Part of yesterday's Neighborhood Services Committee meeting included supervisors Wiener and Avalos' joint hearing on J-Church and 14-Mission service. During the hearing, the two supervisors called on SFMTA Transit Director John Haley to speak before the committee and answer for agency's crimes against the ridership. Also: people are pissed about switchbacks on the 14.
According to the pro-walk/bike/train people at Streetsblog, Haley cited the J-Church line's 76.8 on-time performance rating as being within acceptable limits. However, as (current power rankings leader) Scott Wiener pointed out, most regular riders on the J "would look at that number and laugh."
Likewise, when Haley pointed out that the number of switchbacks on the 14 has been down since January, Avalos stuck up for his constituents on the city's southern borders claiming it would be impossible for him to recommend they ditch their cars as long as buses on the 14-Mission line are turned around before they reach his district. "The reality does not meet their needs,” as the D11 supervisor put it.
At the end of the hearing (which also included some Mission High School students citing the J-Church for increased truancy rates) Haley admitted to some misleading NextBus stats, conceding: "I think there’s also a big concern with the way people perceive how long they’re waiting, and I think we’ve contributed to that.” So, the message here seems to be that there's still a major disconnect between what the MTA sees as a statistically acceptable level of service and what is actually useful or practical for the riders themselves. To put it another way: if a 14-Mission turns around at 30th Street and there's no one waiting for it in the Excelsior, does it still make a sound?