SFMTA drastically cuts Muni service; 17 bus lines in operation

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is eliminatnating service on many of its bus lines in and around San Francisco, and adding service to a few lines that serve hospitals and "essential businesses" during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

All lines will be running Monday, albeit with fewer drivers to prepare the public for longer wait times. The reduced lines will go into effect over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday.

More specifically, Muni will cut service on roughly 70 routes, affecting nearly every line in the city. Five employees have tested positive for coronavirus. 

Muni says typical ridership is about 700,000 daily, but that's down to about 100,000. And though it's losing about $1 million a week, the service cuts are for safety reasons, not financial. Workers will still be paid.

Muni officials said the transit agency wants to prepare the public for increased wait times on Monday, with a  reduced number of operators.

"I never thought I would say this, but please please do not take Muni if you have another choice of how to get around," Muni director of transportatio Jeffrey Tumlin said. "You know right now is only for essential workers, and for essential trips. “

Muni officials said the cuts are coming primarily to "minimize risk to our staff and public, while also being able to provide for the most essential needs/services with the appropriate social distancing where our riders actually are."

Some routes that serve medical centers of concentrations of "essential" workplaces have seen added ridership in the past few weeks and those routes figure to be preserved or even bolstered.

The ability to preserve "social distancing" will also help determine whether a given route will continue operating, Kato said.

Muni had already ended most light rail service with the March 30 closure of its subway under Market Street. A few scattered bus route suspensions had already been announced, also. Cable car service on the F-Market and E-Embarcadero lines is also on hiatus. For more information, click here.