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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Land Use Committee Meeting re T-Third Turnaround

Land Use Committee Meeting
Re: T-Third Service Upgrades and Short-Loop Service
July 7, 2014 from 1pm to 2pm
City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
Likely in Room 263, but this needs to be confirmed

As has been planned since the T-Third was conceived, SFMTA is planning to create a turnaround loop at 18th, Illinois, and 19th streets.  This loop will be used to allow for the addition of a short-loop shuttle-like service, similar to the Castro Shuttle, that would integrate with existing service and run from Chinatown to the loop at the north end of Dogpatch.

While this new 7-8 minute headway, short-loop service will not bring passengers into the heart of Dogpatch, the existing long-line service that will continue to operate as it does today, but with an improved service goal of 9-minutes between trains, will bring people to where they need to go.  Most importantly, it will STOP random, unscheduled switchbacks resulting from  the need for a train in the heart of the city during rush hour.  Instead, we'll have scheduled, predictable service that will allow passengers to reliably (within the bounds of MUNI, of course) know where the train they're on is heading.

This turnaround has been discussed at a series of community events and its benefits explained quite well by SFMTA.  The turn-around at 18th and 19th St will make the T more flexible, allowing for disabled trains to be taken off the main track if necessary.  It also allows for implementation of a possible "E" line of historic trolley cars (similar to the F).

Funding is in place for construction of the loop, which has been part of the T-line's design since the outset.  Tracks are already in-place on 18th and 19th, and only need to be connected to one another along Illinois.  The turnaround will allow for improved service sooner rather than later.  That there is money for it means we'll get that improved service in our lifetime.

Finishing this phase of the T-Third does not preclude putting a turnaround farther down the line if it is deemed one is necessary.  However, killing the loop means that we are left with the status quo, trains that make unscheduled switchbacks, stranding passengers.  If you want that, then oppose the turnaround.

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