Painted transit-only lanes, more travel-prediction signs and changes to traffic signals to prioritize trains are part of a series of improvements planned for Muni’s N-Judah line.
With 12.8 million passengers annually, the N-Judah is the transit agency’s busiest light-rail line, but it frequently gets bogged down in automobile traffic while making the long journey between downtown and Ocean Beach in the Sunset district.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which operates Muni, plans to embark on a $5.8 million project to improve the line. A major part of that project is coloring in the Judah Street transit-only lane that the train travels on between 19th Avenue and La Playa Street. According the agency, painting the lane reduces conflicts between cars and trains.
The funds also will help pay for new transit shelters and digital travel prediction displays. Currently, less than half of the 51 stops along the route have shelters, and five of those stops don’t display any information about arriving trains.
Additional improvements will come from changing the signal timing of traffic lights to give clear priority to Muni and making stops along the line more visible to attract additional customers.
Together, the upgrades are expected to speed up service on the N-Judah, even though ridership on the line is expected to grow by more than 11 percent over the next several years.
“The Customer First Project on the N-Judah is about delivering cost-effective improvements quickly that will make train service more convenient and reliable,” said Muni chief Ed Reiskin.
All improvements are currently scheduled to be implemented by June 2014. Funding for the project is expected to come from local transportation tax dollars and regional grants.