Several years of funding cuts by both the city and state have taken their toll on transit in California. Most agencies have been forced to raise fares and cut service to cope. Here in San Francisco, Muni riders have suffered from fare increases and two rounds of service reductions in just the last year. Most recently service was cut by 10% in May, including an early shutdown of community service routes that provide essential connections from major transit corridors to smaller neighborhoods.
Things are beginning to look up though.
Additional funding, grants and unexpectedly strong revenues over the last few months are allowing the SFMTA to move up plans to restore about 5% of service this fall instead of next summer. The planned changes would restore late night community service and some owl lines to every 30 minute as well as increased peak hour and midday service for highly crowded lines.
Blackpool, England “boat tram” would become a daily sight in the Castro under SFMTA service improvement plan. Jamison Wieser photo.
For the F-Market & Wharves historic streetcar line this will mean both service an hour later (until 12:15 instead of 11:15) and midday crowding will be address by extending three Embarcadero Shuttle runs to full F-line runs all the way up Market Street to Castro.
This is especially exciting news because the shuttle runs between the Ferry Building and Wharves operate with the one-of-a-kind vintage streetcars (such as the open-top Blackpool boat tram and New Orleans Desire trolley) which seldom run to Castro.