SamTrans Service Changes Begin Jan. 13

SamTrans will change 19 bus routes in an effort to improve on-time performance.


Beginning Sunday, Jan. 13, SamTrans will change 19 bus routes in an effort to improve on-time performance and better serve customers, agency officials said this week.

SamTrans reviews and adjusts its schedules three times a year to respond to changes in traffic patterns and customer demand. 

Students and parents are advised to review the new timetables before heading back to school as many of the changes impact service to schools.

Adjustments will be made to the following routes:

  • Coastside: Routes 14, 17, 110 and 118
  • North County: Routes 24, 36, 38 and 133
  • Central County: Routes 43, 54, 140 and 141
  • South County: Routes 85 and 260
  • Multi-city: Routes 292, 295, 296, 297 and ECR

On Route 17, the bus stop at the Half Moon Bay Community Center will be eliminated due to low ridership. Major adjustments will be made to weekday service in the northbound direction before noon and in the southbound direction after noon. Changes also will be made to southbound weekend service in Montara.

On Route 140, major service adjustments will be made to all schedules to improve on-time performance, connections with BART and transfers at Pacific Manor to Routes 110, 112 and 118.

The new timetables are posted on the SamTrans website at www.samtrans.com/upcomingchanges.

An overview of the service changes also is available in the SamTrans Rider’s Digest, which can be found on the website, at the bottom of the page listing the new timetables.

Jeffrey Tong January 07, 2013 at 11:05 PM
SamTrans is horribly mismanaged. My gut feeling is El Camino Real (ECR) is the CORE route. So SamTrans should ONLY operate big El Camino Real buses on the core route - period! Then relinquish all other routes to local cities. Each city should have their own fleets of little battery or LPG powered buses that just go up and down the hills, and feed into the ECR route.
Mark Taylor January 08, 2013 at 12:27 AM
The 390/391 and 120 have the most passengers and make the most money. All the others fall under the threshold of fiscal efficiency. The 140 generates about 1,000 passengers on weekdays (but that can be higher when Skyline College is open). The 390/391 will be combined into the ECR in August, 2013 terminating at Daly City BART (no S.F service). They found most got off there to board BART into San Francisco (lower BART trip). Community busing is an option but cities will be reluctant. SamTrans is pushed on side by the pro-transit growth crowd and on the other by fiscal limits. The pro-transit people believe money is not a real problem, just a matter of getting it done (taxes, fees, government subsidies etc). And so far, they are running the show but fiscal realities mean more cuts are coming down the line. Simply put, even the most efficient run transit systems cannot sustain themselves if the very transit they provide is not being used by the citizens. So SamTrans, down the road in a few years, will likely be cutting more routes due to rising costs and relying more on community busing.
Jeffrey Tong January 08, 2013 at 08:17 PM
@Mark, when I was a political science student eons ago, my poly sci instructor said the purpose of government is to provide the services private industry can not or will not provide. Today, our politicians have no foresight! I saw the problem with Greyhound Bus once before when they used financial formula to justify routes. Now government is doing same. I complained to Caltrans that their right of way provides no safe pedestrian or bicycle transit-way, but they too use the same formula - you must have statistical record of use before money is justified to provide alternatives to the freeway, but if it is too dangerous to walk or bike, no one will do so. How do we plan for the worse case scenario when Samtrans eliminates all the routes as a budget-saving measure - becomes insolvent? Government officials has no foresight! You must invest the money wisely BEFORE you become insolvent!
Jeffrey Tong January 08, 2013 at 08:33 PM
I stand corrected - it is not a statistical record of use. My Caltrans maintenance friend says there must be a record of DEATHS - particularly children deaths before government will change anything. Like I said above, no one wants to be a martyr and kill themselves to prove a point. That is why the petroleum fueled motor vehicle is and will always be the default mode of transportation for most Californians. Until government makes significant changes to the physical infrastructure, we will never be able to wean ourselves off petroleum.
Mark Taylor January 08, 2013 at 09:14 PM
I remember well what happened with Greyhound. They got out of commuter bus service because they could not make enough money to cover costs (the same for Southern Pacific when it gave up on passenger rail between SF and SJ). So they created Golden Gate Transit, a subsidized bus service of the Golden Gate Bridge district. It too has the same problems of high expenses (labor, fuel, maintenance etc) that is not covered by farebox forcing them into cutbacks as well. Since these are government run services and not private, in theory they do not have to worry about profits. But they do since it costs money to operate a fleet of buses, trains, or light-rail trains (labor, fuel, pensions etc). You can paper over the deficits with subsidies, which was done in the past. At some point that can no longer be done when the subsidies can no longer cover a deficit. Then you have to make serious cuts. It is hard to wrangle more money out of budgets because so many subsidies are being done in all government sectors. Thus money becomes more scarce as demands for it increase. You are right they ought to plan more carefully. Most transit systems are a hodge-podge rather than a well thought out system. And they tend now to head for the higher cost, less efficient than efficient and lower cost services (like buses vs. lightrail).


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