Muni service increases take effect this weekend

Several service changes are on its way on more than a dozen Muni routes starting Saturday.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency said that the new service changes will help improve Muni service and reliability for riders. Muni currently has a 54 percent on-time performance rating, well below the 85 percent city-mandated goal.

One of the biggest changes happening this Saturday is the official launch of the transit agency’s new 55-16th Street bus line. The SFMTA had already begun testing the new route earlier this week.

The new route, which begins on 16th and Mission streets, will make local stops at all 22-Fillmore stops on 16th Street east of Mission Street while making new stops along 16th at Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Missouri and Fourth streets.

The final stop will be near the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and Mission Bay Campus. The launch of the 55 line comes just in time of the grand opening of the children’s hospital, which opens Sunday.

Service on the 55 will run every 15 minutes during the day on weekdays and every 20 minutes during the evening and weekends.

The 55 line is a temporary route until the transit agency completes it work to realign the 22-Fillmore, which requires extending the overhead wires into Mission Bay.

There are some other new service changes that the transit agency said will benefit riders.

Service on the 44-O’Shaughnessy is increasing to run every 7.5 minutes instead of 10 minutes on weekday peak morning hours and every 8 minutes during the peak weekday evening commute starting Feb. 2.

The transit agency also said it is adjusting schedules on the 9-San Bruno, 9L-San Bruno,14 Mission, 19-Polk, 24-Divisadero, 33-Stanyan, 35-Eureka, 52-Excelsior and 56-Rutland to improve service.

Riders should also take note that terminals on the 38-Geary shortline (moving from Anza at 32nd Avenue to Geary at 32nd Avenue) and 44-O’Shaughnessy (eastern terminal is moving from Third and Evans streets to Hudson and Third streets) are moving to provide better access of restrooms for operators.

The service changes is part of a first round of service increases the SFMTA’s Board of Directors approved last year and this month.

Many of the changes taking effect Saturday have come out of the Muni Forward project, previously known as Transit Effectiveness Project, which lays out a plan to improve service and reliability on most Muni routes.