Skip to content.

City and County of San Francisco
Meeting MinutesMunicipal Transportation Agency
Citizens’ Advisory Council

Operations and Customer Service Committee

Tuesday, May 10, 2011, at 3:00 p.m.
1 South Van Ness Avenue, Room 3075
San Francisco, California


1.   Call to Order

 Chairman Joan Downey called the meeting to order at 3:05 p.m.

  • Roll Call

 OCSC members present at Roll Call:  Joan Downey and Mary Burns

OCSC members absent at Roll Call:  Daniel Murphy

 OCSC members absent:  None

SFMTA CAC members not on this committee, but also present:  Steve Ferrario

3.    Announcement of prohibition of sound-producing devices during the meeting.

CAC Secretary made the announcement.

Daniel Murphy arrived at 3:07 p.m.

4.    Approval of Minutes: 

  On motion to approve the minutes of November 9, 2010: Approved
Ayes – Downey, Burns, and Murphy

      Nayes – None

Public Comment:


5.  Report of the chairman:  Joan Downey

Chairman Downey stated that she received a notice from the Ingleside Police Chief stating that the SFMTA will be enforcing illegal sidewalk parking without complaints and for residents to be advised.  The Chairman would like a copy of this notice to distribute to residents.

6. Public Comment: 

Roland Wong stated that people with disabilities can be easily confused when boarding vehicles at crowded Metro stations. 

7. Presentation, discussion and possible action regarding short turning trains.  (John Haley, Director, Transit Management)

Mr. Haley discussed the April 2011 Operations Score Card power point presentation and issues of switchbacks.   Common service adjustments used had been to deadhead trains.  Switchbacks have indicated there are problems in service and had forced staff in identifying communication difficulties with the public.    Mr. Haley stated changes to signage in the subway would inform passengers of the train’s destination.

Mr. Haley stated that a shortage of operators has caused switchbacks to occur more frequently than usual.  On May 4th, 22% workforce was unavailable and there were 50 open runs, the majority on the rail line.  Mr. Haley stated that the majority of switchbacks occur around 9:30-11:00 a.m. and after 7:00 p.m.  Staff has been minimizing switchbacks during peak travel times.

Mr. Haley stated the K/T line is most difficult since the K Line portion between West Portal and Balboa has no switchback track.  Committee member Burns stated that around noon today, she had seen an inbound K Line train turn around at St. Francis Circle and became an L Line train.  Mr. Haley stated he would look into this incident.

Chairman Downey inquired why not switch back train(s) that has fewer passengers rather than inconvenience passengers on a crowded train.  Mr. Haley replied that in some instances, operators have been required to switchback due to the Hours in Service rules. 

Public Comment:

Roland Wong stated that signs on the 5 Fulton would state destination as Ocean Beach, but was in service only to 6th Avenue.  Mr. Wong stated that on occasions when switchbacks have occurred, he has to use multiple trains and/or buses to get to his destination.

Motion 110510.01

The SFMTA CAC recommends that, when switchbacks involve vehicles next to each other that the vehicle with the fewest passengers be switched back in order to inconvenience the smallest number of passengers.

            On Motion to approve Motion 110510.01:  Approved

                  Ayes – Burns, Downey, and Murphy

                  Nayes – None

Motion 110510.02

The SFMTA CAC recommends that, when ATCS is upgraded, the agency consider adding destination announcements to the recorded voice announcements and platform signs in order to better alert passengers of upcoming switchbacks—for example, "N-Judah to Sunset Boulevard" instead of "N-Judah."

             On Motion to approve Motion 110510.02: Approved

                  Ayes – Burns, Downey, and Murphy

Nayes – None

8. Presentation, discussion and possible action regarding sequencing of outbound trains.  (John Haley, Director, Transit Management)

John Haley discussed the sequencing of outbound trains.  He stated that when there are open runs, everything gets out of sequence and there can be multiple open runs on the same line.  Operator shortage is also a problem as well as reliable vehicles.  Some mid-life overhaul on vehicles has an overall effect on reliability, including maintenance of vehicles and having parts to repair vehicles.

Public Comment:

Roland Wong stated that BART makes announcements when their elevators are out of service and there’s an app that shows which elevators are not working.  He finds it helpful and can adjust his travel plans.  He stated that the Church and Castro Metro stations do not have announcements to inform passengers that the elevators are not working.

9.  Presentation, discussion and possible action regarding service standards using NextBus data.  (Travis Fox, Sustainable Streets)

Travis Fox discussed the process of receiving data from NextBus to internal data bases.  He stated that based on differences at each time point, basic program is being written and processed through quality control checks.  Mr. Fox stated that he is expecting to make available side-by-side methodology in the next fiscal year. 

Chairman Downey inquired if this information will be available online where you could click on one line and drill down to find out further information.  Mr. Fox replied that staff has this in their vision as well. 

Donovan Corliss stated that staff is keeping an eye on the radio project and that may help NextBus data.  Data collection rate, NextBus, has gps readers on vehicles and sends information every 1,000 feet.  NextBus estimates vehicles can travel certain distance, velocity and time points may provide for more error.

Public Comment:

Roland Wong inquired if NextBus signs will display Muni elevators that are out of service.  He stated that BART has it on their alert system.  Mr. Wong stated that it is less frustrating when he knows if an elevator is working or not.

Motion 110510.03

The SFMTA CAC recommends that the Daily Operations Report include the following items which were previously part of the report:

- lines affected by not-outs;

- percent of operator absenteeism;

- times that each Muni revenue service vehicle arrived at each time point.

            On Motion to approve Motion 110510.03: Approved

                  Ayes – Burns, Downey, and Murphy

Nayes – None

10.  Discussion and possible action approving the 2011 meeting schedule. 


     The 2011 meeting schedule was approved.  July, September and November will be the remaining meetings for the year.

        Public Comment:


        On Motion to approve the 2011 schedule: Approved

                  Ayes – Burns, Downey, and Murphy

Nayes – None

  • Committee members’ requests for information. (For discussion only)
  • Joan Downey stated that the crosswalk in front of the Arboretum at MLK Drive is not painted and was told a year ago that this would be done by December 2010.  She would like to know when this will be done.
  • Schedule upcoming Meeting and Agenda Items.  (For discussion only)
    Next regular meeting: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 at 3:00 p.m.
    1 South Van Ness Avenue, 3rd Floor (Conference Room 3075)

ADJORN:  The meeting was adjourned at 5:09 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by:
Yvette Torres
SFMTA – CAC Secretary



Accessible meeting policy – One South Van Ness Avenue

telephone311 Free language assistance / 免費語言協助 / Ayuda gratuita con el idioma / Бесплатная помощь переводчиков / Trợ giúp Thông dịch Miễn phí / Assistance linguistique gratuite / 無料の言語支援 / 무료 언어 지원 / Libreng tulong para sa wikang Tagalog / คว“มช่วยเหลือท“งภ“ษ“โดยไม่เส’ยค่าใช้จ่าย


©2000-2013 San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. All rights reserved.