Thousands of Muni Riders face chaos under line change plan

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Tens of thousands of Muni cyclists could face chaotic changes to their route downtown.

New plans announced by Supervisor Gordon Mar on Tuesday indicate that once the L light rail line returns, SF transportation bosses plan to connect it to the K line, heading southeast.

It would also disrupt K’s Ingleside passengers trying to get to the city centre, as they would also be forced to transfer at West Portal and wait for a connection to the city centre.

As many as 33,000 inhabitants use Line L Taraval according to SFMTA data. Spring 2016 data was published from a public records request because the agency has not yet published updated information on ridership by service. According to 2016 data, another 42,000 passengers use the K service.

The agency’s plans were revealed by the Supervisor during The Standard’s District 4 election debate, when the incumbent was asked when light rail service on L Taraval to downtown would resume. The service has been modified and reduced since 2019 and is under construction.

“Once the L streetcar comes back, MTA management plans to stop it at West Portal and connect it to the K line and run it to City College,” Mar said. there has been no community awareness or opportunity for public participation in this plan. I have been emphasizing to MTA that we need to have a meaningful input process before they go ahead with this change.

Candidates Joel Engardio and District 4 City Supervisor Gordon Mar take questions from the crowd at the Irish Cultural Center on Wednesday, September 21. | Paul Kuroda for The Standard

“What are you going to do to get that bus line back?” Westside resident Paula Katz asked Mar during the debate. “And when the L train comes back in 2024, if we’re lucky, will you make sure it runs to the city center?”

Since construction on the Taraval Project she found herself having to change buses at West Portal, where she has to wait to get downtown.

Mar told him that a “positive announcement” would be made soon regarding the L Taraval service.

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SF Municipal Transportation Agency spokeswoman Erica Kato said the reason for combining lines – also known as interlining – is to limit the number of trains on the subway, reduce traffic congestion and shorten travel times. ‘waiting.

She also highlighted a pilot program in May, where J Church was removed from the underground and moved to surface only as a model of success.

“When J Church was only operating above ground… Muni Metro had the fastest, most reliable subway service the city has ever seen,” Kato said. She added that the L and K had been interlined before, but only for a short period of time.

“The goal now is to maintain these 2021 improvements…while carefully increasing the number of trains in the subway,” Kato said. “Delays and traffic jams are already building up.”

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