- PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES
San Francisco’s first full‐featured BRT project will anchor the Muni Rapid Network
The Van Ness Avenue Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) 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 transit travel time on the corridor by as much as 33 percent. Strengthening transit along this two-mile stretch of Van Ness will also positively affect the efficiency of connecting routes. In addition, pedestrian improvements, signal upgrades, new streetlights, new landscaping, and roadway resurfacing will be implemented throughout the corridor to improve safety and aesthetics.
The project received its final environmental certification on December 20, 2013, when the Federal Transit Administration issued a Record of Decision (ROD), 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 on September 17, 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. (See the press release announcing the ROD.)
As Van Ness Avenue is designated as U.S. Route 101, the project also requires the approval of Caltrans, which has been a key partner in developing the BRT concept. Caltrans approved the Project Study Report/Project Report (PSR/PR) for the project August 26, 2014, allowing the project to enter into design. Caltrans has permitting authority over the project, and will continue to work with the SFMTA and Transportation Authority as design and construction proceed.
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. With the planning and environmental review process completed, the Transportation Authority has turned over the Van Ness Avenue BRT project to our partner agency, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, for implementation and construction. The Transportation Authority continues to provide project coordination and oversight to ensure environmental compliance and timely delivery.
SFMTA completed the Conceptual Engineering Report for the project in June 2014, and is now proceeding with detailed design work. See the SFMTA Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit Project page for updates on design and construction.
the Locally preferred alternative 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 near level boarding to reduce passenger dwell time.
- 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.
Muni bus routes 47 and 49 continue north and south of the dedicated BRT lanes.
Project Record of Decision has been issued by Federal Transportation Agency as of December, 2013. The Conceptual Engineering phase has been completed; project is proceeding with Detailed Design, construction is anticipated to start in late 2015 and begin revenue service in 2018.
Transportation Authority staff provide frequent 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: