Contact: Eric Young, San Francisco County Transportation Authority
Contact: Paul Rose, SFMTA
SAN FRANCISCO, CA— The San Francisco County Transportation Authority, in cooperation with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, announced the release of the Final Environmental Impact Report for the bus rapid transit (BRT) system planned for the Geary Corridor.
The benefits of the proposed Geary Bus Rapid Transit Project include:
- Travel time savings for transit riders averaging 20 minutes per round trip;
- More reliable service resulting in consistent wait times and less crowding on buses;
- Safer crossings at more than 100 street corners on the Geary corridor; and
- New utilities and lighting, expanded landscaping, and a smoother roadway along the corridor.
To provide input on the Final Environmental Impact Report and preferred design for BRT, the public is invited to:
- Attend the Geary BRT Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) on Jan. 4, 2017, 6 p.m., San Francisco County Transportation Authority Office, 1455 Market Street, 22nd floor. The Geary CAC will consider recommending project approval.
- Attend the Transportation Authority Board Hearing on Jan. 5, 2017, San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 250. 2 p.m. The Transportation Authority Board will hold a hearing to consider approving the project and the Final Environmental Impact Report.
Write, call or email the Geary BRT project team at San Francisco County Transportation Authority, Attn: Geary BRT, 1455 Market St., 22nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103; (415) 522-4800; GearyBRT@sfcta.org.
The Transportation Authority prepared the project’s Final Environmental Impact Report in partnership with the SFMTA and with the input and guidance of a 13-member project Citizens Advisory Committee.
“We are pleased to present the Final Environmental Impact Report for the Geary BRT Project for the Board’s and public’s consideration,” said Tilly Chang, Transportation Authority Executive Director. “Through consultation with numerous individuals, neighborhood groups, merchant associations, and community organizations over several years, we have developed a robust and responsive BRT system and complementary corridor improvement project to meet the diverse needs of this corridor, while setting the stage for potential further investments in the future.”
“Geary BRT will benefit everyone who uses the corridor as it improves transit performance and safety, smooths traffic, and restores aging infrastructure along the corridor,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin. “We look forward to leading this project through final design refinements and a thoughtful, phased construction.”
The Final Environmental Impact Report documents the project’s expected benefits, purpose, potential environmental effects, and the trade-offs of four different design alternatives, as well as the effects of doing no project at all.
Over 52,000 people a day rely on Geary bus routes. But uneven wait times, overcrowded buses and inconsistent travel times are a daily reality. These issues persist even with recent improvements, like more rush hour service and red bus-only lanes downtown.
The length of Geary from downtown San Francisco to the Outer Richmond is also a Vision Zero high-injury corridor, where a pedestrian is eight times more likely to be injured than the city average.
After incorporating significant analysis and public feedback, Transportation Authority and SFMTA staff have recommended an innovative hybrid BRT design to meet the transportation and safety needs along the 6.5-mile-long Geary corridor.
The Geary BRT Staff Recommended Alternative (SRA) would enhance and maintain Local, Rapid and Express 38 bus service along the corridor. Bus-only lanes would separate buses from general traffic from Market Street to 34th Avenue.
Between 26th Avenue and Stanyan Street, buses would travel in center-running, bus-only lanes and all buses would stop at a common set of stops, referred to as ‘consolidated service.’ East of Stanyan Street, Rapid buses would make fewer stops than local buses as they do today, travelling in side-running, bus-only lanes that connect to existing bus lanes downtown. Other bus priority features and amenities designed to provide a safe, reliable and rapid transit service include:
- Traffic signal priority;
- Bus Rapid Transit Stations with seating and more shelters; and
- Pedestrian safety improvements at more than 100 locations and reduced left turn conflicts.
Finally, the project includes infrastructure rehabilitation and urban design upgrades along the corridor including:
- Repaving and pavement repairs;
- Utilities, sewer and water line replacement;
- Increased landscaping/green area; and
- New pedestrian scale lighting.
To achieve a design meeting the needs of this busy corridor, the Geary BRT team conducted comprehensive outreach, including more than 260 stakeholder meetings in various formats. In addition, the project team undertook an extensive analysis of the potential environmental impacts of the project in compliance with state and federal laws, covering 20 different subject areas and developing related mitigation measures.
Responding to community feedback during the Draft Environmental Impact Report stage, the SRA includes three key changes:
- Retaining the pedestrian overcrossing at Webster Street;
- Converting the Spruce Street stop to local service only, preserving merchant parking and loading; and
- Adding more pedestrian safety improvements to intersections with high collision rates.
The Transportation Authority Board (comprised of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors) will hold a hearing to consider approving the project and the Final Environmental Impact Report on Thursday, January 5, 2017. The meeting will be held at 2:00 p.m. in City Hall, Room 250.
Following Transportation Authority Board action, the next steps include development of the detailed design, more community outreach and then construction, which would begin with the extension of red bus-only lanes on Geary from Gough to Stanyan Street in 2017. The project team will take each proposed change to the SFMTA Board of Directors for approval, beginning with the improvements planned for Geary and O’Farrell between Market and Stanyan streets anticipated for summer 2017.
Following the local decision-making processes, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will also consider approving a Final Environmental Impact Statement to meet federal requirements. Upon receiving FTA approval, the project will be able to compete for as much as $100 million in Federal Small Starts funding.
Pending these approvals, the Transportation Authority’s role will shift to that of oversight and funding partner, and the project lead role will transition to the SFMTA as the lead agency managing final design and construction of Geary BRT.
The Final Environmental Impact Report is now available to view:
- Online at GearyBRT.org.
- At public libraries near the Geary corridor.
- At the front desk of Transportation Authority, 1455 Market Street, 22nd floor. Compact discs can be provided upon request.
High resolution images and project visualizations can be accessed at this Dropbox link.
About the San Francisco County Transportation Authority
Created in 1989, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) is responsible for long-range transportation planning for the city, and it analyzes, designs, and funds improvements for San Francisco’s roadway and public transportation networks. The SFCTA administers and oversees the delivery of the Prop K half-cent local transportation sales tax program and the Prop AA $10 annual vehicle registration fee program, serves as the designated Congestion Management Agency (CMA) for San Francisco, under state law, and acts as the San Francisco Program Manager for grants from the Transportation Fund for Clean Air (TFCA). The SFCTA Board consists of the eleven members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, who act as SFCTA Commissioners. For more information about SFCTA, visit sfcta.org.
About the SFMTA
Established by voter proposition in 1999, the SFMTA, a department of the City and County of San Francisco, oversees the Municipal Railway (Muni), parking and traffic, bicycling, walking and taxis. With five modes of transit, Muni has approximately 700,000 passenger boardings each day. Over 1 million people get around this city each day and rely on the SFMTA to ensure safe and reliable travel by transit, walking, bicycling, taxi and driving.