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Chinatown Decoded: Is the 30 Really the Worst Bus in Town?

Not really, but that doesn't make it so great either.


Editor's Note: This is one of many stories about the Chinese-American city that San Francisco is publishing over the next month, all part of the April 2015 Chinese Issue. To peruse the rest of the issue's contents, and to read stories as they become available online, click here.  

On a cold, rainy morning, packed into the Dirty 30 like dried shrimp in a barrel, you might easily conclude that the bus that crosses Chinatown on its way to and from Market Street and the Marina is the slowest in town. But you’d be wrong, says Muni—in fact, the 30’s on- time record is actually better than average.

According to the SFMTA’s number crunching, 65 percent of 30-Stockton buses over the last 12 months arrived at stops between one minute ahead of and four minutes after schedule—which is what Muni defines as on time. Given that the system-wide on-time average was just 58 percent, the 30-Stockton is doing pretty well. (To be fair, the voter-mandated goal for the system is 85 percent, a figure that Muni has never met.)

The 45-Union/Stockton, which traces a similar route, does even better, posting a 71 percent on-time rate. That being said, the 30 sure is crowded.

Chinatown Decoded:
What Language Is Everyone Speaking?
Is That Volleyball?
Why Do Some Buildings Fly the Mainland’s Flag While Others Fly Taiwan’s?
Why Is Everyone Pushing Me?
Why Is That Art Gallery Under a Dry Cleaner's?
How Can You Tell If an Erhu Player Is Any Good?
Is the 30 Really the Worst Bus in Town?
How Could This Possibly Be Legal?
What's Going on Under That Lion Head?
What Are You Doing to My Body?
Is the Architecture East or West?
Are Those DVDs Bootlegs?
What Happens During a Chinatown Funeral?


Originally published in the April issue of San Francisco

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