SFMTA recently announced that they’ll be eliminating parking at around 1,200 bus stops across the city.
According to the SFMTA statement, of the 3,500+ Muni stops in SF, there are about 1,200 stops without adequate space for the bus to pull up to the curb. These stops often require riders to walk in between parked cars to get on and off the bus which can be difficult and potentially dangerous.
This is the result of a resolution passed by the SF Board of Supervisors in 2021 and is aimed at improving safety for all riders, especially seniors and people with disabilities.
Phase 1 – Near side
SFMTA will tackle the first 900 of these stops in 2023, addressing 50-75 stops per month. This first batch is “near side” stops, meaning a bus stop that sits right before an intersection.
20-foot-long red curbs will be painted on the area leading up to the intersection. This will give buses space to completely pull over to the curb, which is a boon for any rider with mobility issues.
According to SFMTA, work on painting these zones red will be carried out in this order:
Bus stops on citywide accessibility routes identified in the Muni Service Equity Strategy. These routes are heavily used by seniors and people with disabilities and include the 8 Bayshore, 9 and 9R San Bruno, 14 and 14R Mission, 30 Stockton, 31 Balboa, 38 Geary and 49 Van Ness/Mission.
Bus stops on Muni’s remaining rapid and frequent routes (10 minutes service or less). The remaining near-side flag stops that are not along accessibility routes, rapid routes or frequent routes.
Phase 2 – Far side
The next phase will start in mid-2024 which will address the additional 300 stops. These “far side” stops include any stop that sits directly after an intersection or mid-block. This type of stop will get the same 20-foot red curb in addition to other changes to improve overall safety.
SFMTA has stated that their priorities during this phase will be:
Stops with more than 100 boardings per day
Stops with significant wheelchair ramp deployments
Stops with passenger requests for stop upgrades to improve access or complaints about lack of access Commercial areas
Stops with existing transit shelters
For those of you who are concerned about the reduction in parking spots, SFMTA makes a fair point.
“It’s important to keep in mind that there are many competing interests vying for the limited curb space in San Francisco,” the transit agency commented. “Right now, 90% of curb space in the city is allocated to parking. Only 1% of curb space is dedicated to transit boardings or accommodating pick-ups/drop-offs and shared mobility services.”
Featured image: Courtesy of SFMTA