S Shuttle

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S Castro Shuttle
S Shuttle logo.svg
S Shuttle train at Embarcadero station, October 2017.JPG
S Shuttle train at Embarcadero station in 2017
Type Light rail
System Muni Metro
Locale San Francisco, California
Termini Embarcadero Station
West Portal Station
Stations 9
Opened April 2, 2001; 17 years ago (2001-04-02)
Owner San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency
Operator(s) San Francisco Municipal Railway
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
(standard gauge)
Electrification Overhead lines, 600 V DC
Route diagram

E Embarcadero N Judah T Third Street
E Embarcadero F Market & Wharves
J Church K Ingleside L Taraval M Ocean View
Bay Area Rapid Transit
Montgomery Bay Area Rapid Transit
Union Square/​Market Street
Central Subway (2019)
Powell Bay Area Rapid Transit
Civic Center Bay Area Rapid Transit
Van Ness
N Judah
J Church
F Market & Wharves
Surface tracks on Market Street
(used by F Market & Wharves)
Forest Hill
West Portal
T Third Street
L Taraval
K Ingleside M Ocean View

The S Shuttle is a light rail service on the Muni Metro system in San Francisco, California. The service began in 2001 as the S Castro Shuttle, an effort to reduce crowding at Castro station. It was briefly discontinued in 2007 when the T Third Street line was opened. Service was extended to St. Francis Circle station in 2013, but cut back to West Portal station in 2016.

The service runs during rush hours with one-car or two-car trains depending on the availability of rolling stock. The designation of S Shuttle is also given to trains at other hours and locations, including service run before and after San Francisco Giants games to provide additional capacity to AT&T Park, as well as unscheduled trains operated anywhere in the system.


S Castro Shuttle rollsign on a game-day extra train in 2007
An S Shuttle train crossing over near West Portal station in 2017

After the installation of automatic train control in 1998, the maximum Muni Metro frequency through the Market Street Subway doubled from 24 trains per hour to 48. Muni needed to increase capacity to accommodate growing ridership, but the aging Boeing LRV fleet and issues with the new Breda fleet left too few vehicles to run additional service on the branch lines. Instead, Muni introduced the S Castro Shuttle, which could relieve crowding at busy Castro station while using only a small amount of rolling stock. The service began on April 2, 2001, running only at rush hour on weekdays, with headways between 7 and 12 minutes.[1]

A variety of service changes took place with the introduction of full service on the T Third Street line on April 7, 2007. The new line was routed through the subway to Castro station, replacing the S Castro Shuttle; changes were also made to the J Church, N Judah, and several bus lines.[2] (The S Castro Shuttle designation continued to be used for extra service to AT&T Park on San Francisco Giants game days.) The changes were unpopular with the public; the Muni Metro changes caused severe delays in the Market Street Subway, and forced many riders to transfer to reach the Caltrain station when they previously did not. On June 30, 2007, Muni reversed several of the changes. The J, N, and S were restored to their previous routes, while the T was interlined with the K Ingleside line.[3] The revived shuttle ran on 10-minute headways using three trains.[4][5]

On October 4, 2013, Muni began a pilot of S Shuttle service, which included the first three-car train on Muni Metro since the 1990s.[6] The three-car train and a two-car train ran between Embarcadero and St. Francis Circle station with only six morning round trips and one evening round trip; the last morning trips ran through to 23rd Street on their way to the Muni Metro East facility.[7] However, the three-car set proved unreliable, and perennial rolling stock shortages caused the shuttles to be frequently cancelled in favor of branch line service.[8] On November 7, 2016, Muni changed the service to a pair of single-car trains running between West Portal station and Embarcadero. The revamped service, which was modeled after similar Hillway shuttles on the N Judah line, runs during weekday morning rush hours.[9] Although it nominally switches back at West Portal, service often instead uses a more reliable crossover at Taraval and 19th Avenue station.


  1. ^ "Chapter 3: Transportation Analysis". Transbay Terminal / Caltrain Downtown Extension / Redevelopment Project EIS/EIR (PDF). Federal Transit Administration. March 2004. pp. 3–10. 
  2. ^ "Discover the T-Third" (PDF). San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. 2007. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 14, 2007. 
  3. ^ "SFMTA announces service changes effective June 30, 2007" (Press release). San Francisco Transportation Agency. June 30, 2007. Archived from the original on June 24, 2007. 
  4. ^ "Chapter 3: Transportation Analysis". Central Subway Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement / Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (PDF). 1. Federal Transit Administration. September 2008. pp. 3–9. 
  5. ^ "S Inbound Weekday". 511 SF Bay. Archived from the original on September 24, 2012. 
  6. ^ Kwong, Jessica (October 11, 2013). "Muni's three-train shuttle service a hit with riders". The San Francisco Examiner. 
  7. ^ "S Inbound Weekday". 511 SF Bay. Archived from the original on April 27, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Roomier Trains: Have Muni Subway Shuttles Helped Your Commute?" (Press release). San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. November 7, 2016. 
  9. ^ "More Muni Subway Service Coming for a Roomier Metro Ride" (Press release). San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. October 20, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Media related to S Shuttle at Wikimedia Commons