San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA)

Muni to Become First Transit System in U.S. to Implement All-door Boarding Systemwide

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all transportation in the city, including the Municipal Railway (Muni), reminds Muni customers that all-door boarding on Muni’s buses and historic streetcars will go into effect next week.

Muni customers with valid proof of payment will be able to board at any door. All-door boarding is expected to reduce travel times, increase reliability and potentially provide more space for customers throughout the vehicle, making the ride more comfortable. It will also leave more room at the front for those customers who are paying with cash and those with valid proof of payment who need to use the wheelchair lift or the bus kneeling feature.

Muni will be the first transit system in the nation to offer all-door boarding on all buses and rail vehicles.

“This is an innovative approach to improving the rider experience on our buses and historic streetcars,” said Mayor Lee. “A fast and reliable transit system will not only provide better service to current customers, but also attract new ones.”

“As a Transit First city, San Francisco relies on Muni to keep the streets moving,” said Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, who sponsored the legislation finalizing the adoption of all-door boarding into the city’s transportation code. “We should be trying every approach to ensure that it meets the needs of our residents and visitors.”

Currently Muni customers are required to board through the front door of any Muni bus or historic streetcar. All-door boarding has been the policy for several years on Muni’s Metro light rail lines; it will now be expanded to Muni buses and historic streetcars.

“The SFMTA continues to look for ways to make Muni faster and more reliable,” said Tom Nolan, chairman of the SFMTA board of directors. “By opening up all-door boarding on Muni’s buses and historic streetcars, we can help Muni customers have a more reliable and enjoyable trip.”

Rear-door boarding will be reserved for customers with valid Proof of Payment. Customers paying with cash, tokens or youth tickets must board through the front door of buses and streetcars and the front door of the first car on Muni Metro trains at street level stops. Customers with valid Proof of Payment who require the use of wheelchair lifts or the bus kneeling feature should also continue to use the front door.

Valid forms of Proof of Payment are:
• Clipper Card — Upon entering the vehicle, customers must tap their cards on the card readers. Cards must have sufficient cash value, a valid pass or a valid transfer.
• Limited Use Ticket — Limited Use Tickets are sold at ticket vending machines in Muni Metro subway stations. Customers active these tickets by tapping them at the Muni Metro faregates or on a Muni vehicle. The ticket must have a valid ride or transfer.
• Paper Pass — Acceptable paper passes include Lifeline Passes, Discount Passes (for youths, seniors and customers with disabilities), Visitor Passports, Cable Car Day Passes and CityPass booklets.
• Transfer/Fare Receipt — A Transfer/Fare Receipt is valid for 90 minutes of travel after issuance. Customers may ride any bus, streetcar or Muni Metro train as long as they complete their trip within the time indicated on the Transfer/Fare Receipt.

For customer safety, the SFMTA asks all Muni customers to please allow other customers to exit the vehicle before boarding, to stay away from the rear doors behind the yellow line while the vehicle is between stops and to not attempt to board when the doors are closing.

“The improvements we expect to realize from all-door boarding will require a small adjustment on the part of customers, and our Operators will need their cooperation to ensure that everyone boards safely,” said Edward D. Reiskin, SFMTA director of Transportation. “Muni carries nearly the population of the city every day. By keeping our transit moving, we can keep our streets less congested, reduce harmful emissions and improve our quality of life.”

On average, more than 65 customers board Muni buses per hour, which along with New York City is the highest in the country. Heavy passenger volume at many of Muni stops increases the time spent at stops. All-door boarding is expected to reduce this time. Even small savings at each stop can increase the over-all time savings over an entire route, helping Muni stay on schedule and giving customers a faster trip.

In addition to reduced travel times and increased reliability, all-door boarding will clarify Muni’s boarding policy. Although Muni has prohibited rear-door boarding on buses and streetcars in the past, customers have been unofficially boarding through rear doors for many years.

Although Muni Operators have an important role in monitoring fares, in addition to the safe operation of the vehicle and assisting customers, Muni Transit Fare Inspectors have the primary responsibility of enforcing fares. To assist with the transition to all-door boarding, the SFMTA is hiring 10 additional Fare Inspectors. They, along with their colleagues, will be deployed throughout the system and make random checks.

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