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Muni rail on-time rate up citywide—but still terrible overall

Light-rail service was more reliable citywide in February but still nowhere close to city goals

The side of a yellow Muni streetcar. Photo by Shintaro_cnx

The latest round of Muni performance data, released by the city this month, shows that SFMTA’s abysmally performing light-rail lines improved in February but still managed to be lousy.

Citywide, no Muni train was on-schedule more than 55 percent of the time. That’s up one percent from January, but still short of the city’s stated goals. And yet, every line improved over its previous month’s performance.

Here’s how Muni trains performed in February compared to January:

  • F-Market: On-time rating 55 percent. Late or very late 27 percent of the time. Last month it was 54/28.
  • L-Taraval: On-time rating 48 percent. Late or very late 39 percent of the time. Last month it was 44/44.
  • N-Judah: On-time rating 45 percent. Late or very late 45 percent of the time. Last month it was 43/49.
  • K/T-Ingleside/Third Street: On-time rating 41 percent. Late or very late 35 percent of the time. Last month it was 40/45.
  • J-Church: On-time rating 38 percent. Late or very late 51 percent of the time. Last month it was 34/56.
  • M-Ocean View: On-time rating 35 percent. Late or very late 54 percent of the time. Last month it was 32/57.
  • All Lines: On-time rating 46 percent. Late or very late 41 percent of the time. Last month it was 43/46.

No new data was release for the E-Embarcadero historic streetcar line. Last month, it was on-time for only 36 percent of stops. It was the second-worst performer following the M-Ocean View.

Muni’s light-rail service is consistently worse performing than bus lines. But despite the February improvements in train performance, Muni’s overall on-time rating with buses included was flat compared with January, still at 55 percent.

Note that in Muni parlance “on time” means no more than four minutes late or one minute early.

The city charter mandates an 85 percent on-time rating for Muni, but the city has failed to hit this target for decades.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) acting Director of Transit Julie Kirschbaum has promised both riders and City Hall that Muni service will improve in 2019.