The following is a summary of the January 2008 meeting of the SFTEP Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) for the Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP). The meeting included a project update, final comments of the draft service development framework, example draft service evaluations, and an open forum for CAC members. The meeting closed with discussion of future meeting dates and comments from the public.

PARTICIPANTS

CAC Members/Alternates

PUBLIC & OTHER

PROJECT TEAM

Andrew Sullivan, Rescue Muni

Brain Larkin, SFCTA CAC

Daniel Murphy, SFMTA CAC

David Pilpel, Sierra Club

Norman Rolfe, SF Tomorrow

Marc Salomon, Coalition for Transit Justice

Dave Snyder, SPUR

Heather World, Parents for Public Schools

Joan Downey, SFMTA CAC

Eric P. Scott

Jean Marie Rosenmeier

Richard Tilles, SFBAC

Alex Prodan

SFMTA

Julie Kirschbaum

Peter Straus

Britt Tanner

Controller’s Office

Sally Allen

Consultant Team

Laura M. Gray

I. PROJECT UPDATE

Status of Key Activities

The development of TEP draft service recommendations are in progress and the draft service framework will be presented to the SFMTA board in February. Work continues to use the TEP operations review to inform a more detailed work plan. Results from the double deck bus pilot survey and automatic passenger counters will be available in February. The all-door boarding pilot has been delayed and will include both public outreach and data collection later this year.

Tentative Timeline:

February- Draft recommendations will be shared with members before the next meeting. Please keep the alternate 4th Monday meeting date open.

March- Our final round of citywide public workshops is planned for mid to late March once draft recommendations are available.

April- Draft service recommendations will be available.

Questions (Q.) and Comments (C.) and Responses (R.) from Members

C: I’m concerned that the SFMTA board has lost the three members participating in the development of the TEP through the Policy Advisory Group, and that there is the potential for the four remaining members to veto the draft service framework.

R: We will wait until the board membership is full. One of the potential board members is an alternate on the TEP Policy Advisory Group committee, and is familiar with the development of the framework. Also, Ed Harrington, Controller, will be with the project for this critical period before he takes a new position at the SFPUC.

II. DRAFT SERVICE DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK – FINAL COMMENTS

No changes have been made to the draft service development framework since the last meeting. CAC members discussed Owl service and routes, tradeoffs between 30- and 20-minute headways on community routes, and two possible levels of service, dependent on funding. CAC members were split on their support of 30- and 20-minute headways but generally agreed that reliability is the most important consideration.

Questions (Q.) and Comments (C.) and Responses (R.) from Members

Night Time and Owl Routes

C: Early end times are OK for lines such as the 33 and 56; however, later service is needed for others.

C: Proximity of routes should be a consideration when deciding to cut services or service hours. For example, a route near another route should be cut before a more distant route with no nearby alternative.

C: Extend community service routes to midnight. People going to events downtown need to get home. If ridership on core lines drops, ridership on all lines will be lost (as main routes feed smaller or community routes).

C: The owl route should be 1am- 5am with 20-minute service. I see more market growth in this area with low cost. You don’t need a limited service at night. New York cuts back after 9 pm.

20-Minute Headways

C: Headways should be 15-20 minutes in the mid-day. For some routes, wait times that are any longer kill ridership along the route.

C: I would encourage “clock face” schedules because they are easier to understand and predict, for example 20 minutes after the hour.

C: I am skeptical of the City getting the needed $150 million for improvements. I would prefer we focus available resources on shorter wait time.

C: Thirty minute headways appear to me to be too much of a penalty if one just missed the bus.

R: Research shows that after waiting about 12 minutes, 50% of people would use a schedule. We will see if there is anything more in the literature.

30-Minute Headway

C: Without additional resources, it is preferable to focus resources on accuracy rather than shorter headways you can’t count on.

C: It is important to have service that people can rely on between 6am and midnight. If we don’t, perhaps we should have a color coded map.

Q: Parents are focused on reliability. Could we start with 20-minute wait time and then stretch to 30 minutes?

R: Increasing the reliability is our focus.

Other Options

C: On community routes, if the demand for buses is low enough, consider using taxis as part of the system.

Resource Constrained Service vs. Resource Enhanced Service

Q: What is the difference between resource constrained and resource enhanced service?

R: Additional resources, mentoring, training, and facilities will be required to run the current service well. “Resource constrained” refers to an approach where the agency will work within the resources currently available. “Resource enhanced” refers to an assumed 10% increase in service hours to invest in the system plus amenities on our main corridors, with the assumption that more service will induce more riders. The resource enhanced scenario has not been priced yet.

III. EXAMPLE OF DRAFT SERVICE RECOMMENDATIONS

At the request of the City Controller, examples of the draft recommendations were developed to give the committees a preview of the nature and scope of draft recommendations under development. The samples focus on the Van Ness/ Mission Corridor, which carries 67,000 riders each day.

Recommendations for this corridor may include:

Questions (Q.) and Comments (C.) and Responses (R.) from Members

Q: Do you have data for each segment of the line?

C: Check the accuracy of your figures and numbers.

C: If you get out of downtown there is no usefulness of different 14 and 14L lines.

C: Use consistent directional text (e.g., don’t use ‘South’ in one case and ‘West’ in another.

C: Use four-track trolley lines so local and express have clean power.

C: Use headway based scheduling only during peak hours.

C: A common problem on this line is that people refuse to move to the back of the bus.

Q: Does this include all of the lines in the Mission area and the Glen Park area?

R: Yes. We are including all of the lines in the extended Mission area including Glen Park.

Q: On the 88, have you had a discussion about Park Merced’s big plans?

R: Yes, we met with them and will meet again in February. Initial surveys show people are more inclined to take the M.

IV. CAC OPEN FORUM

The project team invited the CAC members to speak openly about any suggestions and concerns regarding the TEP. Members voiced comments about bus bulbs, stop spacing, stops, cost, early actions, specific routes, and the need for a forum like the CAC to continue.

Bus Bulbs

C: Bulbs need to be long.

C: Bulbs are most important for articulated trolley coaches.

R: Current limited stops are designed for two buses at a time.

C: If you are waiting on a bus bulb, you need to run from one bus to the other. Do you really need a long bulb? Where there are two buses, have one pull up to the front at a time—so one doesn’t have to run to the other.

R: With all-door boarding, you have a shorter walk to each bus.

Stop Spacing/ Bus Spacing

Q: Will the metro/rail changes include stop changes? R: Yes.

Q: Are you going to schedule it so the limited and local are spaced? R: Yes.

Cost

C: The capital needed is significant when you add up the bus bulbs, control center, and new yards. You can’t do this without significant investment beyond Prop K. Ask the public to choose between the Central Subway and TEP improvements.

Q: Has a proposal been made that shows no increased funding but includes time savings?

R: No. This is the bare bones proposal. We will calculate capital costs as part of the final set of recommendations.

Specific Route Changes

C: Remove street parking leading up to the entrances of parking garages on Mission east of Van Ness and make the parking garages pay for it.

C: Regarding the 88, consider cutting off service around the lake.

CAC for the TEP Implementation

Q: Please keep a consistent group to focus on TEP implementation. Advocates are needed for the plan. Perhaps reconvene the CAC group every few months to touch base with key concerns?

R: No decision has been made as the focus will be to have an intensive information drive and outreach to city groups and general public.

V. NEXT STEPS

A second CAC meeting date may be needed because the documents will not be ready by February 14th. Please prepare for a long meeting.

VI. PUBLIC COMMENT

Members of the public expressed the following concerns and comments.

C: On Mission, the headways will range between 2 and 7 minutes and two buses will be together at some point.

C: Last month an error was made in the summary. The record should say “stops every 3 blocks” not “every 2 blocks.”

C: Is the all-door boarding pilot independent of the TransLink implementation? R: They are conceptually intertwined but they will not be implemented at the same time. Outside of the pilot, there is not a plan to let people use TransLink at back door.

C: 30-minute headways would be brutal for the 52 line that serves the Diamond Height shopping center.

C: Look at the Golden Gate Transit stop spacing on Van Ness. It is faster than Muni on that route.