Introduction: Stockton is a major Muni corridor served by Lines 8x, 30 and 45. Passengers board one or more of these lines from many parts of San Francisco including Chinatown, Russian Hill, Telegraph Hill, North Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf, Polk Gulch, Cow Hollow, the Marina, Mission Bay, Dogpatch, Bay View/Hunters Point, Visitation Valley, Little Hollywood, San Bruno Avenue and downtown San Francisco. The current state of Muni’s current bus operations along Stockton is deplorable. Surface improvements are long overdue and should be put into effect without delay.
Proposed Improvements: The following changes along Stockton Street would improve Muni capacity and reliability, decrease Muni travel times, ease pedestrian movement and facilitate commercial activities. Some or all of these changes could be tried for six months and then evaluated and adjusted as needed.
1. Allow all door boarding on Muni vehicles traveling between Columbus Avenue and Market Street. This change would require fare collection changes as well as advance publicity in several languages. To further speed loading and minimize fare evasion, it would be essential to encourage the use of Clipper Cards and institute random and targeted enforcement.
2. To speed boarding and ensure adequate carrying-capacity, deploy low-floor, diesel-operated articulated buses. Adjust trolley bus operations as required to accommodate a mix of regular vehicles and fast-loading, low-floor vehicles.
3. Adopt traffic management strategies along Stockton and elsewhere along the three affected Muni lines similar to those that were successfully implemented on Market Street in 2009.
4. Restrict truck deliveries and garbage collection to hours that would not impede transit vehicle movement. Enforce this restriction.
5. Where possible, create more pedestrian space along Stockton Street.
6. Create one or possibly two southbound lanes on Kearny between Columbus and Sutter. (City traffic engineers confirm that Kearny has the capacity to accommodate such a change). Route the southbound 8x line via Columbus, Kearny and Sutter to Stockton and proceed southerly. Reserve one southbound Kearny lane for buses only.
7. If needed to minimize bunching, position transit inspectors at strategic locations along the route during peak hours.
8. To facilitate and speed-up boarding including rear door boarding, position part-time Muni employees at the busiest stops during peak hours. The function of these employees would be to check fares and facilitate loading and unloading.
Timing: Some of these changes could be put into effect in a matter of weeks. After six months the individual improvements could be evaluated and adjusted as necessary, pursuant to input from stakeholders and the general public. Under an emergency purchase order, the low-floor buses could be acquired and put into revenue service by early 2015 (because of inaction by the SFMTA this date has probably slipped to 2016). It’s time to stop talking and actually do something on behalf of improving Stockton Street.
For more information about SaveMuni and its other Muni improvement proposals, please visit our website.
Contacts: Howard Wong AIA 415 982 5955 firstname.lastname@example.org
Gerald Cauthen, PE 510 208 5441 email@example.com