Tell us: How are the service cuts affecting you? (with update)

Broken 47
Photo by Flickr user Rubin 110


Perhaps as evidence of service cuts hurting everyone’s commute, rider JimmyD sent in pictures from his commute this evening and asks why a single car train is running at rush hour. Here’s the crowd at Embarcadero Station around 5:10 p.m. today:

Photo by JimmyD

How has your commute been this week?

Original post:

It’s now been five days since Muni enacted its latest service cuts, a whopping, decimating 10 percent reduction on just about every route in town. In less serious times, we’d be forced to joke about how service couldn’t possibly be reduced further, right? Wrong.

We see people’s toils and troubles on Twitter. We experience them ourselves in our commutes and our attempts to simply connect with our friends and colleagues. The cuts are real, and we feel them.

But now, we want to know how they’re affecting you. Share your stories in the comments, please.

(In related news, Streetsblog SF reports that the Board of Supervisors was set to discuss the SFMTA budget and the recent Muni audit at today’s 1:30 p.m. meeting.)


  • My morning commutes have actually been fine. However, I had to wait TWENTY-SIX minutes for an outbound 24 at Castro and Market yesterday when I got off at Castro Station. It was only 5:45pm.
    I’m also sad that the 35-Eureka starts later and ends earlier. It was my favorite nighttime back-up line for those times when I have to wait TWENTY-SIX minutes for the 24.

  • CAK

    The service cuts have gone unnoticed as of yet, but what’s really killing me is the absolute incompetence happening at West Portal in anticipation of the Great (read: Horrible) St. Francis Circle Project. First there were not going to be any outbound lightrails after WP come Monday morning. THEN They decided to run the lightrails this week only but ALSO run the new shuttle buses. I went through quite a run back and forth this week while trying to get out to Balboa Park and none of the Muni employees standing around could accurately describe the shuttle stops nor the service changes.

  • Tony

    The ones running the SFMTA and the director of MUNI should be receiving minimum wage for the way they are running this system and burning the passengers with higher fares and service cuts. Sure, they want to live an extravagant lifestyle with inflated salaries at our expense. Sometimes I work past midnight and either I have to run like mad to get the last 6 bus down Market or have to wait almost an hour for an owl. It is no wonder people are driving and walking. This is a classic case of the rich getting richer and abusing the people who help make the rich richer by using their product which in this case should be a right and not a privilege.

  • So far so good for me, except that my afternoon buses feel more crowded (not much more, but enough).
    Also, I am tired of the announcements about the schedule changes, in three languages, several times each ride. Even with headphones I can’t seem to drown them out.

  • Greg

    My morning commute is on the 16x, which appears to have been switched to use the longer articulated buses along with the frequency cut (from every 7 minutes to every 9 minutes). This means that (thus far) it’s actually been less crowded than before.

  • stranded

    25 minute waits, missed runs, buses saying they’re gonna arrive and no sign of them….

    good luck catching a bus anytime after 6pm! b/c you’ll be stuck waiting for something that may or not show up!

  • JimmyD

    I just e-mailed in some photos and my observation.

    Can anyone explain to me why a single car train is running at rush hour? At 5:10-ish this evening a single car K (outbound) came into Embarcadero, pretty much already full (from where, I have no idea).
    Since a two car train can run with only a single operator, there should be NO single car trains running… especially at rush hour (with the exception of the J).

    • eugenia

      Posted your picture in the post. Thanks for sending them in, JimmyD.

    • Mike

      The K (outbound)/T (inbound) is always one-car. It sucks.

      On weekends, this is the only train from Caltrain now. Sunday, I came in from San Jose about 5:35 pm. It was over 30 minutes for the first train towards downtown, then another 30-some minutes for the one after that. Ridiculous.

      It looks like they are making up for the missing M-trains in the subway by running more L trains, and running 2-car L trains later in the day and on weekends.

  • i ride a bike. but for after hours tire flats and such, muni is handy. this just isnt a good sign but well, maybe more people will give bikes a shot ;D

    • JimmyD

      Hiya! I hope you’re one of the cyclists who obey traffic laws. This morning, while on the F train (which has been fine for my morning commute) I saw many people on bikes… much more than usual due to ‘Bike to Work Day.’ However, I saw many people on bikes running STOP signs and RED lights. Not only does this annoy me, but it saddens me as well. I don’t want to see ANYONE get hurt. I know the Bike Community wants to ban all cars from the planet forever but… until that happens, please, we must share the roads.

      • I have to agree with you, JimmyD. I believe that cyclists are STILL vehicles (albeit more environmentally friendly, yes) but they should still follow all traffic rules. There should be no double standard. Hey, a cyclist can still run over a pedestrian crossing the street when the pedestrian is supposed to have the right-of-way. Might not hurt as much as a car hitting the pedestrian, but it’ll still be painful.

  • I suppose I should say I’m grateful that the service cuts haven’t affected me too much considering I usually just take the N-Judah downtown/back home. I also frequent the 29 now; haven’t noticed too much difference when taking that line, but I do see that it comes less frequently and can be a little more crowded since the line isn’t a “major”/popular one.

  • citi-zen

    I’m more confused then ever by next bus – on 1ax in the morning, it lists Ca & 8th AFTER the first downtown stop… and most of the expresses don’t show up on next bus anyway – I’m not sure if the equipment isn’t on all the busses, or the drivers choose not to turn it on? Also, the 1ax seems to have more of the smallish busses now, in stead of the larger bus or articulated ones….. where have they gone?

    I agree with the poster on the announcements – since the December changes, I feel like I am in a 3 launguage immersion class!

    • It does seem like NextBus is just as lost as we are, right? I mean, we’re all well aware of its shortcomings pre-May 8. But now it seems to be in some sort of free-fall, death spiral, if you will. Seriously, without being able to predict reduced service, what are we to do but learn to wait. And wait. And wait.

    • JimmyD

      I still don’t get how NextBus works. My guess WAS that there’s GPS on each vehicle, that tracks its movement. I’ve had too many ARRIVING NOW predictions with nothing to be seen that makes me wonder if NextBus is based on when a vehicle is SUPPOSE to arrive rather than an actual tracking.
      Come on… the GPS in my iPhone is extremely accurate, what’s wrong with the ones on MUNI?

      If drivers aren’t turning it on… why would they be able to switch it off and on? I’d think GPS would be ON… period. No OFF switch required.

  • Seven

    How have the Muni cuts affected me?

    Since the cuts last December, I find myself walking more than I used to. I’ve lost 5 pounds and my pulse is down to 55. With this month’s cuts, I hope to lose another 5 pounds and get my pulse down to 50.

  • Rachael

    I haven’t noticed a whole lot with the 29 just yet, but the 1 has been really awful in the afternoons lately and the wait is longer.

  • Sweenie

    Yikes! Single buses instead of articulated buses on the 1AX this morning meant “get to know your neighbors” very tight conditions, and some people were left at the stops.

    • citi-zen

      I know – and not only the single busses, but the smaller ones too – so it’s REALLY tight in there! Where did our bigger busses go?

  • Alice E

    I felt really bad this morning. The 21 was packed because the first bus that gets people to work around 8 didn’t show up. I’m on the early end of the route, so I could get on, but by Masonic the bus was full. We must have passed over 60 people on the street waiting in crowds for the bus. It was really bad. Even worse, the next bus wasn’t coming for another 10 or so minutes. I was ten minutes late to work, so there must have been around 100 people late to work this morning because of this.

  • Sus

    I haven’t noticed much difference with the 38 and 38L, but I did take a 22 the other day from Sutter and Fillmore to 16th & Valencia, and it was already completely jam-packed when I got on – usually it doesn’t start looking like that until Haight or so, if at all. This was after waiting 9 minutes (next one in 23). I was glad I walked the extra block up instead of trying to get on at Geary though.

  • Katy

    Getting on the 22 in the morning feels like diving into a mosh pit. You just have to hope you don’t get tossed back out and that one of your legs isn’t still sticking out the door. I have never seen it so crowded as its been this week and they just keep packing people on.

    On my way home from work they took away my bus stop and the lovely little next muni sign that at least let you know you’d be waiting.

    And what the hell happened to the 10? According to next muni it still comes to my neighborhood. It doesn’t seem to be on any of the bus signs tho? And none of the 22 drivers were really sure if it still existed?

    Erg, I walked to work 3 times this week and took 3 cabs this week. So glad to pay $60 a month for such wonderful service.

    Way to encourage people to use public transporation

  • Harmony

    I think the biggest problem is the number of people on the Embarcadero platform for the end of day commute. I’m just waiting for someone to get inadvertently pushed down onto the tracks, because you can hardly move. I’ve tried to make sure I have a book with me at all times, because the commutes have gotten really long with all the waiting. It also seems like the trains and buses are breaking down pretty frequently, which puts a burden on an already light schedule of trains.

  • Daishin

    Yesterday I was forced to take the 49 up Van Ness from Market because I didn’t feel well enough to walk the several blocks to my house. The bus was so crowded no one could move. I was standing next to a lovely beautiful young woman with bracelets up and down her arms and wonderful tats on her bare shoulders. She kept smiling sweetly at me and tried to make eye contact. After a few minutes it dawned on me that she was totally fucked up on something so I asked her if she was wasted. She smiled even more broadly and said, “YES!” I’m just glad to see that there are plenty of young people in San Francisco still getting stoned and riding MUNI like we used to do in the 1960s, albeit it’s a hell of a lot more uncomfortable these days.

  • Mike

    OK, tonight was a major FAIL for those of us along the Castro/Forest Hill/West Portal branch. I got off BART at Civic Center about 9:13 pm and hurried up the escalator into MUNI. I heard the computer lady say that an N was arriving, followed by two J’s. There were nothing but J’s and N’s until finally the computer lady said there was an N/L train. Actually, this was an L train that was taken out of service.

    The first L finally came to Civic Center at 9:50 pm. That’s a 37 minute wait for any train going towards West Portal. It was rush-hour crammed full of people. Why or why couldn’t one of the many J trains be changed to a K or L to pick up the slack? I know they are running trains to the yard along the J line, but we needed service. They should dock Nat Ford’s salary to pay for overtime.

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