"Akit is the man. He knows Clipper." (spenta)
"It’s a fantastic blog for any San Franciscan."
"Your blog is always on point, and well researched!" (Nina Decker)
"Everyone's favorite volunteer public policy consultant..." (Eve Batey, SF Appeal)
"You are doing a great job keeping on top of Translink stuff. Keep up the good work!"
(Greg Dewar, N Judah Chronicles)
"...I don't even bother subscribing anywhere else for my local public transportation info. You have it all..."
(Empowered Follower)
"If anyone at City Hall wants to make public transit better for all San Franciscans, it would be wise to follow Akit religiously...
or, better yet, give him a job."
(Brock Keeling, SFist)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

SF Muni Scales Back 74X CultureBus Service

San Francisco's Muni, home of the useless 74X CultureBus... a.k.a. the bus program that wastes tax dollars. Unfortunately our dreams have not come true and it has not been eliminated, but has been trimmed back in an effort to save money.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that the empty CultureBus will be reduced to hourly service, instead of every 20 minutes. The savings for Muni will be about $620,000 with the reduction in service; only two bus drivers will be assigned to the route, and three vehicles will be available (one is a backup vehicle).

But in my opinion, I believe that Muni can save EVEN MORE MONEY is by simply eliminating the CultureBus service and simply move the drivers and vehicles to other lines in the city that needs the demand. The 38 Geary and 38L Geary Limited are the most heavily used bus lines in the city, with an average speed of 8 (yes... eight) miles per hour. Extra vehicles and drivers can help reduce the crowds.

Muni's existing bus lines serve the stops that the CultureBus makes, and transferring to another bus line is not that bad. The 5-Fulton serves the heart of downtown (a short walk to Union Square where the CultureBus stop is), stops nearby the Academy of Sciences and the De Young Museum, and makes a stop at Civic Center plaza where the Asian Art Museum is located. And for people wanting to go to the Legion of Honor (a non-CultureBus stop), the 5-Fulton's terminal at Ocean Beach (La Playa and Cabrillo) is a transfer point for the 18-46th Avenue, and the 18 line also serves the zoo.

So SFMTA, what's the real point of the CultureBus? Taxpayer money to serve a "tour bus" route? The private tour bus agencies already offer a "hop-on, hop-off" bus service and serves more areas than the CultureBus, and while the cost of the private tour bus is more, it's offset by the more areas they visit, the fast service, and the open top double deck vehicles, perfect for photos. SFMTA/Muni is supposed to serve the residents and commuters to get to where they are going. We are not a dedicated tour bus agency, we are a public transit agency. Tourists are surely welcome to use Muni, but please understand that you share it with the local residents and commuters who need to get to work and home. The bus and trains will stop in obscure neighborhoods that you tourists may never visit, but at least it will eventually stop at your tourist attraction.

No comments: