The SFMTA just announced that it will be boosting the frequency of buses on eight of the "core" transit lines currently in operation, in order to increase the ability of passengers to socially distance themselves from each other.
After cutting back service in early April to just 17 core bus lines amid a shortage of drivers and a steep decline in ridership, Muni will be starting to rebound on May 16 as San Francisco begins to move forward into a second phase of economic recovery. The agency announced in a blog post that eight of those bus lines, including the N and T bus shuttles that replace suspended train service, will see bus frequencies increase by two or four minutes, with weekday frequencies getting back to 10 minutes or less.
"We are able to deliver these changes because our staffing availability has improved, and we have implemented additional bus cleaning programs," the agency says.
The bus lines that will be getting increased service are:
- 8 Bayshore
- 14R Mission Rapid
- 22 Fillmore
- 38R Geary Rapid
- 49 Van Ness/Mission
- N Bus
- T Bus
These are the lines that the SFMTA has seen to be getting the most ridership in the last month, primarily by those making essential trips to work or shopping that they can not make by other means.
Additionally, the 9R San Bruno bus will be restored starting on Monday, in order to provide more frequent service to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital — and more social distancing space for those riding to and from the hospital. The SFMTA explains that when the 9R San Bruno Rapid is in service to McLaren Park on weekdays (from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.), the 9 San Bruno will terminate on Bayshore at Visitacion. Both buses will run approximately every 10 minutes.
Healthcare workers, who are among the essential workers using public transit most over the last eight weeks, have also been among the most impacted by the lack of Muni Metro train service and frequent bus service in commuting to and from work.
But the SFMTA still says that buses should be reserved for those who have no other means to travel to their destinations.
"If you need to make an essential trip, please use an alternate form of transportation whenever possible – walking, biking or driving – to save a seat on Muni for those who don’t have other options," the agency says. "If you do need to travel on Muni, give yourself extra time. You may need to wait longer for a bus with available space for physical distancing."
Also, riders are reminded that masks are now required on all Muni buses, and riders may get passed up by a driver if they are not wearing their mask when the bus approaches.