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Standing Room Only? Muni’s Experiment With Fewer Seats Begins With N Line

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A N Judah streetcar enters the San Francisco Muni Metro system at the Sunset Tunnel eastern portal next to Duboce Park. (Christopher Beland)

An N-Judah streetcar enters the San Francisco Muni Metro system at the tunnel by Duboce Park. (Christopher Beland)

HollyQuan20100908_KCBS_0017r Holly Quan
Holly was born and raised in Oakland and she graduated from San...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— San Francisco Muni is experimenting with offering fewer seats and more standing room on its fleet of vehicles. The idea is to get riders on and off the trains faster.

One of those N line cars is being put into service on Monday with about 20 less seats. San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Transit Director, John Haley, said they’ll be gauging rider reaction during peak hours and to see if by taking seats out if they their goals of speeding up service can be accomplished.

Standing Room Only? Muni’s Experiment With Fewer Seats Begins With N Line

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“One of the things that holds us back is what the transit planners call dwell time, the amount of time its takes people to get on and off at stops. This is a pilot. We agreed to do one car and we retrofitted the cost,” Haley said. He added that the pilot would continue, with Muni’s M line.

New grips will be added where you used to see side-by-side seats. Haley called it a “dramatic” difference with noticeably more open space. The transportation agency said they’re soliciting feedback on the re-configuration and are getting ready to put out a bid for a brand new fleet of cars for an anticipated expansion.

This experiment will help drive the recommendation on what that new generation of trains will look like.

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