Good news for Mission Street. At long last, Muni’s Transit Effectiveness Project may bear some fruit on Mission Street, one of San Francisco’s most popular and crowded transit corridors. With over 65,000 daily riders, the 49 and the different versions of the 14 fight through congested city streets, dodging traffic and double-parked vehicles with nothing to aid their passage. Local buses stop on just about every block, making the ride frustratingly slow. The TEP is Muni’s first attempt in a couple decades to collect hard data on the way its riders are using the system. While the data is sure to come with some unpopular recommendations, particularly when it comes to moving and removing bus stops, I would wholeheartedly urge the MTA to stand strong by its data and remove lightly used stops, for the health of the greater system. The proposed changes — including rear-boarding, ticket machines at the busiest stops, more bus-only lanes, signal preemption, and more frequent limited service — represent at least a partial implementation of bus rapid transit; they are overdue and could not come a moment too soon. Without any specific details, all there is to say now is that the MTA is on the right track, and we’ll be following this story as it develops.
[San Francisco Chronicle]