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Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Issues Record of Decision on Van Ness Avenue Bus Rapid Transit Final Environmental Impact Statement

SFCTA AND SFMTA BOARDS APPROVE VAN NESS AVENUE BUS RAPID TRANSIT

San Francisco’s first full‐featured BRT project will anchor the Muni Rapid Network 

On December 20, 2013 the Federal Transit Administration issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Van Ness Avenue Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project, determining that the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) have been met through the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) document and process. Issuance of the ROD allows the use of federal funding for final design and construction of the project.

The ROD follows the local SF Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Board's unanimous vote in September, 2013 to approve the planned BRT project on Van Ness Avenue. That vote came a week after the Transportation Authority Board voted unanimously to approve the project and to certify its Environmental Impact Report, as required by the California Environmental Quality Act, clearing the way for design and implementation.

Van Ness Avenue BRT is a signature project of the SFCTA’s Prop K transportation sales tax program. The approvals of the environmental document are the culmination of years of multi‐agency collaboration at the local, state, and federal levels to develop BRT along Van Ness Avenue, which also operates as Highway 101 through the city. The project calls for dedicated bus lanes separated from traffic from Lombard to Mission streets which will be used by Muni’s 49 and 47 lines and Golden Gate Transit. The dedicated lanes will flank center landscaped medians along Van Ness Avenue. All‐door boarding, elimination of most left turns, transit signal priority, and traffic signal optimization will help reduce travel time on the corridor by as much as 33 percent. In addition, pedestrian improvements, signal upgrades, new streetlights, new landscaping and roadway resurfacing will be implemented throughout the corridor.

See the press release.

LPA AND STATION LOCATIONS

The Van Ness Avenue BRT is proposed on Van Ness Avenue (and one block of South Van Ness Avenue), and extends approximately 2 miles from Mission Street to Lombard Street. With implementation of the BRT, two mixed-flow traffic lanes (one southbound and one northbound) would be converted into two dedicated transit lanes. The Locally Preferred Alternative for Van Ness BRT, Center-Lane BRT with Right Side Boarding/Single Median and Limited Left Turns, represents a hybrid design that borrows from the most compelling features of the two center running alternatives analyzed in the Draft EIS/EIR. Key features include:

  • Dedicated bus lane separated from regular traffic to improve transit performance.
  • High quality stations and shelters with level or near level boarding to reduce loading and unloading
  • Elimination of all left turns along Van Ness Avenue except Lombard (northbound) and Broadway (southbound) to enhance pedestrian safety and transit and traffic performance. [Download PDF diagram]
  • Transit signal priority to reduce signal delays for transit vehicles
  • New, low floor buses using standard right side doors
  • Optimized stop spacing to reduce the amount of time buses are stopped.

BRT stations are shown as red dots. Muni bus routes 47 and 49 would continue north and south of the project study area.

Van Ness Avenue BRT station map

PROJECT TIMELINE/MILESTONES

The Federal Transportation Agency will consider issuance of a Record of Decision, completing the federal environmental review process. Should the project obtain this final approval, construction would begin in late 2015 with the start of revenue anticipated in early 2018.

Project timeline

MONTHLY PROGRESS REPORTS

The project team has been providing monthly reports to the Transportation Authority Board on the project's progress, describing status and key activities, upcoming milestones, and the project schedule and budget. Reports are available as downloadable PDFs:

Nov 2013 | Jan 2014 | Feb 2014 | Mar 2014

FOR MORE INFORMATION

CONTACT US

We encourage members of the public to contact us about the project via email or letter, addressed to Van Ness BRT EIS/EIR, Attn: Michael Schwartz, Senior Transportation Planner, San Francisco County Transportation Authority, 1455 Market St., 22nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103.