SFMTA Board of Directors Approves Transit Quick Build Program
After the successes of the Vision Zero Quick Build program, SFMTA launches a parallel effort to deliver faster transit improvements
San Francisco, CA — The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Board of Directors approved a Transit Quick Build Program on Tuesday, which streamlines the ability for the agency to deliver simple transit reliability improvements on the system’s most critical transit corridors. This program is modeled after a similar Quick Build program that Mayor London N. Breed championed to improve street safety with easy-to-implement, low-cost measures.
“San Francisco deserves a world-class transit system,” said Mayor Breed. “While it will take time to work through some of the systemic challenges our system faces, including operator shortages and infrastructure, we should waste no time in making the small, simple changes that can improve the transit experience for everyday riders. I am excited to see the SFMTA take the lessons learned from their existing Quick Build program and apply it across the agency.”
The expedited rollout of this program was one of the recommendations of the Transit Reliability Working Group, whose sponsors included Mayor Breed, Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, and Supervisor Aaron Peskin. This will be among the first of the recommendations implemented since the Working Group’s findings and recommendations were released three weeks ago.
The Transit Quick Build program will provide the agency more flexibility to implement street changes that support more reliable transit, such as queue jump lanes and improved stop accessibility. These changes will be focused on the most critical transit corridors as part of the Muni Forward Program and the top 10 delay “hot spots” around the network. As an example, the average speed of transit vehicles on some of the eligible segments are as slow as 4 miles per hour.
“Where we have made Muni Forward upgrades, ridership is increasing. The 5-Fulton is a prime example of a line which has netted a 60% increase in ridership coupled with a 40% decrease in collisions,” said Jeffrey Tumlin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “By approving a quick-build approach to these transit improvements, we’re able to accelerate the work to enhance the reliability of Muni service in our transit-first city.”
The SFMTA is working to pursue quick-build efforts to make our streets safer and to get transit moving,” said Gwyneth Borden, Vice Chair of the SFMTA Board of Directors and Co-Chair of the Transit Working Group. “We know our transportation improvements often take too long and we are excited to bring forward this recommendation from the Transit Reliability Working Group to the SFMTA Board in less than a month’s time.”
“As part of the Transit Reliability Working Group, we advocated for this effort and are happy that it is rolling out so soon with Mayor Breed’s support,” said Cat Carter, Acting Executive Director at the San Francisco Transit Riders. “Where we have invested in transit street priority, Muni moves faster and more reliably. We know what works, and we need the flexibility to roll out more of these improvements so riders aren't waiting years for proven solutions to get them where they need to go.”
“I’m ecstatic to see SFMTA staff, with Director Tumlin's leadership, proceed with the recommendations from the Transit Reliability Working Group” said Queena Chen, member of the SFMTA Citizens Advisory Council and of the Transit Working Group. “I look forward to seeing more of our recommendations being implemented alongside community feedback to continue to gain public trust around Muni service.”
Mayor Breed has continuously championed improved Muni service and reliability. Since becoming Mayor, the SFMTA has completed the replacement of the entire bus fleet and has begun the transition of all of its light rail vehicles. In addition, Mayor Breed has advocated for street design improvements to ensure San Francisco lives up to its goal of being a Transit First city. This includes the closure of Market Street to private vehicles to speed up transit times and supporting creative partnerships, like ticket bundling at the Chase Center, to increase transit ridership across the City.