We need Muni to be a reliable public transportation that will get us to our destination on time. If Muni cannot comply with that, then people will not ride Muni anymore. Muni tries to improve accuracy by installing GPS systems into the buses so that we can track when the bus will come. I find that being able to track when the bus will come is a good improvement, but sometimes it lacks accuracy.
For example, I was waiting for an outbound 27 bus, and the LCD display at the bus stop displayed that the bus will arrive after 9 minutes. And so I waited, but after 10 minutes, the display still read 8 minutes. After another 5 minutes, the bus finally came.
LCD Display of Next Muni to Arrive
Sometimes unexpected things come up, and I have experienced it. One day, very recently, an old man sitting in the front of the bus was a little bit unconscious because of the heat. He needed medical attention immediately, and so the bus stopped at 24th and Mission. The driver told us that we all had to get off and had to wait for the next bus that comes in 15 minutes.
The ambulance came shortly after the driver talked to the operator and the passengers rode the next bus. Of course, the bus was more cramped than usual, and people waiting at other stops also had to wait twice the time of the usual wait.
These incidents happen more than once, and it is hard to avoid. In 1999, San Francisco residents passed a ballot to make Muni to be on-time for 85% overall (The Bay Citizen). In August 2012, however, the accuracy of Muni dropped to 57.2% (SF Examiner).
So how exactly can I get to school on time with Muni coming late almost half of the time? What is causing Muni to be late?
Buses come late mainly because Muni is short of drivers, operators, and need newer buses that don’t break down.
It’d be easy to fix all of these problems, such as hiring more operators and training new drivers.
A New Driver in Training
However, these all cost huge amounts of money, and over all these years, Muni had several cutbacks on funding. We should be considerate about their current budget. But even though they had their budget cut, they still bought new buses that will go into use a little later (See my blog: New Buses, Old Buses).
With the new buses, I’m sure that there will be less incidents of having to fix buses, therefore improving their timeliness. More buses will be on the streets to carry passengers around San Francisco.
Do you have some comments about the accuracy of Muni? Comment below!