Samuel Thomas is angry. During the public health crisis, the 10-Townsend – a bus line he and other Potrero Annex-Terrace residents relied on to go shopping, travel to medical appointments and get to work – stopped running.
“I’m old and sick, I use a walker,” Thomas said. “A lot of us are sick, old. We can’t get off this hill without a bus.”
Thomas secured paratransit van tickets with help from the Community Living Campaign, but “paratransit can’t pick up everyone on the hill. We need the Number 10 back up here.”
According to Stephen Chun, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency deputy spokesperson, the agency is grappling with limited resources and reduced transit demand, with fewer people traveling Downtown.
“Also, several lines overlapped the 10 Townsend’s route, but despite the temporary suspension, 98 percent of San Franciscans still can access Muni service within two to three blocks of their home or work,” Chun said.
Thomas appears to be among the two percent without such easy access.
When your home is atop a steep hill, the bus stop at the bottom, “the distance will kill you,” Thomas said. “It’s like climbing a mountain. We know there are overlapping routes, but we can’t climb the mountain to reach them.”
SFMTA plans to restart all or part of the 10-Townsend line this February. As part of its “post-COVID” resurrection, the agency is considering three different configurations for the Muni system, all of which include the 10’s return. Under the “familiar” option the entire 10 route would be reinstated. The other options would bring back a shortened version that ends at the Financial District.
Under all the alternatives riders will likely have to wait longer for a bus. A March 2021 SFMTA notice stated that Muni service will ultimately be restored “to 85 percent of the pre-Covid level.”
SFMTA wants input on its three route options. Learn about them at www.sfmta.com/2022network or call 415.646.2005.
Photo: Dakota Street was previously served by the 10-Townsend. Cathy DeLuca.