Contact: Eric Young, San Francisco County Transportation Authority
SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco County Transportation Authority, in cooperation with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), today announced the release of the draft environmental document for the much-anticipated bus rapid transit (BRT) system planned for Geary Boulevard.
The proposed Geary Corridor Bus Rapid Transit Project will greatly improve travel time and reliability for the 55,000 daily transit passengers who ride the multiple Muni and Golden Gate Transit bus lines operating on the 6-mile-long corridor.
“Geary BRT will provide a quantum improvement in transit service for Muni and Golden Gate Transit riders while phasing in early traffic safety and infrastructure upgrades on this great street,” said Transportation Authority Executive Director Tilly Chang.
Ed Reiskin, Director of Transportation of the SFMTA, said: “Bringing rail-like bus service to Geary Boulevard will greatly serve the thousands of customers who travel this busy corridor. Geary connects multiple neighborhoods from east to west and is one of the most heavily-used bus corridors west of the Mississippi. We’re eager to get the project underway and in service to the benefit of Muni customers.”
The Transportation Authority prepared the project’s draft environmental document - formally called the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) - in partnership with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and SFMTA and under the oversight of a 13-member project Citizens Advisory Committee.
The draft environmental document contains a full analysis of the expected benefits and impacts of the Geary Corridor BRT Project’s four design alternatives, including one that has been identified as the staff-recommended alternative (SRA).
The proposed SRA features dedicated center bus lanes on Geary Boulevard from the Outer Richmond to Arguello Boulevard, and dedicated side lanes from the Inner Richmond through the Fillmore/Japantown area and into Downtown.
The SRA is projected to reduce travel times from the Outer Richmond to Downtown by up to 15 minutes and improve transit reliability by 20 percent.
Additionally, the SRA proposes to repave much of Geary Boulevard, upgrade some utilities and add pedestrian safety improvements such as pedestrian bulbs and count-down signals throughout this Vision Zero corridor. The SRA also proposes adding accessibility improvements for people with disabilities and streetscape enhancements to improve neighborhood vitality.
While shifts in traffic will impact some intersections, overall traffic in the corridor is expected to decrease with BRT and parking impacts are expected to be manageable. The cost of the SRA is $300 million.
The project’s draft environmental document will be the topic of a public comment meeting on November 5. (See below for information on the public comment meeting.)
During the meeting the public can learn first-hand about the staff-recommended alternative and provide input. Comments on the draft environmental document will be collected from the public and other agencies, and the Transportation Authority will produce a final environmental document that incorporates responses to the comments received.
Public and agency comments on the draft environmental document are due November 16, 2015.
Once the environmental document has been approved, SFMTA will work to bring project benefits incrementally so customers will begin to see improvements quickly. Near-term improvements (Phase 1) will be constructed between Market and Stanyan Streets between 2016 and 2019. In parallel to this effort, the SFMTA will design and secure additional funding for the larger capital investments in the Richmond (Phase 2), where construction for the proposed center-running busway would begin in 2019, with the full project completed as early as 2020.
The SRA complements upgrades that SFMTA has already implemented on Geary and elsewhere in the city via Muni Forward, such as transit signal priority and new low-floor buses, as well as Vision Zero efforts to improve pedestrian safety.
Completion of environmental review and project approvals will enable the project to compete for scarce federal and state funding.
For more information, to review the Draft EIS/EIR or to submit comments, visit gearybrt.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Comment Meeting Details
- Date: Thursday, November 5, 2015
- Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
- Location: St. Francis Hall in St. Mary’s Cathedral 1111 Gough Street San Francisco
About the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (sfcta.org)
Created in 1989, the Transportation Authority spearheads long-range planning and allocates funding for transportation-related projects in San Francisco. The Transportation Authority administers the city’s half-cent transportation sales tax, the Prop AA $10 annual vehicle registration fee program and the Transportation Fund for Clean Air. The Transportation Authority also serves as San Francisco’s Congestion Management Agency and is the Treasure Island Mobility Management Agency. The Transportation Authority Board consists of the 11 members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, who act as Transportation Authority Commissioners. Commissioner Scott Wiener is Chair of the Board. Tilly Chang is the Transportation Authority’s Executive Director.