As It Turns 100, MUNI Showing Its Age

On the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency's (MUNI) centennial birthday, Zusha Elinson reports on the sad fact that service is slower than it was when it began 100 years ago.

Elinson traces the history of MUNI, which began in 1912 as a streetcar line, the A and B, which eventually ran from the ferries to the beach, and compares historic travel times for several routes compared to today and finds that, almost uniformly, they all have slowed.

Elinson turns to Peter Straus, a retired Muni service planner, to provide the reason for the somewhat depressing state of affairs, "Streetcars ruled the road, and there wasn't much getting in the way - no car traffic - and we didn't have all the traffic lights and stop signs," said Straus. "Back then it was basically ‘load and go,' " he added, "and there was nothing to slow them down."

Fret not, however, MUNI has plans to upend a century of slowing service on several lines. According to Elinson, "Officials at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency are preparing a plan to speed several routes, including the 30, the J and the N. This is scheduled to be done by removing stop signs, programming traffic signals so they stay green for buses, creating additional bus-only traffic lanes and removing some bus stops."

Full Story: After 100 Years, Muni Has Gotten Slower


Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.
Melissa and Doug Town Blocks Wooden Play Set

Block play meets role play

New! Town block set from Melissa and Doug Toys

Get the "Green Bible" of planning books

Understand the complexities of planning at the local level while preparing for the AICP* exam.