The Muni Metro subway did much to
improve downtown movement when it replaced surface running along
Market St. in the early
1980s. Still, with five lines using
it, travel could be subject to operational issues.
In the earlier years of the subway, trains often consisted of cars
that joined together or were separated at the stations just beyond
the two portal areas. With a new class of vehicles, and with
signaling improvements under downtown and track reconfiguration
beyond Embarcadero, that practice ceased. Normal operation
is now generally efficient.
Muni shares with BART the tube and the upper concourses of the first four stations.
Muni tracks are one level below, and BART, two. After BART veers off,
there are three more stops in the subway. During
stretch two light rail lines, the N-Judah and J-Church, branch off to
reach the surface at
The route for the remaining three lines transitions underground past
Castro into the much older Twin Peaks Tunnel. There is
one further subterranean stop at Forest Hill before the West Portal
station marks the beginning of surface
operation. Just beyond that station the L-Taraval turns off
to the west. The other
two lines, K-Ingleside and M-Ocean View, continue along West Portal Ave.
The two closely spaced trains in this photo are at the Civic Center