Muni riders who gave up on the 5-Fulton because of reliability and crowding issues may want to hop on board again starting next month.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board approved Tuesday a year-long 5-Fulton limited pilot project, which is suppose to speed up travel time and relieve crowding on the bus line.
The 5-Fulton, which runs on Muni’s electronic trolley buses, has an average daily ridership of 19,500, an on-time performance of 63 percent and a total of 96 bus stops, according to the transit agency.
Last month, 20 percent of 5-Fulton trips were over capacity during peak periods, as were 10 percent of mid-day trips.
The 5-Fulton runs from LaPlaya and Cabrillo streets in the Richmond District t0 Howard and Main streets downtown. The trip takes approximately 50 minutes each way.
How the new limited service will work
Service on the 5L-Fulton is scheduled to begin Nov. 1.
From Cabrillo and La Playa streets, the 5L-Fulton will make all stops until Fulton Street and Sixth Avenue.
From there, the 5L-Fulton will only make stops at Arguello Boulevard, Shrader Street, Masonic Avenue, Divisadero Street, Fillmore Street and Van Ness Avenue.
After Van Ness Avenue, the 5L will then resume making local stops until the end of the line at Howard and Main streets.
Muni will supplement the limited service with motor coaches at Fulton and Sixth Avenue for Muni riders who do not want to continue on the 5L-Fulton.
Riders will need to transfer at that stop to a motor coach in order to access local stops between Fulton Street and Sixth Avenue and McAllister Street and Van Ness Avenue.
Muni officials said that Muni riders will save about 15 percent in travel time between the limited stop service area between Fulton Street and Sixth Avenue and McAllister Street and Van Ness Avenue.
The approved pilot also includes the removal of 18 bus stops, which Muni said will affect about 9 percent riders.
Other improvements in the pilot include 23 bus zone extensions so that buses can fit into the bus stop while the 5L-Fulton passes, moving eight bus stops to the far side after the traffic lights, and adding three right turn pockets.
The pilot will also including widening traffic lanes on Fulton between Stanyan and Central to provide more room for buses, which tend to take up two of the current narrow traffic lanes.
The pilot is a part of Muni’s blueprint in overhauling the system known as the Transit Effectiveness Project. The project is focused on improving service on Muni’s major corridors.