All-door boarding coming to the J-Church

Photo by Jaymi Heimbuch

Streetsblog SF reports that Muni is considering a pilot program on the J-Church to test the theory that allowing boarding on all doors of a Metro train will speed up service. That, along with stop consolidation, are among the top reasons for delays systemwide. According to Streetsblog SF, a portion of the J-Church line is being considered for possible elimination of some stops.

Read the rest of the post at Streetsblog SF.


  • This seems kind of pointless — people who don’t pay already get on in the back. What difference does this make?

  • GREAT idea. Not only does it speed up boarding, but it allows you to bypass all the people who are standing in the front of the train refusing to move back.

  • I’m so confused… does the J not already allow boarding from all doors? The N certainly does…

  • funtime

    Uh, I think this is either mistaken or written weird. The biggest cause of delays is in fact breakdowns, and stop consolidation (the removing of some stops on a line) is not a cause of delays but something Muni is proposing on some lines to reduce delays. Also there has been no stop consolidation on the J.

    Currently clipper card users can board all streetcars at any door, although some buses still say you have to board at the front. The change would be, apparently, to add a fare payment system to the stops so people can buy tickets before boarding.

  • Zach

    This isn’t really about all-door boarding at all. This proposal is about spending millions to install ticket vending machines at street stops so that cash-paying customers can board from any door if they use the machine first. Muni will then spend tens of thousands of dollars (or more likely, not spend said money) to maintain and repair these machines, which will be unsheltered in the middle of the street, all while spending tons of MTC funds to convince people to get Clipper, a system that already solves this so-called “problem” without any additional equipment.

    The issue is that cash-paying customers are most likely to be infrequent or inexperienced riders who don’t know what to do anyway. How likely are they to use the machines? Do very many people actually event use the ticket vending machines at some of the T stations? Encouraging Clipper adoption (and making the Clipper system actually function) is a far better and cheaper path here. Easier and faster fareboxes wouldn’t hurt either: most cities aren’t using ancient bill readers anymore.

    Finally, as Streetsblog points out, “the biggest cause for delay on the J-Church remains vehicle failures.” Shaving seconds off of boarding times is meaningless when trains are constantly broken down, stuck in “heavy traffic” in the subway, bunched together due to Central Control’s utter inability to manage headways, laid up at Embarcadero due to Muni’s lackadaisical attitude toward turning around trains, crawling through the slow, dangerous nightmare that is Duboce & Church, missing altogether due to lack of equipment and/or staff, halted due to ATC failures, and all the other maladies that seem to befell the Muni Metro at least several times a week.

    Seriously, it’s nuts to even consider wasting money on a project like this when Muni can’t even handle the most basic reliable operation of its trains.

  • Zach

    And as a convenient follow-up to my comment last night (albeit an inconvenient way to get to work), 35 minutes this morning to get from Church to Montgomery (2.1 miles) due to some kind of unspecified delay in the subway.

    Ticket vending machines are a luxury to add to an already working subway. Fix the Metro before wasting money on luxuries.

  • david vartanoff

    Zach and others are spot on. This is a smoke and mirrors waste of funds. Taking a saw to the transit sabotaging 4 way stopsigns on Church St would save much more time than either cutting stops or worrying about the few riders paying cash.

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