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Release date: 5/17/11

*** Press Release ***

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all surface transportation in the City, including the Municipal Railway (Muni), presented at today’s Board of Directors meeting a plan to increase capacity on Muni’s most popular light rail line, the N Judah. With a daily ridership of nearly 40,000, the N Judah carries almost 30 percent of all Muni’s rail ridership. This extra service will be in addition to existing N Judah Line rail service, which will not be affected.

“We hope this pilot will prove to be a solution for the overcrowding on the N Judah,” said Tom Nolan, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “The N Line is a real workhorse for Muni and we want to make sure that we can accommodate the large ridership.”

“I am pleased to see the SFMTA working on a real solution to the concerns of Muni customers,” said Carmen Chu, Supervisor for District 4. “The N Judah Express pilot will be an improvement for the many riders in the outer Sunset but also for those all along the N Judah line who haven't been able to get on overcrowded trains.”

“We are continually looking for opportunities to improve the Muni system,” said Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., SFMTA Executive Director. “As a pilot, this program will show us if this is a feasible solution, and whether any further changes need to be made. In the absence of additional rail vehicles, we want to provide some much-needed expanded capacity along this major commuting corridor.”

In today’s presentation, staff recommended to the SFMTA Board of Directors a pilot program that will use buses to alleviate overcrowding and improve reliability on the line during the morning and afternoon commutes. The service, dubbed the Nx Judah Express, will operate locally between 48th and 19th avenues and travel express between 19th Avenue and the Financial District.

This pilot project will provide N Judah customers in the outer avenues a choice between express bus service, with limited stops, into and out of downtown approximately every 10 minutes during morning and afternoon rush hours or regular rail service.

Nx Judah Express buses will be easily recognizable by a distinctive blue stripe around the roof line and windshield, purple colored lights and the Nx Judah Express logo featured prominently on the bus exterior. The overhead destination signs will read:



Financial Dist

Last Stop 19th Ave.



Ocean Beach

First Stop 19th Ave.

The proposed terminal on lower Great Highway will require the removal of 12 parking spaces during morning peak hours. The traffic engineering hearing that includes this proposal will be held on Friday, May 20. The details can be found at

Maps displaying local stops and the express service route will be posted inside each vehicle. There will be no additional fare for Nx Judah Express Bus service. The annual cost of the pilot is $1.8 million.

The Nx Judah service was developed as part of the Service Restoration Working Group (SRWG), a joint effort between the Mayor’s Office, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, the Office of the Controller and the SFMTA, last fall. After the SFMTA restored most of last May’s service cuts in September, the SRWG worked to identify plans for restoring the remaining five percent of service hours left from the May service cuts. The Working Group evaluated the funding needed to restore service and identified possible expenditure reductions and revenue sources to accomplish the restoration of service.

Pilot Feedback

This extra service on the Nx Judah Express Bus is designed to reduce peak hour crowding and to improve service reliability during morning and afternoon commutes. The SFMTA will seek comments on this pilot program once it begins by those using the service at

For more information on the Nx Judah Express Bus Pilot Project go online at or call 311 for further details.

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