ON THIS PAGE: What is Bus Rapid Transit, Quick Facts, Study Area and Station Locations, Fact Sheet, Public Comment Period, Schedule, Feasibility Study, About BRT and the History of Transportation on Van Ness Avenue
Bus rapid transit (BRT) is an affordable approach to creating true rapid transit along San Francisco’s major North-South travel route. The Van Ness Avenue BRT Feasibility Study, called for in the 2004 Countywide Transportation Plan and adopted in 2006 by the Transportation Authority and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency boards, found that BRT on Van Ness Avenue would likely provide significant transit benefits with manageable impacts, and called for an environmental review of the project. (See the Environmental Review page.)
WHERE? Dedicated BRT lanes would extend along Van Ness Avenue from Lombard St. to Mission St.
WHEN? Construction could begin in 2014 for start of service in 2016.
HOW MUCH? $90M-$130M, depending on the alternative selected. More than $100M in funding for the project has already been identified from planned sources such as the FTA’s Small Starts program ($75M) and the Prop K local sales tax measure for transportation ($20M).
HIGHEST FEDERAL RATING. While undergoing planning and design, the project received the FTA’s highest rating for cost-effectiveness several years in a row (one of only two projects in the nations to receive this designation!), an indication of its high benefit-to-cost ratio.
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. Under each build alternative, two mixed-flow traffic lanes (one southbound and one northbound) would be converted into two dedicated transit lanes. The build alternatives would occur entirely within the existing street right-of-way, and would incorporate the following features:
- DEDICATED BUS LANE separated from regular traffic to improve transit performance.
- ALL-DOOR, LEVEL BOARDING, AND PROOF OF PAYMENT to allow buses to pick up and drop off passengers more quickly.
- HIGH-QUALITY SHELTERS including protection from the elements and comfortable seating.
- PEDESTRIAN SAFETY ENHANCEMENTS including reduced crossing distances on streets where BRT stations exist and large platforms for waiting passengers.
- TRANSIT SIGNAL PRIORITY with traffic signals recognizing an approaching BRT vehicle and extending the green light when it is safe to do so.
- TRAFFIC SIGNAL OPTIMIZATION, a data-driven approach to timing all traffic lights in the corridor.
BRT build alternatives also include full replacement of the existing overhead contact system support pole/streetlight network between Mission and North Point streets.
BRT stations are shown as red dots. Routes 47 and 49 would continue north and south of the project study area.
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 Authority's offices (see address below).
Although the public comment period is closed, 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, San Francisco County Transportation Authority, 1455 Market St., 22nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103.