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The best and worst on-time performing Muni bus lines, ranked

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The wheels on the bus go round and round, but not as often as you’d like

Rows of buses in a Muni bus yard. Photo by Shalaco/Shutterstock

Last week Curbed SF examined SFMTA’s latest data dump about Muni light rail’s on-time performance—or rather, its lack thereof.

By comparison, Muni bus service is far more reliable than its trains. And yet, not a single bus line in the city is even close to Muni’s stated goal of an 85 percent on-time rating (a target that’s mandated by the city charter).

These figures represent performance for January of 2019. Note that, for Muni purposes, “on time” means no more than four minutes late and no more than one minute early.

The best performing bus line in the city: The 66 Quintara, which runs from Eighth Avenue to Vicente Street, which was on time 70 percent of the time in January and late just seven percent of the time. The 66 is also the only line to have never been deemed “very late” all month.

The worst line in SF: The 81 Express to Caltrain, which was on time an abysmal 35 percent of the time and late or very late 52 percent of the time, the only line in the city to break the 50 percent late barrier in January, all of which undermines the entire express concept.

From best to worse, here’s how all 63 active Muni bus lines performed last month. The first figure represents a line’s on-time rating, the second how often it was late or very late. (The question of whether early buses are better or worse than late ones is a judgment call and so did not factor into the rankings.)

  1. 66 Quintara: 70 percent/seven percent
  2. 88 BART Shuttle: 69 percent/21 percent
  3. 6-Haight/Parnassus: 65 percent/11 percent
  4. 25-Treasure Island: 65 percent/26 percent
  5. 41-Union: 64 percent/11 percent
  6. 5R-Fulton: 64 percent/17 percent
  7. 38AX-Geary: 64 percent/18 percent
  8. 30-Stockton: 63 percent/9 percent
  9. 38R-Geary: 63 percent/10 percent
  10. 30X-Marina: 63 percent/11 percent
  11. 21-Hayes: 63 percent/12 percent
  12. 67-Bernal Heights: 63 percent/12 percent
  13. 52-Excelsior: 63 percent/15 percent
  14. 39-Coit: 62 percent/9 percent
  15. 3-Jackson: 61 percent/17 percent
  16. 22-Filmore: 61 precent/13 percent
  17. 14R-Mission: 61 precent/14 percent
  18. 7-Haight/Noriega: 61 percent/18 percent
  19. 57-Parkmerced: 61 percent/20 percent
  20. 33-Ashbury: 60 percent/12 percent
  21. 18-46th Avenue: 60 percent/16 percent
  22. 1-California: 60 percent/19 percent
  23. 49-Mission/Van Ness: 59 percent/9 percent
  24. 24-Divisadero: 59 percent/12 percent
  25. 31-Balboa: 59 percent/16 percent
  26. 2-Clement: 59 percent/19 percent
  27. 47-Van Ness: 58 percent/15 percent
  28. 48-Quintara: 58 percent/22 percent
  29. 1AX-California: 58 percent/22 percent
  30. 35-Eureka: 58 percent/24 percent
  31. 5-Fulton: 57 percent/19 percent
  32. 37-Corbett: 57 percent/27 percent
  33. 83X-Mid Market: 57 percent/28 percent
  34. 12-Folsom: 56 percent/14 percent
  35. 54-Felton: 56 percent/17 percent
  36. 1BX-California: 56 percent/27 percent
  37. 31AX-Balboa: 56 percent/28 percent
  38. 55-16th Street: 56 percent/29 percent
  39. 14-Mission: 55 percent/18 percent
  40. 9-San Bruno: 55 percent/19 percent
  41. 56-Rutland: 55 percent/22/percent
  42. 31BX-Balboa: 55 percent/36 percent
  43. 28-19th Avenue: 54 percent/16 percent
  44. 43-Masonic: 54 percent/17 percent
  45. 44-O’Shaughnessy: 53 percent/20 percent
  46. 23-Monterey: 53 percent/24 percent
  47. 36-Teresita: 53 percent/25 percent
  48. 38X-Geary: 53 percent/30 percent
  49. 14X-Mission: 52 percent/16 percent
  50. 9R-San Bruno: 52 percent/29 percent
  51. 10-Townsend: 51 percent/15 percent
  52. 8-Bayshore: 50 percent/14 percent
  53. 38-Geary: 50 percent/16 percent
  54. 28R-19th Avenue: 49 percent/six percent.
  55. 29-Sunset: 49 percent/20 percent
  56. 76X-Marin: 48 percent/eight percent
  57. 19-Polk: 48 percent/20 percent
  58. 27-Bryant: 47 percent/25 percent
  59. 82X-Levi Plaza: 47 percent/27 percent
  60. 7X-Noriega: 47 percent/30 percent
  61. 8BX-Bayshore: 41 percent/19 percent
  62. 8AX-Bayshore: 41 percent/25 percent
  63. 81X-Caltrain: 35 percent/52 percent

Across all routes, Muni buses were on time 57 percent of the time in January, early 27 percent of the time, late for 12 percent of stops, and very late four percent.

The system’s overall on-time rating across buses and trains together was 55 percent. The city has not released data for the historic cable cars since January of 2018.