Come Check Out Your Muni Line’s On-Time Performance

Thursday April 27, 2017

For the second day in a row, Bean and I just had to find alternate means to get home from school, when our usual Muni Metro line showed a 45 minute wait time.


I’ve been sensing for a while now that our line’s performance has tanked. Of course, that also seems like a subjective analysis that’s proportional to how much it screwed up my particular commute on that particular day.

If only there was a way to obtain real world data to support what we’re seeing on the ground.

Happily, Muni has made all of this information available to the public as part of its Transit Performance Improvement Objective, through an interactive tool on its website.

Using a drop down menu, you can check out your line’s on-time performance, or you can check all buses or all metro lines’ on-time performance.

Here is our line’s performance chart:

(Red is very late, pink is late, blue is early, green is on-time)

Our line’s performance really HAS tanked since we started taking transit to school every day. As of March 2017, it was on-time only 36% of the time; a year ago that figure was 53%. Meanwhile, it’s been considered “very late” 25% of the time, and late 28% of the time, more than doubling its late performance since last March. Why, Muni, why??

The interactive tool is kind of addictive to play around with.

It turns out Muni buses have MUCH better on-time performance than the Muni streetcars, and are rarely very late. Who would have thought that?




Not surprisingly, cable cars are the worst performers:

Given the large chunk of blue (early) and red/pink (late), I think this chart just shows that cable cars travel completely randomly.

SFMTA’s goal is to achieve a system-wide on-time performance of 85%, a goal that is inscribed in the City Charter. I believe these publicly accessible charts are meant to hold the MTA’s feet to the fire, but given that service has actually gotten poorer over the past year, I’m not sure it’s working.

At a time when our population is surging and traffic is getting worse, you would hope that Muni would offer itself up as a handy transit service to coax people out of cars and Ubers and lessen the burden on our roadways. The entire city would benefit. But, alas, that doesn’t seem to be happening. Quite the opposite, unfortunately.

How is your Muni line doing? Have you also noticed the quality of service going downhill?

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