Jeff Chiu / AP Image
As of Monday, March 30th, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will change their previous COVID-19 alterations.
Due do a rapid decline in ridership since shelter in place began on March 17th, SFMTA released a statement on Thursday announcing, “These service adjustments will help us focus resources on routes outside of the downtown area that are connecting people to essential jobs and services.”
The new alterations include shutting down all Muni Metro and light rail vehicles and replacing the routes with buses. Individuals can take bus substitutions for the J, KT, L, M, and N lines using the same bus stops as the early morning Metro bus service. Furthermore, Muni Metro subway stations will be closed, except for downtown stations which will remain open to customers taking BART during their operating hours.
In addition, “Muni Rapid routes – the 5R, 9R, 28R and 38 R – will also be discounted for the time being, except for the 14R Mission Rapid. Riders can instead use local services for all stops during all hours of service. The 5 Fulton and 9 San Bruno will begin running longer buses to help maintain social distancing for the health care providers, critical service workers and others who still rely on public transit to get around the city for essential needs.”
Starting Saturday, April 4, the 47 Van Ness will be temporarily discontinued on Saturdays and Sundays. The northern part of the 49 Van Ness route will be extended between North Point and Fisherman’s Wharf to cover the 47 segment on weekends.
The statement continued, “Closing the Muni Metro underground system will allow us to redirect custodial resources to other, higher-use facilities and minimizes risk to our station agents. Based on our ridership data and observations, we do not expect these changes to impact the ability of our riders and operators to maintain social distance. And while the rail system is closed to passengers, we plan on doing important maintenance work to our vehicles and infrastructure. It’s a unique opportunity to improve the state of good repair of our system and come out of this shutdown stronger than ever.”
In addition to closing services they will also be carefully watching the amount of people on buses. In a tweet you can see below, SFMTA explains their process to maintain social distancing guidelines.
HeadsUp: In order to maintain social distancing we’ll be monitoring vehicle passenger levels. If a vehicle reaches its recommended passenger threshold it will need to skip stops. We apologize in advance but this is a needed step to ensure the health & safety of all on board.
— SFMTA (@sfmta_muni) March 26, 2020