The Transportation Authority is creating a School Access Plan for San Francisco to recommend transportation solutions for K-5 students and their families. Proposed solutions will focus on children and caregivers who are burdened by medium- and long-distance trips to school and afterschool activities. Solutions will seek to close equity gaps and provide sustainable transportation options to help reduce vehicle travel.
The plan will build on the Transportation Authority’s 2016 Child Transportation Study, which found that most parents drive their children to school and afterschool activities and that most parents are interested in alternative transportation options. Strategies to address these challenges will be co-created with parents and stakeholders and are likely to include:
- New shuttle services
- Strategies to improve caregiver and student safety on public transit
- Strategies to improve trust and communication between caregivers and city/school officials
This study was requested by District 4 Supervisor and Transportation Authority Board Member Gordon Mar.
The Transportation Authority is coordinating closely with the San Francisco Unified School District as well as the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families and SFMTA.
Timeline and Status
- Early 2022: Review past efforts, analyze existing conditions, and refine study goals
- Spring and Fall 2022: Public and stakeholder engagement, strategy development
- Early 2023: Final recommendations, final report
Cost and Funding
The program was funded by a Caltrans Sustainable Communities Grant with local matching funds contributed by District 4 Supervisor and Transportation Authority Board Member Gordon Mar.
In May 2022, the Transportation Authority held a series of focus groups in English, Spanish, and Cantonese to hear from caregivers about key challenges of the school commute. A wide variety of challenges were identified and caregivers expressed a strong desire for improved transportation options. Common challenges discussed included threats to personal safety when riding public transportation and the difficulty of coordinating transportation for children at multiple schools.
During the 2022-23 school year, the Transportation Authority will return to caregivers with draft strategies to improve school transportation and ask for help refining strategies through in-language co-creation sessions and an online survey.
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