“Get ready for a big addition to our COVID-19 Core Service Network: Muni Metro rail is scheduled to return in August to coincide with more businesses reopening and the likely event of San Francisco schools welcoming teachers and students back into their classrooms,” writes Mariana Maguire for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (Muni) website.
The newly announced post-COVID plan for Muni looks a lot different than the pre-COVID days of public transit in San Francisco, according to Maguire.
Putting Metro rail back in service frees up buses currently in use for the L, M, N and T to serve additional routes and improve frequencies systemwide. A high-frequency shuttle in the subway would replace the Metro lines that we take out of the subway. Devoting the tunnels to the higher capacity routes would use the space in our subway much more efficiently. These changes will support more essential trips, physical distancing, and our city’s economic recovery.
San Francisco distinguished itself in its approach to public transit in the height of the city’s stay-at-home orders back in March and April by shutting down the subway in and focusing service on the busiest bus lines in the city. Maguire’s article reviews some of what the agency accomplished with that unprecedented decision to shut down subway service, and also provides more details about the changes coming to the system in August.