With mid-Market rebirth cruising, Muni looks to add express bus 

click to enlarge Muni has proposed adding an express route that would run between Civic Center and the Caltrain station at Fourth and Townsend streets. - COURTESY SFMTA
  • Courtesy SFMTA
  • Muni has proposed adding an express route that would run between Civic Center and the Caltrain station at Fourth and Townsend streets.

The resurgence of the mid-Market Street neighborhood could be boosted by another bus line serving the area.

Muni has proposed adding an express route that would operate during peak weekday travel times. The 83X Mid-Market Express would travel an L-shaped path from the Caltrain station at Fourth and Townsend streets to the Civic Center at Ninth and Market streets, running from 7 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 8 p.m.

Being an express bus, the line would run every 15 minutes. It would make no stops in the inbound direction and one, at Eighth and Market streets, outbound toward the Caltrain station.

The new service would cost Muni nothing because of maintenance and operational efficiencies.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency spokesman Paul Rose said the burgeoning number of businesses in the mid-Market area is creating a need for more transit options for regional commuters. South of Market also is experiencing similar growth, he said.

Since Twitter agreed last year to locate its permanent headquarters in mid-Market, city officials have touted the perpetually blighted area as one poised for rebirth. On Thursday, Mayor Ed Lee, whose payroll tax breaks lured Twitter to the neighborhood, announced new details about Market Square, an office building at 1355 Market St. that will one day house 750,000 square feet of commercial operations.

By creating more options for commuters, the 83X bus is in line with Lee’s vision for a renewed mid-Market area, said his spokeswoman, Christine Falvey.

Carolyn Diamond, executive director of the Market Street Association, a business group, said the 83X bus would be a good start, although she questioned why it won’t make more stops along Market Street.

“Really, the bus seems to be just passing through mid-Market,” said Diamond. “Historically, that’s been the problem with the area — people just pass through without stopping. Still, I applaud the effort to improve the neighborhood.”

The 83X would operate as a supplemental line to the 47-Van Ness, said Rose. The last new Muni line was introduced in 2011. The NX bus is an express route that complements N-Judah light-rail service.

The SFMTA board of directors is scheduled to vote on the 83X at its meeting Tuesday.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

Rolling out the 83X

Inbound route: Nonstop between Fourth and Townsend and Ninth and Market

Outbound: Ninth and Market to Fourth and Townsend, making a stop at Eighth and Market

Frequency: Morning inbound service timed with departing Caltrain lines; otherwise, buses would run every 15 minutes.

Operating hours: 7-11 a.m. and 4-8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays

State date: June 2012

Source: SFMTA

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Will Reisman

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