Data confirms what locals already know: San Francisco is a public transit town. According to data journalism site Five Thirty Eight, San Francisco, combined with neighboring Oakland, ranks second in average public transit trips (131.5) per person. New York City topped the list by a large margin at 229.8 trips per person, while Washington DC, with its new Metro Silver Line, ranked third at 99.6.
The San Francisco Municipal Railway has served the city and country of San Francisco since 1912. Serving about 680,000 riders per day (Q3 2014), MUNI ranks as the seventh largest transit system in the United States, and, as many locals can attest, one of the slowest.
That said, most local residents live within a few blocks of a MUNI stop, making it a convenient alternative to fighting traffic and trolling for parking. Its more reliable cousin, MUNI Metro, takes riders to the Castro, the Haight, Golden Gate Park, Ocean Beach, and AT&T Park, among other stops.
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) connects San Francisco to South San Francisco and the East Bay. It’s one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to travel to either the San Francisco or Oakland International Airport. And for the most part, it’s quick and on-time.
MUNI, BART, and the East Bay’s AC Transit allow bikes. Most BART stations have either bike racks or bike lockers, and four stations have manned bike stations.
To save gas and CO2 emissions, consider these public transit options for your next trip. Better yet, put yourself on a mileage diet: can you drive 1,000 miles less this year? Can you bike or BART+bike to work once or twice a week? Challenge yourself to keep your car off the road a little bit less for 2016.
SuperBowl Street Closures
SuperBowl Sunday is a great time to put this plan in action. Beginning January 23, San Francisco will have traffic detours and MUNI reroutes in effect to allow for construction of the fan village near Justin Herman Plaza. The detours and reroutes will remain in effect through February 7.
For your next SF or East Bay commute, bring a magazine and take advantage of the Bay Area’s extensive public transit system.
Photo courtesy of Paul Sullivan, Flickr