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Release date: 5/7/10

*** Press Release ***

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which operates the Municipal Railway (Muni), announced today the continuation of a comprehensive outreach campaign to inform San Francisco residents and visitors of significant Muni schedule changes that take effect tomorrow, May 8. These changes include reducing frequencies and hours of operation on some bus routes and rail lines; they do not include the elimination of any routes or segments of routes.

“Our goal is to create a more effective and reliable system that fits the constraints of our current budget,” said Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., SFMTA Executive Director/CEO. “We will monitor the changes for any necessary adjustments and, furthermore, are committed to rolling back the reductions in the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2011 and to starting that process sooner should the economy and the SFMTA budget improve.”

Extensive changes require extensive outreach. Muni customers can find a trilingual brochure with a detailed chart of the changes at, libraries and local government offices. They were also distributed to the San Francisco Unified School District. Additionally newspaper advertisements, in-vehicle voice announcements and NextMuni alerts notify customers and the general public of the upcoming changes. Signs and banners, posted throughout the Muni system, announce the changes. At key transit stops, customer will find service alerts telling them about the changes for that particular stop.

Since May 4, dozens of volunteer SFMTA Service Ambassadors teams continue to be deployed throughout the system to let Muni customers know about the changes, distribute the brochures and answer questions. The Ambassadors are easily recognized by their bright orange hats and vests.

The SFMTA has worked with stakeholders, community organizations, large employers and City partners to disseminate the information on the changes.

The original service reductions proposed in February called for all routes and lines to be affected. At the direction of the SFMTA Board of Directors, the SFMTA has made adjustments to lessen the impact of the service reductions.

Since the budget process began in February, the SFMTA has been able to retain full service on Route 108 Treasure Island due to a Metropolitan Transportation Commission Lifeline Grant in the amount of $878,000 and to minimize reductions on Owl service. Specifically, Routes 5, 14, 24 and 38 will continue to operate every 30 minutes. Routes 22, N Owl, L Owl, 90 and 91 will operate every 45 minutes rather than every 60 minutes as originally proposed for Owl routes. Community outreach staff ensured that the hospitality and medical industries in San Francisco were alerted to the Owl changes as they have a large portion of personnel affected by these changes. Also, some of the rail schedule changes will not go into effect until construction on the St. Francis Circle project is concluded in late summer to ensure adequate capacity in the Muni Metro subway.

These changes are part of a comprehensive cost-savings plan needed to bridge the Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 – 2010 operating budget deficit for a savings of $4.8 million and to aid in reconciling the projected budget deficit for FY 2011 for a savings of $28.5 million, which, along with FY 2012 was approved by the SFMTA Board of Directors on April 20.

The two-year budget for FY 2011 – FY 2012 was balanced using state gas tax revenues, approved by the legislature in March, as well as the annualized cost savings generated by the May 8 schedule changes along with other measures to increase revenues and reduce expenditures. Like many of its fellow agencies around California and the country, the SFMTA has had to pursue cost-saving measures such as these during the recession.

St. Francis Rail Replacement Project

In addition to the service changes, Muni service on the K Ingleside and the M Ocean View lines and the 17 Parkmerced and 23 Monterey routes will be affected by preliminary construction for the St. Francis Circle Rail Replacement Project on May 8 and May 9.

“We are grateful for the patience and cooperation of the community around the construction site. This project is a vital part of our Capital Improvement Program that is aimed at keeping vital infrastructure in a state of good repair,” said Ford. “I want to encourage those traveling through the West Portal area to stop and patronize the businesses there as they will be open throughout construction.”

Bus substitutions will be required on the K and M Lines between West Portal Station and BART/Muni Balboa Park Station and will serve all regular stops throughout the weekend.

Some stops in the construction area may be temporarily relocated. Customers traveling from downtown will need to take any outbound K or L train and transfer from rail to bus at West Portal Station. SFMTA staff, including Customer Service Ambassadors will be on hand at West Portal Station to assist customers with transferring between trains and buses.

Detailed bus routes and rail line information is available at or by calling 311. For planning and assistance in other languages, please call 311. Trip planning assistance for Muni and other transit system in the bay Area is available by calling 511, or online at

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