Bus rapid transit has green light to launch 

click to enlarge Clearing the road: The Bus Rapid Transit plan approved by the SFMTA will create special bus-only lanes on Van Ness Avenue and limit left turns. - COURTESY RENDERING
  • COURTESY RENDERING
  • Clearing the road: The Bus Rapid Transit plan approved by the SFMTA will create special bus-only lanes on Van Ness Avenue and limit left turns.

A plan to run swift-moving buses down the center of Van Ness Avenue was unanimously approved by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency on Tuesday.

Known as bus rapid transit, the vehicles will travel on grade-separated lanes and benefit from traffic lights timed to speed up service in both directions. The bus rapid transit lines will replace Muni’s existing service on Van Ness Avenue, which is frequently mired in traffic.

Transit speeds are expected to increase by 30 percent on Van Ness Avenue as a result of the new system.
Passengers will board the buses on islands in the middle of Van Ness Avenue. Left turns will be banned on the street between Lombard and Mission streets, with Broadway as the lone exception.

The preferred design of the plans was approved by the SFMTA’s board of directors Tuesday. It was chosen over another option that would have sent the vehicles traveling down the far-right lanes of Van Ness Avenue.
The project is expected to be completed by 2016. Officials have said it will cost around $125 million to complete.

So far, $80 million has been secured from federal, local and private sources.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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Will Reisman

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