San Francisco to build 'equitable' public transit

ConnectSF collaboration seeks projects to ensure sustainable transportation in city
Mobility as a Service / May 3, 2021
By Ben Spencer
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency ConnectSF San Francisco County Transportation Authority Transit Corridor Study StoryMap
SFMTA says transit is essential and an ongoing funding source will be critical for managing congestion (© Andreistanescu |

A collaboration involving the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has unveiled a plan to help identify projects and policies for more effective transportation. 

The SFMTA is leading the ConnectSF collaboration to build an equitable and sustainable transportation in the city alongside the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) and the city's planning department. 

The new Transit Corridor Study StoryMap serves as an information tool that details improvements that could be realised in the near future, such as a five-minute network, new rail lines and infrastructure improvements.

Project staff will seek input from residents and community and business groups on reinvestments for the city's transit system via a transit investment strategy.

SFMTA director of transportation Jeffrey Tumlin says: “As we work to build a new funding base for Muni, we need the public’s help thinking about the future of San Francisco transit. Muni’s current funding base is broken, as ride-hail and autonomous vehicles cut our revenues. We need new tools to manage San Francisco’s limited street space to move more people and goods and prioritise those with the fewest choices.”

ConnectSF's top investment priorities include increasing service and making changes that enable new or better transit options.

Rich Hillis, director of San Francisco Planning, says: “All San Franciscans should have equitable access to reliable public transit from their homes, jobs or schools, and the environmental benefits that come with it. The ConnectSF Transit Investment Strategy will ensure that proposed investments in transit will support current and future land uses and will provide a high quality transit system for generations to come.”

The SFMTA says transit is essential to keeping the city moving, and an ongoing funding source will be critical for managing congestion and rebuilding the economy. 

Tilly Chang, executive director of the SFCTA, says: “As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, transit will be critical for our economic recovery and to manage growing traffic congestion. The ConnectSF transit strategy will raise system accessibility and reliability for riders across the city, addressing key safety, equity and climate needs and helping us to reach our ConnectSF vision for the future.”

However, the SFMTA recognises that delivering a modern Muni metro also requires the funding necessary to catch up with its backlog of deferred maintenance and to enhance the light rail system. 

This includes upgrading Muni Metro with a new train control system to allow for four-car trains and a predictable service.

In the future, in those areas of the city where no amount of bus improvements will be able to meet the demand, long-term planning will also include new major rail projects.

For more information on companies in this article