A little less Muni goes a long way

After experiencing success with reduced transit hours during the holidays, Muni may be eyeing other chances to reduce its schedule to save money.

Numbers show that ridership was historically low during the last week of December with nearly 40 percent fewer people using Muni than normal. During this week, Muni decided to run a reduced-service schedule including later start times and running buses less frequently before.

In turn, Muni saved more than $275,000. And as well all know, money talks, thus leading to Muni toy with the idea of repeating the reduced-service schedule when they can get away with it.

Director of Transit John Haley even suggested that downtown express service could have been cut down more, saving the agency more money as well.  Haley told the SF Examiner:

“From the results we’ve seen, there is clearly more opportunities for similar service modifications in the future.”

In an effort to keep the ball rolling, Muni is already looking into doing a reduced service in a week in March when many schools are on spring break, and then another week sometime in the summer.

Just because Muni’s saving money, though, doesn’t mean everybody’s happy. Riders complained about the reduced service, specifically those the lack of service in southeastern neighborhoods and along Mission Street and Polk Street, according to Ben Kaufman, a spokesman for the Transit Riders Union.

Kaufman urged Muni to find out the public’s needs before cutting service. Back in December when Muni ran its reduced-service, Kaufman told the Ex:

“There has been absolutely no communication about this plan to the riding public, many of whom will be working next week. This plan again highlights the problems with Muni — a lack of communication with its riders and a lack of funding for its transit service.”

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