SamTrans is making significant changes to routes 140, 141 and proposed ECR weekday service. Here are the things San Bruno residents need to know:
This route currently goes from Pacifica to San Bruno BART (SBB) daily and weekend. The original proposal was to cancel the school trips to Parkside and make kids transfer to the 141 at SBB. This has been reinstated but there is only one bus service in morning and afternoon. Both the 141 and 140 serve Parkside. Now for the changes. The Allen Drive crossover from College to Longview is gone. The 140 will now go down College and turn right on Longview and from there go over to Sneath down to Skyline as it does now. The route remains unchanged through Rollingwood but there is a major change after that. The Bayhill, San Bruno Avenue, and Huntington portion has been deleted. From Rollingwood, the 140 will go directly to SBB. That means if your destination is Bayhill, you will have to transfer to a 141 at SBB or walk from Cherry & Sneath (a long walk). If you used to catch the El Camino route buses (390/391) at San Bruno Ave & El Camino, you will get off at Sneath and El Camino.
The major change is that service to Third Street, Angus, and San Mateo Ave is dropped (except for school trips). The new route shifts the 141 to San Bruno Ave and presumably stop right near the completed Caltrain station. The 141 will go up San Bruno Ave to Crystal Springs, head over Jenevein and down to Cherry, turn on Cherry back to San Bruno Ave, and from there back SBB.
Routes 390/391 (the El Camino bus lines) are currently combined on weekends will be combined on weekdays dropping San Francisco stops since most people take BART or Caltrain into the city. Many people, the figures reveal, take the 390 to Daly City to catch BART as it is a cheaper ride. Currently the 391 (not the 390) pulls into SBB. The draft plan drops SBB on weekdays (it already does so on weekends) meaning no ECR service to SBB. People going to SBB or Tanforan using the ECR will have to get off near Sneath and walk to it. Alternatively one can get off at San Bruno Ave and catch a 141 inbound to SBB. SBB is right behind Tanforan and a much easier walk that crossing the busy El Camino where some drivers are not always observant of pedestrian right of way even when you have the walk sign blinking madly at them.
My thoughts: The thinking behind these changes is efficiency. SamTrans has a huge deficit and only four lines make money for them (120,390,391,292). The 140 and 141 directly effect San Bruno residents as they are two major routes other than the ECR that service the city (the 123 goes through Rollingwood to Skyline College but is being cancelled). The other marginal one is the 133 which passes through San Bruno and stops at the Post Office and SBB. That route is being modified with the San Bruno section deleted.
Now I was opposed to dropping the Bayhill/San Bruno Ave/Huntington sections of route 140. It means taking two buses to get there which adds more travel time. And having the 140 feed into Caltrain at San Bruno Ave seemed a good fit along with the 141. People who used to get off at San Bruno Ave & Green (or catch it from the stop near the grocery store towards Pacifica) will now go to SBB to catch a 141 over or catch an ECR that will drop then off near Sneath. Changing the 141 makes more sense and deleting the San Mateo Ave portion saves time and money. I have taken this route from San Mateo Ave and has just a few people aboard. Plus crossing Angus and down Third is tough on the drivers due to streets being narrow. The turn onto Third is really tricky. So the drivers will not miss this section (except on school trips).
Discontinuing service to SBB by the ECR is a mistake. This line ought to stop at all BART stations on weekdays along the way and is more convenient for passengers. Having to walk to and from El Camino is going to be a problem, especially those who are handicapped or special needs. It does not bode well for San Bruno having the major north/south bus line just pass by rather than stopping at BART. Understandable on weekends when passenger traffic is absent at SBB but not on weekdays. They ought to keep it and the San Bruno City Council ought to be yelling about this. And while they are yelling, do so at BART for how filthy the place is. Because it is like an underpass, garbage and food debris is scattered about often and not cleaned up. It is not a nice place and poorly designed (perhaps by the same people who created elevated railways in cities creating dark zones).
The proposed change is supposed to make the ECR run more efficiently. Right now it runs pretty badly. Buses rarely run on time, often overcrowded, sometimes just never show up. You cannot rely on the ECR to get you someplace on time. You have to factor in lots of extra time since it rarely meets the schedule. Combining the routes will supposedly mean it wil run every 15 minutes. If you hear lots of chortles over that, your right SamTrans. No one buys it. In fact, many will not be surprised if it just the same as before.
It is not to late to voice your opinion on this. The San Bruno City Council ought to be upset with the ECR not stopping in San Bruno and make it known. You can find info about how to send comments by going here. Originally the changes were scheduled for August 2013 but that has become less clear with some changes to be implemented this year and some in 2014.
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