The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has envisioned the installation of up to 70 operator convenience facilities, otherwise known as bathrooms, throughout The City, as it says the lack of bathrooms can disrupt service and jeopardize the health and safety of Muni operators. The agency is rolling them out in phases.
Today, the Board of Supervisors Land Use and Economic Development Committee will vote on installation on an existing traffic island on Third and Keith streets and on the southern sidewalk of Hudson Avenue, east of Third Street.
The prefabricated units are about 12-by-8-by-10 feet with women’s, men’s and unisex Americans With Disabilities Act-accessible bathrooms. The facilities have locking doors and are only accessible to Muni operators.
“Historically, SFMTA Transit Operators have used restroom facilities provided by gas service stations located throughout The City,” stated a Dec. 11 letter to the board from SFMTA Transportation Director Ed Reiskin. “However since the 1970s many service stations have closed and the SFMTA has had to pursue alternative strategies.”
Reiskin said Muni routes such as the 1-California, 29-Sunset, 33-Stanyan, 54-Felton and 71-Haight-Noriega lines can take between 43-85 minutes one way, “and access to clean safe restrooms are not always readily available.”
“Inadequate access can lead to disruption in service when the operator leaves the scheduled route to find a clean, available restroom,” Reiskin said. “In order to avoid such impacts to the quality of the service, operators need access to decent, safe and sanitary restrooms.”
This particular phase of the bathroom installation includes a total of six sites, including the two being voted on today. In addition to the Hunters Point-Bayview locations, the facilities include sites at Lincoln Boulevard and Bowley Street in the Presidio, 32nd Avenue and Geary Boulevard on school district property, 48th Avenue and Ortega Street, and 25th Street and Potrero Avenue.
With both of the Hunters Point-Bayview sites, the SFMTA sought agreements with local businesses to use their bathrooms, as it has in other locations, but they were found to not be feasible due to issues such as conflicting schedules with the Muni lines and business hours.
Currently there are 21 operator convenience facilities already installed at various locations.