Friday, August 10, 2012

SFMTA issues statement regarding use of switchbacks

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board Chairman Tom Nolan and Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin issued a statement on the San Francisco Civil Grand Jury Report, "Better Muni Service Needed, Without Switchbacks."

Nolan stated, "Managing a public transportation system in a city such as San Francisco is quite challenging and requires staff to balance multiple and competing needs. When I joined the board, I had an extensive background with several transit agencies, yet it still took time for me to recognize all of the nuances that go into managing this unique system. The Civil Grand Jury report recommendations and findings reveal how tough it is to get a good understanding of the system. This lack of understanding has unfortunately resulted in a report that is superficial at best."

Reiskin said, "The notion that we should run every bus and every train to the end of the line on every run is not a good practice, let alone a best practice. Switchbacks are one of many techniques routinely used by Muni and its peer transit systems across the U.S. in order to provide and restore reliable, scheduled service. The more important conversation to have is how do we improve Muni service overall. We are working aggressively to reduce the need for unscheduled switchbacks and further lessen their impact so that we minimize any inconvenience to our customers. This effort includes an aggressive overhaul program to improve the reliability and extend the life of our light rail vehicles, part of a larger emphasis on maintenance in the current two-year budget."

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