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San Francisco Muni’s 10 Worst Delay Hot Spots Revealed. And How They’re Being Fixed

Written by Joe BurnPublished Oct. 12, 2022 • 2:21pm
Commuters utilize San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority (SFMTA) buses for transit in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, June 1, 2022. | Benjamin Fanjoy for The Standard

Muni’s worst streets for delays have been revealed by the transportation agency as it battles to fix the slowdowns. 

The agency says it is looking closely at the causes of delays at these hot spots, whether it’s a lengthy traffic signal, clogged curb or difficult turn.

And it says it has made travel time savings of up to 50% at some of the hot spots so far this year already.

“The hot spots fall on routes such as the 44 O’Shaughnessy, 8AX/BX Bayshore Express and 24 Divisadero,” an SFMTA press release said. “Common causes of Muni delays include very close stop spacing (where stops are on both sides of the same intersection), tricky turns, traffic and curb space issues. We address these delays with a toolkit of priority treatments.”

A Google Street View of Church St. (from left to right at bottom) bisected by Market Street (left top) and 14th Street (right top) where the No. 37 bus travels.

Muni’s 10 Worst Delay Spots: 

  • Intersection of Market and Church streets at evening peak times, turning left into 14th Street. No. 37 bus. 
  • Between O’Farrell and Geary streets, turning left into Geary. No. 19 bus. At peak times.
  • Heading south at Woodside Avenue and O'Shaughnessy Boulevard. No. 44 bus. At peak times.
  • Williams and Van Dyke avenues, crossing 3rd Street. No. 54 bus. At peak times.
  • From Cortland Avenue to 30th Street via Mission Street. No. 24 bus. At peak times.
  • Silver Avenue crossing San Bruno Avenue. No. 44 bus. At peak times.
  • Fifth Street from Market Street to Mission Street. No. 27 bus. At peak times.
  • North on Kearny Street between Sutter and Bush streets. No. 8AX/8BX Bayshore Express. Morning peak times only.
  • Turning from Bush Street into Sansome Street. Services: 1BX, 38AX, 38BX, 31AX, 31BX. Morning peak times only.
  • The 30X Marina Express also had a delay hot spot near Sansome Street at evening peak times but has been suspended.
SFMTA map of current transit delay hot spot locations. | Courtesy SFMTA

Muni will make three more improvements over the next few months at two locations along the 44 O’Shaughnessy route and one location on the 19 Polk route.

This year the transit agency has already made improvements to the 54 Felton by removing a nearside stop which shortened travel times by 50%.

Improvements to the 8AX/8BX Bayshore Express saw the NoMa/SoMa Signal Retiming Project cut pre-pandemic travel time by 20-25 seconds or around 22% and travel times have improved further with less congestion Downtown, the agency says.

The 27 Bryant line was rerouted in SoMa to take advantage of transit lanes on Seventh and Eighth streets that were installed through the Temporary Emergency Transit Lanes program.

The 1BX, 31AX/BX and 38AX/BX express line projects are on hold while Richmond lines are suspended.

The 24 Divisadero at Cortland Avenue is also on hold. The agency said: “No changes are currently planned due to the complexity of this area, which also serves several other Muni lines (14 Mission, 14R Mission Rapid and 49 Van Ness-Mission) that could be negatively impacted by any adjustments to the 24 Divisadero here.”

Thea Selby of San Francisco Transit Riders said: “Kudos to SFMTA for looking for the worst spots for buses and trying to fix them quickly. That didn’t used to happen at all. I’d love to see the 24 Divis in the on hold category go into the planned improvements—that bus goes all the way into the Bayview, is heavily ridden and it’s so slow. I’m really glad they’re working on the 19 and the 27.” 

Joe Burn can be reached at [email protected]

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