HOW SAN FRANCISCO IS REDESIGNING ITS RAPID TRANSIT NETWORK
As part of a massive transit plan for San Francisco, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has identified the 5 Fulton corridor as being part of the proposed Rapid Network.
According to the SFMTA, a Rapid Network is “bus service with dedicated lanes and vehicles that allows transit to move swiftly on the street.” Although the 5 Fulton is the latest to be announced as a possibility for the Rapid Network, it is certainly not the only line looking to change.
Rapid Network Projects Proposed and In Affect
Other routes that may soon change include the 14 Mission, 22 Fillmore, 28 19th Avenue, 71 Haight-Noriega, 8x Bayshore, the J-Church light rail, the L-Taraval light rail and the N-Judah light rail.
There are even plans to improve the M-Ocean View light rail, by constructing a subway tunnel under 19th Avenue, near SF State and Stonestown Galleria, into Park Merced. The project would also put a light-rail bridge over Junipero Serra Blvd. and would rebuild the street with wider sidewalks, a landscaped median and an off-street bike path, according to the plan.
Rapid Transit Routes: What They Are, and How They Work
The SFMTA expects that about 70% of its customers ride on a handful of lines. As a result, and one that is no secret to San Franciscans, some of these lines are very slow, and very crowded, especially during rush hour times. Creating what the SFMTA calls a “Rapid Network” is designed to improve those lines in an effort to speed up that lengthy commute to downtown.
Rapid Networks are routes in which busses have dedicated lanes, to better allow for traffic to move quickly on the street. In addition, the networks create larger boarding zones that allow for more efficient all-door boarding. The networks are also reconstructed to have high-visibility crosswalks, as well as improved medians with better lighting, stations and landscaping.
The Bigger Picture: San Francisco’s Transportation Redesign
The creation of a Rapid Network is only a small part of a larger plan to redesign much of the way San Franciscans travel. In addition to the Rapid plan, the SFMTA has also begun constructing the Central-T Subway, and a much improved Transbay Transit Center.
The Central-T Subway Project is a massive light-rail project that is connecting Bayshore and Mission Bay to downtown. The $1.56 billion project consists of constructing a 1.7 mile subway system that will have stops in Chinatown, Union Square, SOMA, Yerba Buena, and possibly even North Beach. The subway is expected to be fully functional and open to the public by 2019.
The Transbay Transit Center will replace the old Transbay Terminal with a new structure near Second and Mission Streets. This massive transit hub, or as it has been called, “The Grand Central Station of the West,” will connect San Francisco with eight Bay Area counties through 11 different transit systems, including Caltrain and California High Speed Rail, the much anticipated high-speed train that will connect Los Angeles and San Francisco. In addition to being a massive transit hub, the Huffington Post reported that the Transbay Transit center will have an open-air amphitheater, a children’s play space and restaurants and cafés.
Pretty cool. These changes are not the only modifications coming soon to our great city. There’s a lot to look forward to. Stay tuned!