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
The city’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 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 BRT is a signature project of the SFCTA’s Prop K transportation sales tax program. The approvals of the environmental document 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.
Downnload the VAN NESS AVENUE BRT FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT/ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT (EIS/EIR)
The Final EIS/EIR responds to comments received on the Draft EIS/EIR and identifies a the locally preferred alternative (LPA). The LPA was selected for inclusion in the Final EIS/EIR by the Transportation Authority and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) boards in May and June of 2012. A center-running alternative with limited left turns (see LPA section below), which is a refinement of the two center running alternatives considered in the Draft EIS/EIR, was chosen based on technical analyses in the Draft EIS/EIR, as well as agency, stakeholder and public input.
After incorporating significant analysis and public feedback on the Draft EIS/EIR, the Transportation Authority and SFMTA Boards approved a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) for the Van Ness corridor in May and June of 2012. The LPA represents a hybrid approach to implementation that borrows from some of the most compelling features of the various design alternatives that were analyzed in the Draft EIS/EIR. Under the LPA, BRT lanes would flank the center median except at stations where the BRT vehicles would transition to the center of the roadway and be protected by right side boarding platforms. The LPA retains the high performance features of Build Alternatives 3 and 4 (e.g, faster, more reliable performance) while avoiding the need to acquire left-right door vehicles or rebuild the entire median. The LPA also eliminates all left turns from Van Ness Avenue between Mission and Lombard streets with the exception of a southbound (two lane) left turn at Broadway in order to gain the most transit time benefits. The LPA will bring meaningful travel time savings to this heavily travelled corridor as well as improve the overall travel experience.
Project construction could begin as early as 2015 with BRT service beginning on the corridor in 2018.
In anticipation of the LPA’s consideration before the SFMTA and Transportation Authority Boards, staff conducted significant outreach to various community groups as well as agency and other public stakeholders to educate the public on the LPA get feedback on its design and development. This is in addition to outreach conducted as part of the public circulation of the Draft EIS/EIR. Using that feedback, the Transportation Authority refined the LPA and analyzed any potential environmental effects, documenting those in the Final EIS/EIR.
- Fact sheet: English | Spanish (Español) | Chinese (中文) | Russian (Русский)
- Newsletter: English | Spanish (Español) | Chinese (中文) | Russian (Русский)
- Final EIS/EIR chapters (PDFs)
- Final EIS/EIR Notice of Availability (PDF)
- Locally Preferred Alternative
- Subscribe to our email newsletters. Newsletters are sent out periodically to inform stakeholders of project developments.
- Information on the Van Ness Ave. BRT Citizens Advisory Committee.
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The Draft EIS/EIR, describing the project and potential environmental impacts, was available for public review and comment for 45 days, ending on December 23, 2011. It is still available for download (PDF) on our Environmental Review page. You can also download a PDF copy of the Executive Summary. The entire document may be viewed on CD or as hard-copy at the Transportation Authority's offices (see address below).
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.
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.