SFMTA adds more Muni service on crowded routes

Jerold Chinn
3 min readJun 9, 2023
A 44 O’Shaughnessy arrives at Ninth Avenue and Judah Street in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, April 27, 2023. Photo by Jerold Chinn.

In preparation for the summer season and to address crowding, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is making service changes on several Muni routes that take effect Saturday.

SFMTA Director of Transit Julie Kirschbaum reviewed some of the changes Tuesday at the agency’s Board of Directors meeting. The changes include adding back service on the 1 California that will only travel from Clay and Drumm streets to California Street and Presidio Avenue on weekdays between 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Kirschbaum said the SFMTA has shifted to a “resource neutral model”, which is how transit officials approached the upcoming Saturday service changes. “Where we are addressing the crowding that we’re seeing, we are taking service from other places where we are seeing less service use.”

An example of the new approach is how the SFMTA is adding service on the 1.

“We’re adding more service on the inner part of the 1 California and providing a little less frequent service on the outer part of the 1 California,” Kirschbaum said.

The 1X California, launched earlier this year as a pilot, will get an earlier start time at 7:15 a.m. instead of 8:00 a.m. and the SFMTA will increase the frequency from running every 30 minutes to 15 minutes. The bus line will also serve more transit stops, including Cherry, Spruce and Laurel streets and Presidio Avenue.

Supplemental bus service will be added from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. for the F Market & Wharves to support the summer tourism season

“Frankly, I really wish we were adding trains. But, we do not have enough F-line operators at this time,” Kirshbaum said.

There will also be additional frequency increases for the 28 19th Avenue, 38R Geary and 44 O’Shaughnessy.

The SFMTA is tightening its belt given the transit agency’s current financial situation, facing a projected $101 million deficit in the 2024–2025 fiscal year. Transit officials earlier projected a $130 million deficit.

In a separate presentation Tuesday by the SFMTA’s Chief Financial Officer Bree Mawhorter, she said the transit agency was able to shrink its projected deficit by reducing expenditures related to hiring only “critical positions” and a revision to the transit service plan. The budget also assumes that the SFMTA is able to implement plans to extend parking meter hours on weeknights and Sundays that will net the transit agency $15 million a year.

Bay Area transit agencies are awaiting word from the state legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom if they will include funding for transit operations in the upcoming state budget. The deadline to approve the state budget is June 15.

“I am channeling all my optimism into state support coming through, but if it doesn’t, we are looking at some big reductions and we will come back to this board,” Kirschbaum said. “We will work closely with stakeholders and we will lead a very transparent process if and when we do need to make those tough decisions.”

Visit the SFMTA’s website for a full list of the upcoming Saturday service changes.

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Jerold Chinn

I am a freelance reporter in San Francisco with over a decade of experience covering transportation in the city. Bylines include SFBay and The Ingleside Light.