3-Jackson, 12-Folsom on Muni’s chopping block

Photo by mariposaluna415

Put your public-process hat on, ’cause it’s time to know stuff.

This little story, like many these days, starts on Facebook. Maria posted this on the Muni Diaries Facebook page:

Hey, just got off of 3 Jackson and I saw a notice that said that 3 Jackson was being eliminated from the entire muni system and that there is a petition to save 3 Jackson. Does anyone know what muni document says that 3 Jackson’s being eliminated?


And we were all HWWWWA? Our social channels had nil on it until this point, and I thought, surely, some ire-laced vitriol wrapped in all-caps would’ve wandered our way if this was truth.

It didn’t, but it’s still true. It’s one of many (many) suggested actions in the Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP): the city’s attempt at improving our citywide transit system. You’ve probably noticed that it hasn’t been implemented yet (zing!)

Not only is the 3-Jackson (sometimes known as the 3-Jacassus) being proposed for elimination, so is the 12-Folsom, per a hefty city planning document called a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR):

Transit Impacts. The Service Improvements or Service Variants would provide additional capacity on existing routes, realign 25 routes, introduce service on six new lines and routes (E-Embarcadero, 5L-Fulton Limited, 11-Downtown Connector, 32-Roosevelt, 49L Van Ness/Mission Limited, and 58-24th Street), and discontinue service on two routes (3 Jackson and 12 Folsom-Pacific).

handy-dandy detailed chart about the proposed changes is also available in the report.

So, they aren’t just taking away. They are adding, too, and I can barely contain my excitement over a 49L. But they are suggesting taking some away, and you 3 and 12 devotees might have something to say about it. After all, the last time Muni lines went the way of the dodo, we received some heartfelt obituaries for them—some of our favorite posts to date.

If you do have something to say about it, don’t forget to weigh in. According to the planning department, public comment on this draft EIR will be accepted until 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17.

Maps of these proposed changes, as well as much more info and the contact information for public comment, is available online: Planning Department’s TEP Draft EIR page (with downloadable documents).

Since you may or may not parse your comments and language in the interest of public politeness, we’d like to hear how you really feel. Let us know, won’t you?



  • robin

    They’re also proposing to redirect the 6, remove pretty much all stops on the 71 between Stanyan and Market, and do the same for the 5 between 8th Ave and Market. Plenty of other changes too, I just have seen the most detail about the routes I use. Basically it seems like a very misguided attempt to get people who currently drive (particularly those in western neighborhoods) to use public transit instead. A worthy aim, but doing it by cutting service to the already transit-dependent and least affluent neighborhoods? Baffling.

  • Jim

    This information has been public since before the TEP was approved by the MTA Board. I don’t get how people get the feeling that they’re being broadsided with all this aging information. If you still have a comment, you better make it before tomorrow, 9/17 @ http://sf-planning.org/index.aspx?page=2970.

    The 3 becomes more of a community service line after Sutter and Fillmore, as it doesn’t really serve anyone else other than the few people who ride on the short Jackson segment to and from Presidio Ave. However, I could see Muni extending the 10 to cover the eliminated portion of the 3. An old proposal for the 10 was to run a short-line between Montgomery Station and Van Ness, but that disappeared in the most recent revision. Maybe the Alta Plaza neighborhood needs to advocate for a short-line 10 variant between Presidio Ave and Montgomery Station.

    @Robin: They are not removing all the 6 stops along Haight between Stanyan and Market; the 6 doesn’t even run all the way to Stanyan currently. They are planning to reroute the 6 to stay on Haight until Stanyan, so that Haight will still have local service after the conversion of the 71 to the 71L. The 71L will still run its full route making local stops except on Haight between Stanyan and Market.

    With the 5, nothing is being eliminated. The 5 local will run as a short-line between 8th Ave and Downtown. In addition, the 5L will run the full route between Ocean Beach and Downtown, and will only make limited stops while running between 6th Ave and Market.

  • Jim

    As far as the 12 goes, the existing combined service with the 10 is terrible between Van Ness and Market. Both lines are never consistent with their headways and cannot be relied on. Even though the 12 is being eliminated, it is being replaced by a new “11” line and a rerouted 27. The 12 in essence is not going away for those who live and work in FiDi, SoMA, and along Folsom the Mission. The ones getting the shaft are those who live along the 10 in Chinatown, Nob Hill, Russian Hill, and the 27 along Bryant in the Mission. A short-line 10 would help alleviate unreliable service north of Market, but that proposal was removed from the latest revision.

  • robin

    With the 5 (and some of the other proposed changes), something is being eliminated — the ability to travel important and heavily trafficked routes without transferring.

    • But only for a very small few who live west of 6th Ave and need to use one of the local stops between 6th Ave and Van Ness (where it begins running local again) and is not within walking distance of the limited stop the 5L will be making between.

      For everyone else the 5/5L combo will make for faster (for the 5L riders), more frequent (where 5 and 5L overlap), and for a lot of riders already making connections to North-South lines (like the 43, 24, etc.) this isn’t a new transfer, it’s about improving transfers.

      If you go through the ridership data for each line (and I actually have for every single line when I was the SFTMA advisory council, two committees that oversaw the TEP process) the most on and offs are always the connection points and terminals. Those are often key destinations or neighborhood centers, so there’s a shift toward concentrating on existing transfer points as hubs: the 44 stops at the corner where the 5-local starts, and because of that there will be inbound local busses laying over for easy transfer from the 5L-limited.

  • Colin

    They don’t call it the Phantom Folsom for nothing!

  • Jason

    I try to take the 12 from Cesar Chavez & Valencia to 16th and Folsom every day, even though it’s a longer walk to that stop from my house on 30th versus taking something like the 14 or 49 from 30th and Mission. It’s just a substantially more pleasant experience when the time I’m leaving work lines up with it, but it doesn’t run frequently enough for me to take it to work every day. I try to plan leaving work around it, but again sometimes it will just disappear for an hour and then I have to take a very crowded 14 home.

    If they beef up the 14 & 49 so that every single bus running during rush hour isn’t wall-to-wall people I’m okay with losing the 12, but it was nice feeling like I had “my secret awesome bus” for a while.

    • Jim

      You really will not be losing much unless you take the 12 into eastern SOMA or FiDi. If MTA follows through with the TEP for the 12, in “compensation” you’ll be getting the 27 that will be re-routed off of Bryant onto Folsom. However, you will be getting another line with its own reliability issues. The 27 gets stuck in car traffic on 5th, whereas the 12 gets stuck in car traffic on 2nd and Folsom streets.

      For Mission St, the 49 is being converted to the 49L for (hopefully) all day limited service. It will join the 14L which only runs during the day. I know Mission has long blocks but if stop spacing was expanded to every two blocks rather than the current every block, it would go a long way in making the local 14 ride much faster.

  • Dexter Wong

    The Muni giveth and taketh away! (So what else is new?) (BTW: I use “The” only to fit in with the original use of the saying.)

  • D

    Typical SFMTA bullshit……They honestly think they can get more riders by providing less and less service.

    So now we also know that the recent fare increase sure as HELL didn’t go towards any kind of improvements AT ALL.

    • FDW

      Actually the TEP is all about beefing up service. Sutter, Jackson, and Folsom would get more frequent and coherent service than what’s there now.

  • Sasha

    I’m excited about these changes. Remember, existing MUNI bus routes and stops were almost all laid out decades ago, based on patterns of housing, working, and travel at the time. Back when far fewer people lived in SOMA, for instance.
    I was ecstatic a few years ago when MUNI retired the Valencia line; too many times, pre smartphone, I’d had to decide between waiting on Valencia for the next bus, or running a block over to Mission to catch a bus there. Now all that service is concentrated.
    I know there are lots more improvements we all want for MUNI (including more frequent buses), but like it or not, these changes happen one step at a time. And this is one of those steps.

  • Erik

    They need to do a reset of the entire system. Cancel every line and redesign the routes and schedule from scratch, taking into account today’s actual living and traveling habits and the actual available staffing.

    Trying to beat the current mess into order is a recipe for disaster.

    • Dexter Wong

      By the time they redo every line from scratch, things can change from they planned.
      Leaving the current mess as it is, makes it worse.

  • User

    I like seeing the 48 Quintara/Navy Yard goto 48th ave full times instead using last stop at west portal most of the time

    6 Parnassus extended to West Portal may be little good

    Just hoping if these changes pass , this will not make some lanes goto into low ridership

  • Riley

    Here’s hoping that this isn’t yet another Muni route change proclaimed by people looking at a map and a computer spreadsheet rather than actually riding the lines they propose to eliminate.

    Perhaps someone with the data in hand could list the many Muni route changes that had to be re-changed to restore an “improved” line to usability. In all cases, the changes were clearly made by some Big Thinker who never actually rides the bus let alone the lines they imagine they’re “improving” while sitting comfortably in front of their computer…

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