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Release date: 9/2/10

*** Press Release ***

Task Force of City Officials to Develop Plan to Fully Restore Service by End of Year

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which operates the Municipal Railway (Muni), today unveiled the work at the St. Francis Circle Rail Replacement Project, which will be completed by September 4. Upon completion of the project, Muni rail service on both the K Ingleside and the M Ocean View lines will be fully restored to preconstruction service levels. In conjunction with the completion of the project, the SFMTA will restore 61 percent of the Muni service reductions implemented systemwide in May this weekend.

“Despite more than $220 million in State transit cuts and a lingering recession, the SFMTA deserves great credit for restoring 61 percent of service by operating more efficiently and effectively," said Mayor Gavin Newsom. "But we must continue to devote all our efforts—SFMTA managers, staff and drivers alike—to restoring 100 percent of service cuts by the end of this year to provide the robust, reliable and well-maintained transit system that riders deserve.”

“We are grateful for the patience and cooperation of the communities around St. Francis Circle and along the affected rail lines. We also appreciate the strong support of their supervisors, John Avalos, Carmen Chu and Sean Elsbernd,” said Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., SFMTA Executive Director/CEO. “I especially want to thank the merchants of West Portal and encourage all those in the area to stop and patronize the businesses there.”

The St. Francis Circle Rail Replacement Project included rebuilding two low-level boarding islands and two platforms for customers with disabilities and installing 3,000 track feet of rail, two automatic rail switches and a fully integrated train and traffic signal control system as well as updating the storm sewer system. The project also improved the intersection for pedestrians and bicyclists making it easier for both to cross by providing shorter distances for pedestrians and making bicycle crossings perpendicular to the rail, which is safer.

The funding for this $25.9 million project was provided by the Federal Transit Administration, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) through a grant of Proposition K Local Transportation Sales Tax Funds.

During the eight months prior to the start of construction, SFMTA community outreach staff held or participated in 14 community meetings, made at least six rounds of telephone and e-mail updates to community organizations and sent 7,000 direct mail notifications to the community. In addition, staff walked through the surrounding communities to alert neighbors and local merchants about the construction and Muni service changes. The SFMTA also produced “Open for Business” signs for merchants and posted them on Muni vehicles. A dedicated Web page and e-mail address were established to keep customers updated and to provide a direct line of contact to the project manager. Project information was provided in English, Chinese and Spanish and assistance in other languages was available via 311.

September 4 Service Restoration

The implementation of the Muni service restoration changes is scheduled to coincide with the completion of the St. Francis Circle Project on Saturday. Similar to previous service changes, SFMTA staff is conducting a broad multilingual public information effort to inform customers about the changes. Reminders have been posted on Muni vehicles as well as at stops and in stations. Customers will see Muni Service Ambassadors Aug. 31 through Sept. 3 and Sept. 7 through 10 at major transfer points like Muni Metro stations to provide information regarding service restoration. The information is also being disseminated to San Francisco public libraries, City College and neighborhood and merchant associations.

The restoration of 61 percent of the service reductions is made possible using funds generated from increased SFMTA operating efficiencies with additional one-time funding from the SFCTA and the MTC and were developed using 311 customer feedback along with data and technical analysis conducted during the Transit Effectiveness Project.

Immediate customer benefits from the service restoration include:

  • Restoration of Owl service every 30 minutes
  • Restoration of night end times for all community routes and many local and rapid routes
  • Additional capacity on 13 weekday and three weekend routes
  • Restoration of evening frequency on nine routes

The SFMTA will work with Mayor Newsom, Supervisors David Chiu and Ross Mirkarimi and the Controller’s Office to craft a plan by December 1 to fully restore the Muni service reductions implemented systemwide in May.

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