Michael Schwartz, SFCTA, email@example.com, (415) 522‐4823
Paul Rose, SFMTA, firstname.lastname@example.org, (415) 701‐4582
San Francisco, CA – On Tuesday, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (“SFMTA”) Board voted to approve a planned bus rapid transit project (“BRT”) on Van Ness Avenue. This vote comes a week after the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (“SFCTA”) Board voted unanimously to approve the Van Ness BRT project and to certify the project’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR) as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), clearing the way for design and implementation. The Van Ness BRT project is a signature project of the SFCTA’s Prop K transportation sales tax program. Next, the project goes to the Federal Transit Administration (“FTA”) for federal environmental approval of the project environmental impact statement (EIS), as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and funding approval for federal funds that will help to pay for project construction.
The vote on Tuesday is the culmination of years of multi‐agency collaboration at the local, state, and federal levels to develop BRT along Van Ness Avenue, which operates as Highway 101 through the city. The project itself calls for dedicated bus lanes separated from traffic from Lombard to Mission Streets that 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 travel time on the corridor by as much as 33 percent. In addition, pedestrian improvements, signal upgrades, new streetlights, new landscaping and roadway resurfacing will be implemented throughout the corridor.
“Van Ness BRT will provide world class transit for tens of thousands of local and regional riders who travel across the city each day,” said Tom Nolan, Chair of the SFMTA. “We look to BRT to demonstrate the innovative ways that we can realize our growth plans while maintaining circulation and improving travel safety for residents, customers, and visitors alike.”
The Van Ness BRT project is the highest rated FTA Small Starts Project in the nation for project justification, including a rating of “high” for cost effectiveness. The total cost of the project is $126 million, and the project funding plan anticipates $75 million in FTA “Small Starts” support, and $20 million in Prop K funding, among other sources.
“I am delighted that the city has chosen such a graceful and high‐performing design for Van Ness BRT,” stated John Avalos, Chair of the SFCTA. “We look forward to developing the Geary BRT project along with Muni’s citywide network of rapid transit – together these projects will enhance mobility and livability all across the city.”
“The Van Ness BRT project will transform Van Ness for Muni riders and for pedestrians, making travel a much more pleasant, safe, and efficient experience,” said Ed Reiskin, Director of Transportation at the SFMTA.
With BRT, local and regional transit users will benefit from faster more seamless connections to the large number of Muni lines crossing Van Ness Avenue, and to the regional connections in the corridor at Civic Center BART station and the Caltrain terminus at 4th and King Streets.
“A transformative project like Van Ness BRT requires strong partnerships to deliver. We thank our partners at Caltrans, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and the FTA for their invaluable support,” stated Maria Lombardo, Interim Executive Director of the SFCTA.
With the environmental approvals of the project completed, the design phase commences. The SFMTA anticipates creating a Citizens Advisory Committee for the project to oversee project development. BRT service is expected to begin on Van Ness Avenue by early 2018.
About the San Francisco County Transportation Authority
Created in 1989, the 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 vehicle registration fee for transportation improvements, 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 the SFCTA, visit www.sfcta.org.
About The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency
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 35,000 extra vehicles enter San Francisco on any given business day, and rely on the SFMTA to keep the flow of cars, transit vehicles, taxis, delivery trucks, pedestrians and bicycles moving smoothly through the streets.