4607992959_cc5d38afa4.jpgTo watch packed buses fly by you as you wait for the Muni has become a common experience that incites rage and resignation in many San Franciscans. Almost two months ago, in order to save an estimated $28 million per year, Muni, a transportation system already worn thin, slashed services by 10 percent. On Tuesday, city officials announced plans to bring back half the reductions on September 4. The goal is to fully restore all the hours that have been cut by mid-2012. Update 4:23: This afternoon, Muni released specifics on what lines and service would be restored, see below details.

Is this too good to be true? The plan is dependent upon the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, governed by the Board of Supervisors, releasing $7 million in funding. The supervisors said that they would make this money available as long as it’s used to restore services. So, it looks like everyone is on the same page now.

The exact details regarding the first round of restorations have not been released. However, SFMTA chief Nathaniel Ford told the Chron that community routes and major lines that have become overcrowded are on the priority list. He also expects the late-night Owl service will go back to running every 30 minutes instead of 45. Update 423: as we published, Muni sent details of the planned restoration, see the memo here. They are:

Restore Owl Service to Every 30 Minutes System Wide
L Owl
N Owl
22 Fillmore Owl
90 San Bruno Owl
91 Owl

Restore End Times for Community Routes
17 Parkmerced
35 Eureka
36 Teresita
37 Corbett
39 Coit (weekends only)
52 Excelsior
66 Quintara
67 Bernal Heights

Restore End Times for Local and Rapid Routes
F Market/Wharves
5 Fulton
9 San Bruno
19 Polk*
21 Hayes*
27 Bryant*
28 19th Avenue
29 Sunset*
43 Masonic
44 O’Shaughnessy*
54 Felton*

Add Capacity to Reduce Weekday Crowding
F Market/Wharves (midday and pm peak)
1 California (midday and pm peak)
5 Fulton (all day)
8X/AX/BX Bayshore Expresses (all day, including weekends)
14L Mission Limited (all day)

Add Capacity to Reduce Weekday Crowding
18 46th Avenue (midday)
24 Divisadero (all day)
33 Stanyan (am/pm peak and midday)
35 Eureka (pm peak)
37 Corbett (am peak)
43 Masonic (midday)
44 O’Shaughnessy (midday and pm peak)*
52 Excelsior (pm peak)
Rail System (all day)

Restore Service Frequency at Night
5 Fulton
8X Bayshore Express
9 San Bruno
14 Mission
22 Fillmore
28 19th Avenue
31 Balboa
44 O’Shaughnessy*
49 Van Ness/Mission

Add Capacity to Reduce Weekend Crowding
8X/AX/BX Bayshore Expresses
30 Stockton
45 Union/Stockton

*Note: These changes are contingent upon the awarding of a Lifeline Grant from
the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

Since the plan relies on one-time funding sources this quick fix would only last until July 1, 2010. Ford says additional funding will be sought out to sustain the restorations.

Mayor Gavin Newsom and the SFMTA had hoped to restore service reductions by convincing the union that represents Muni operators to make labor concessions. That deal was rejected earlier this month.

Interestingly, there is a little drama over who is to thank for this. Newsom claims his staff and Muni management devised the funding strategy. The Supervisors claim that it only happened because they placed conditions on the release of necessary funding. Elected officials, I say, just keep doing your job and make these restorations happen.

Photo of overcrowded N Owl taken May 15, 2010 at 2:20 AM (after a 50 minute wait, but who’s counting? Oh yeah, Eve was.)

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