Render of Van Ness Improvement Project from SFMTA

Photo from SFMTA

The Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit is part of a larger Van Ness Improvement Project which combines several infrastructure upgrades, including dedicated bus lanes, consolidated transit stops, and pedestrian safety enhancements.

As of September 2020, the overall Van Ness Improvement project was approximately 57% complete. The project will soon begin constructing red transit-only lanes, pedestrian bulb-outs, medians with trees and civic art, center boarding islands and bus shelters, and an overhead wiring system. The Van Ness BRT is predicted to be completed in 2021.

To support businesses that have been impacted by the Van Ness Improvement Project, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development has launched the Van Ness Directed Business Support Program.

The Van Ness Directed Business Support Program provides:

  • Free one-on-one business consulting services
  • Resources to merchants in the impact zone to help them grow and stay in San Francisco
  • $5,000 to $10,000 in grant funding to go toward rent, utilities, wages, and more

To be eligible for the program, businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be located within the Van Ness construction impact zone along Van Ness Avenue between Market Street and Chestnut Street
  • Must be an active storefront business on the ground level facing the street
  • Must have been established with no change in ownership on or after March 3, 2017
  • Businesses that were established with no change in ownership within the Van Ness impact zone on or after March 3, 2017 and have either moved from the Van Ness impact zone to another location in San Francisco or permanently closed on or after January 1, 2019 may still be eligible for an award and can apply

Applications for the Van Ness Directed Business Support Program are due October 31, 2020.

The Transportation Authority has supported the project with half-cent sales tax for transportation and continues to provide project support and oversight on various aspects of the project. The Transportation Authority will hear an information item on the Van Ness Directed Business Support Program at its meeting on October 20, 2020.

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The Van Ness Improvement Project is bringing San Francisco its first Bus Rapid Transit system.