin Peaks Tunnel opened, making the southwestern quarter of the city available for development. On October 21 1928, the Sunset Tunnel opened, bringing the N Judah streetcar line to the Sunset District. These improvements plunged Muni into direct competition with the URR on the entire length of Market Street. The two operators each operated their own pair of rail tracks down that thoroughfare, which came to be known as the "roar of the four".
On November 15 2007, city officials announced that they were looking into the possibility of adding double-decker buses to the Muni fleet, which would be operating mostly on the 38 Geary and the 14 Mission routes. The test period started on December 12 2007, and ended on January 8 2008.
On December 1 2007, Mayor Gavin Newsom announced that the entire city fleet, including all of Muni buses, are henceforth powered with biodiesel, a combination of petroleum diesel fuel and biofuel, to reduce carbon emissions. Muni's current hybrid bus fleet currently runs on biodiesel.
Construction on a sixth light rail line from Caltrain Depot in Mission Bay to Visitacion Valley and Bayview/Hunters Point was completed in December 2006. The new line, named the T Third Street, consists of 19 new high-platform stations at street-level, including at least one within walking distance of Candlestick Park.
A further underground expansion for the T line is being planned. Dubbed the Central Subway, four proposed new underground stations at Moscone Center, Market and Stockton Streets, Union Square, and Chinatown are being studied for a possible target date of 2016. A future extension into North Beach and Fisherman's Wharf or to the Marina District and The Presidio may be built in a third phase. This project is expected to cost about $1.4 billion. A critical problem with the proposed subway is that the stations will be much narrower and shorter in comparison to existing Muni Metro stations on Market Street; ridership projections reveal that the line will run at near capacity from the start of operations with little or no ability to increase capacity. Some activists have criticized these long-term plans as catering to the needs of visitors at the expense of city residents, asserting that Muni's resources would be better spent on a seventh light rail line running along (or under) Geary Boulevard into the densely populated Richmond District. Currently, a bus rapid transit ("BRT") line is being planned for Geary Boulevard, possibly as a precursor to a light rail line.
Expected smaller changes to service include rerouting the 22-Fillmore and extending either the 30-Stockton or 45-Union-Stockton into Mission Bay when the area becomes developed, and a new E Embarcadero historic streetcar line is expected to begin operation along the Embarcadero from Fisherman's Wharf to the Caltrain station at 4th and King Streets in 2008, with a possible future extension into Mission Bay.
Additionally, there are plans to expand trolleybus service in several parts of the city. Several extensions to existing trolleybus lines are planned, including 14-Mission service to the Daly City BART station, 6-Parnassus service to West Portal Station, 33-Stanyan service across Potrero Hill to Third Street, 45-Union-Stockton service to the Letterman Digital Arts Center in the Presidio and 24-Divisadero service into the former Hunters Point shipyard. Other expansion plans include electrification of some diesel bus lines, with the most likely lines for conversion being the 9-San Bruno, 10-Townsend and 47-Van Ness. Electrification of the 10-Townsend line would likely be joined by an extension of the line across Potrero Hill to San Francisco General Hospital. Other lines that may be electrified are the 2-Clement, 27-Bryant, 43-Masonic and 71-Haight-Noriega.
However, the average speed of Muni vehicles has been slowly declining over the years due to increasing vehicular congestion and is now merely per hour. In response, Muni has launched plans to make its transit vehicles move faster through the city. The Transit Effectiveness Project was launched in May 2006 to take a comprehensive look at the entire Muni system and to see where service can be improved or streamlined to provide faster and more reliable service. Twenty-five years have passed since the last comprehensive review, and travel patterns have changed, traffic congestion has increased, operating costs have risen and on-time performance has dropped since then. Automatic passenger counters will help to provide an accurate picture of where riders get on and off. In addition, bus rapid transit is currently being proposed on the Geary and Van Ness corridors.
San Francisco Municipal Railway.(proposes to buy 59 light rail vehicles)(Railway Market - Equipment)(Brief Article)
Feb 01, 1998; San Francisco Municipal Railway: Has specified that 59 new light rail vehicles it is acquiring must be compatible in all respects...
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