Geary Bus Rapid Transit will improve Geary Boulevard with much-needed safety improvements and faster, more reliable bus service for the 54,000 people who use the 38 Geary and 38R Geary Rapid bus routes every day. Project improvements include red bus-only lanes, signal priority for buses, expanded rapid and local bus service, and a suite of safety improvements such as sidewalk extensions, accessible curb ramps, protected left turn signals.
Geary Bus Rapid Transit project features:
More efficient and reliable transit: Geary Bus Rapid Transit would make bus service 20-24 percent quicker along the corridor, saving people on 38 Geary bus routes up to 20 minutes per round trip. Buses would arrive more frequently and improved reliability would provide more consistent wait times.
More accessible bus stops: Boarding islands and sidewalk extensions to make it easier to get on and off the bus; and safer crossings with shorter crossing distances. These improvements combined with upgraded lighting and signals will enhance safety.
A more vibrant corridor for the community with new pedestrian-focused lighting and more landscaping and trees.
A smoother roadway with newly paved streets.
More reliable utilities with new water and sewer infrastructure.
Timeline and Status
Geary Bus Rapid Transit will be implemented in two phases.
Project boundaries: On Geary from Market to Stanyan
Implementation started in 2018 with the painting of the bus-only lanes and stop changes between Market and Stanyan streets. Other upgrades like the installation of new traffic signal infrastructure and new pedestrian and bus bulbs will follow. This phase is expected to be complete in 2021.
Project boundaries: On Geary from Stanyan to 34th Avenue
Next steps for Phase 2 including conceptual engineering, final design, approvals and construction. Following additional design work the team will be able to develop a more detailed construction schedule.
This project is led by the SFMTA in partnership with SF Public Works and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.
With $49 million of Prop K half-cent sales tax funds supporting the project, the Transportation Authority continues to provide project support and oversight.
Cost and Funding
The estimated cost of the project is $300 million. That figure includes both the proposed transit improvements, utility upgrades, and additional streetscape elements.
Phase 1 is now fully funded with Transit Performance Initiative funds and various local funds, including the Prop K transportation sales tax and Prop AA Vehicle Registration fee.
Planned funding of Phase 2 includes about $49 million from the Prop K sales tax, $2 million in Prop AA Vehicle Registration fee, and $100 million from the Federal Transit Administration’s Small Starts program. The Mayor’s Transportation 2030 Task Force identified Geary Bus Rapid Transit as one of the few named projects in its investment plan (PDF), with a $27 million investment, and also deemed Geary Bus Rapid Transit eligible for a portion of the $58 million identified for the Transit Performance Initiative in its investment plan. These represent two of the multiple options being explored to help fill the project’s funding gap.
Mike Tan, Administrative Engineer, email@example.com
The more than 54,000 daily riders on the 38 Geary need more efficient and reliable transit service. Bus Rapid Transit on Geary will provide those service improvements.
There are many different elements that make up a Bus Rapid Transit system. One of the main features is dedicated bus lanes, which get buses out of congested traffic and reduce delays. New boarding platforms are another part of a Bus Rapid Transit system and make it safer and easier to get on and off the bus. Other features that keep the buses moving, like stop changes and traffic signal adjustments, will save riders even more time. By combining all these elements, we expect bus travel times to be reduced as much as 24 percent when the project is complete.
The Transportation Authority Board approved the Geary Bus Rapid Transit Project and certified the Final Environmental Impact Report on January 5, 2017. The Federal Transit Administration issued its Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision in the Federal Register on June 1, 2018, representing the project’s final environmental approval.
While the Geary Bus Rapid Transit has been decades in the making—we’re also looking to the future of transportation on the corridor. The project’s design allows for the addition of future rail service. The City is currently evaluating longer-term plans for the San Francisco's rail network, including the Geary corridor. That means rail could be installed if funding becomes available. This flexibility makes Geary Bus Rapid Transit a good investment both for the near-term and the future.
Citizens Advisory Committee
The Transportation Authority’s Geary Bus Rapid Transit Citizens Advisory Committee, which advised our agency throughout the environmental analysis, has concluded its work on the project.
The SFMTA has formed a new Geary Community Advisory Committee to advise on the design and implementation phases of the project.
Public Feedback during the Environmental Phase: What We Heard and What We Did
Residents, community leaders, advocates and merchants all along the corridor contributed to the design for Geary Bus Rapid Transit.
Their input resulted in:
- Preserving a local bus stop at Collins Street and Rapid stop at Laguna Street
- Safe and efficient transit access for students: Bus-only lanes will extend to 34th Avenue to serve nearby schools
- Keeping the Webster Street bridge: The pedestrian bridge at Webster Street will be preserved with new crossings and medians on either side of the street
- Maintained turns: The project will keep key left turns and all right turns on the corridor
- Adding a dedicated turn lane for access to the Japantown Garage
- Improved safety: The project will make crossing Geary safer with more than 100 sidewalk extensions and bike improvements along key north-south bike routes
- Preserved parking: More than 95 percent of parking spaces within one to two blocks of the corridor would be retained, including the existing curbside parking and loading between Spruce and Cook streets
National Environmental Policy Act Re-Evaluation
A NEPA Re-evaluation describes and considers several additional design changes to the first phase of the project, between Market Street and Stanyan Street, made in response to community feedback and additional technical work during SFMTA's final design process. Based on the re-evaluation materials, the Federal Transit Administration found that the design changes are not substantial and would not require further assessment.
Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision
The Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision represent the final federal environmental review actions under the National Environmental Policy Act.