Timely replacement of transit vehicles is the single most important way to improve transit reliability and service for years to come. This is why replacement of the Muni transit fleet has been one of the larger efforts funded by Prop K (see graph at right), with more than $444 million committed to purchasing over 1,200 diesel-electric hybrid motor coaches, electric trolley coaches, electric light rail vehicles, and paratransit vans. Of that number, 418 vehicles have already been placed in service and another 400 vehicles are on order, including 175 light rail vehicles. The SFMTA expects new motor coaches to be delivered to San Francisco at the rate of about 2-3 vehicles per week throughout 2016. The first of the new expanded fleet of light rail vehicles is also expected in 2016, and all 60 new trolley coaches that began arriving in late 2015 will be in service by the end of 2016.
Sections of Light Rail Vehicle tracks throughout the City have exceeded their anticipated useful service life, and in order to maintain and improve light rail service, a track replacement program has been underway. In 2012, the SFMTA completed construction of the Saint Francis Circle Rail Replacement Project at a cost of $18.2 million. At a total cost of $17 million, the Miscellaneous Track Replacement Project was substantially completed in January 2013. The $28.7 million Church and Duboce Track and Street Improvement Project reached substantial completion in March 2013.
In addition to track replacement, the scope of these projects includes streetscape enhancements to provide a safer and more attractive urban environment for all modes of travel. By integrating Muni infrastructure projects with Better Streets policies and enhancements suggested by other City departments, the projects have benefited pedestrians, cyclists, drivers, and neighbors. Furthermore, these projects have proven a model for successful incorporation of community-based input on capital projects.
The SFMTA has embarked on a project to replace and modernize its Radio Communications System, some elements of which date back to the 1970s. In addition to providing verbal communication, the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) will incorporate up-to-date technological features such as expanded data transmission and simulcasting. It will integrate multiple vehicle information systems, including: the Vehicle Logic Unit, Automated Vehicle Location, Wireless Local Network, Digital Vehicle Announcement System, Automated Passenger Counting, Transit Signal Priority, Fare Collection, Video Surveillance, Vehicle Health Monitoring, Computer-Aided Dispatch, Mobile Dispatch, Reporting System, Traveler Information, Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV), and Personal Interactive Information systems.
The SFMTA awarded the design-build contract to Harris Corporation and continues to review design submittals for the various project components and locations. At the Bayview Park site, the lease agreement has been completed, and the contractor has completed asbestos testing and commenced fiber and network connections. For the One Market base station site, where the new radio system will be co-located alongside existing Department of Traffic (DT) public safety radio system, asbestos testing is complete and the lease agreement is in circulation for execution. Design of the Forest Hill location is nearing 100% completion. Meanwhile, the contractor is continuing various construction-related activities, such as tunnel infrastructure work and base station construction.
After testing and commissioning, final switchover to the new system is expected in September 2016. An important development took place on April 26, 2012, when the FCC issued an Order to waive the narrow-banding requirement for T-band licenses, which in effect eliminated the December 2012 cutover deadline previously anticipated by the SFMTA.
The project cost is estimated at $128 million, of which the Transportation Authority is contributing $59 million in Prop K funds.
In 2008, the SFMTA initiated the Central Control and Communications (C3) program to expand and modernize its transportation central control capabilities and facilities. In addition, the C3 program will provide the systems necessary to meet the SFMTA’s strategic objectives of improving transit reliability, accommodating current operational needs, and satisfying future needs, including the Central Subway—all important elements of SFMTA’s Strategic Plan. The C3 program includes three main components. First, near-term improvements to the existing Operations Control Center (OCC) and related systems are required to maintain existing levels of service delivery. Projects to date have included replacement of back-up power, climate control, and automatic train control software in the existing OCC at 355 Lenox Way, as well as updated passenger announcement and display systems in the Metro subway. These improvements were needed irrespective of whether a new OCC is constructed and support the long-term objective of maintaining the current facility as a redundant backup. Prop K has supplied $900,000 in funding to these projects.
Secondly, a new larger facility called the Transportation Management Center (TMC) will expand the OCC operational capabilities at a new location— consolidating other command and control functions that are currently separated—including the Transit Line Management Center, Power Control Center, SFgo Traffic Management Center, and Security Division. Construction of tenant improvements reached substantial completion in September 2013. The associated Furniture, Furnishings, and Equipment contract has progressed, along with staff commissioning activities. For the TMC, all work is substantially complete, and move-in and commissioning of the activities not dependent on the new Radio Replacement project took place in February 2014. The other activities will move in as the Radio Replacement project comes on-line. Prop K has supplied over $26 million in funding for this $32.1 million facility.
Lastly, the Integrated Systems Replacement (ISR) project will provide a communication, monitoring, and control platform in the Muni Metro subway that will allow the existing control functions to seamlessly migrate from their existing locations to the new TMC. The infrastructure will also accommodate the future Central Subway control systems in a single integrated platform. The first phase of this project includes installation of public information systems, a secure fiber broadband network, and monitoring and control systems for emergency ventilation and motive power. The contractor has completed fiber and electrical installations at various subway stations and tunnel sections. The contractor has also installed network gear and fiber for connectivity at Automated Train Control System (ATCS) control points. Prop K has supplied approximately $15.5 million of the $53.2 million Phase I cost of the ISR project.
The Islais Creek Maintenance Facility represents the first new SFMTA rubber-tire vehicle maintenance facility in the last 60 years. The project includes a fuel and wash building, a light and heavy maintenance building, an administration building, bus storage, and land acquisition. Originally intended to service 40-foot-long motor coaches, at the Transportation Authority’s recommendation the facility has been re-designed to also accommodate 60-foot-long articulated motor coaches. This change is not only in accordance with the SFMTA’s recent policy changes to increase the proportion of the longer coaches, but will also be the first increase in maintenance capabilities for these vehicles since 1989. This facility will also be able to provide maintenance for the fleets that will serve Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Rapid Network routes, including Van Ness Avenue BRT.
The construction of Phase 1, which includes the site improvements, fuel and wash building, and administration building, was completed in February 2013. In February 2015, the SFMTA received three construction bids for Phase 2, the maintenance building; it plans to award the contract in June 2015. Prop K has contributed more than $9.2 million to this $126.8 million project.
Download the SFMTA Muni Modernization Projects Fact Sheet.