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About Transit

Muni's Mission

Working together effectively, we serve our community. We provide safe, reliable, clean, accessible, and convenient transportation to any destination in the City. We are dedicated to creating the most satisfying experience possible for our employees and our customers.

By placing people first, Muni strives to offer the maximum opportunity for employees to contribute their best and achieve career growth. We are building a model urban transit organization, internationally recognized for excellence.

We treat each other with respect; develop trust; encourage mutual understanding; and value our diversity. We promote accountability and take pride in our work.

Above all, we are committed to living this Mission daily in our relationships with each other and everyone in our comMUNIty.

A brief look at the San Francisco Muni

The San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni) is the seventh-largest public transit system in the United States, as measured by number of customer boardings. Muni has approximately 700,000 boardings on an average weekday. Its fleet of about 1,000 vehicles, over half of which are electric, consists of subway-surface light-rail vehicles (Metro streetcars), electric trolley buses, diesel buses, the world-famous cable cars, the only ones in the world still operating, and a unique collection of historic streetcars. The first publicly owned streetcar system in a major city in the U.S., Muni has been taking the people of San Francisco where they want to go since 1912.

The History of Muni

Transit service in San Francisco started in 1851, and was provided by privately owned companies throughout the 19th century. Based on the public’s dissatisfaction with the management of the city's transit systems and other public utilities, the city charter of 1900 called for the public ownership of all public utilities in the city.

In 1902, a company called the United Railroads of San Francisco took over operation of most of the city's transit services. That company's disregard for the public welfare, corruption of city officials, and callous labor practices angered the voters so much that they approved bond issues for a municipal streetcar line in December 1909. The Municipal Railway (Muni) started service on Geary Street on December 28, 1912.

View detailed information about the first days of the Municipal Railway.

Although Muni expanded service, the United Railroads remained much larger. That company was renamed the Market Street Railway in 1921 and was acquired by the city in 1944. Included in the acquisition were the company's two remaining cable car lines. After World War II, most of the combined system's streetcar lines were converted to bus service, with much of the new service provided by electric trolley buses. The last privately owned transit system in the city, the California Street Cable Railroad, which operated three cable car lines, was purchased by the city in 1952. The cable car system was cut back, with the present-day three-line system beginning operations in December 1957.

From 1979 to 1988, major changes for bus routes were implemented, converting a mostly radial system--to and from downtown--into a modified grid system for better service in the city and better regional transit connections. Also, improvements were made to Muni's five remaining streetcar lines (now called Muni Metro) when new streetcars (light-rail vehicles) were acquired and service began in the Market Street Subway in 1980-82. The cable car system underwent a major rehabilitation in 1982-84.

The F Market historic streetcar line began running on Market Street in September 1995. An extension of the F line on The Embarcadero to Fisherman's Wharf began service on March 4, 2000. For the Metro subway, a new turnback was put into service east of the Embarcadero Station in 1998, and an Advanced Train Control System (ATCS) is being installed. Also since 1998, there has been a Metro extension on The Embarcadero and King Street, serving the new Pacific Bell Ballpark at 2nd Street and the Caltrain depot at 4th Street. A further extension of that line serves the Mission Bay development, as well as providing the connection to the light rail line on 3rd Street, in the Bayshore Corridor. A major vehicle acquisition program is under way, including the purchase of new diesel buses, trolley buses, and Metro cars.

Additional Muni history:

History of the Cable Car Bell-Ringing Competition

Muni "Trivia"

The steepest grades of Muni routes are:

  • Bus - 23.1% for 67-Bernal Heights on Alabama between Ripley and Esmeralda.
  • Trolley Bus - 22.8% for 24-Divisadero on Noe between 26th and Cesar Chavez
  • Cable Car - 21% for Powell-Hyde line on Hyde between Bay and Francisco.
  • Streetcar - 9% for J-Church on private right-of-way in Dolores Park.

The length of various Muni routes are:

  • The longest route is the 91-Owl at 24.1 miles one way.
  • The longest daytime route is the 29-Sunset at 17.4 miles.
  • The longest trolley bus route is the 14-Mission at 7.8 miles.
  • The longest cable car route is the Powell-Hyde at 2.1 miles.
  • The longest streetcar line is the M-Oceanview at 9.0 miles.
  • The shortest route is the 89-Laguna Honda at 0.6 miles.

About Bike

Bike's Mission

The San Francisco Bicycle Program, part of the Municipal Transportation Agency Planning Division, is dedicated to providing objective and professional service to improve and enhance bicycling as a safe, viable transportation option. We do this through planning, engineering and implementing bicycle facilities, and educating the community and agencies about bicycle transportation.

Bike's Vision

To make San Francisco the North American city with the highest per-capita bicycle use and to have a continually improving bicycle network that is safe and convenient for everyone who chooses to bicycle for transportation and recreation.

About Parking and Traffic

DPT's Service Mission

The Department of Parking and Traffic is an agency dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for the residents of San Francisco by encouraging the efficient movement of people and goods throughout the City. We are a customer-service organization working to improve traffic safety, management and awareness while supporting public transit and offering parking opportunities in our neighborhoods.

Transportation Fact Sheet

2011 Transportation fact sheet, PDF

PDF help

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