City Officials Celebrate Opening Of Bus Rapid Transit System On Van Ness Avenue

San Francisco officials on Friday celebrated the launch of the city’s first Bus Rapid Transit system along the Van Ness Avenue thoroughfare.

The long-running project, which started construction in 2016, seeks to improve Muni service and address traffic congestion on the busy north-south street by having buses use red center-running transit-only lanes.

Crews also upgraded pedestrian crossing signals, utilities, lighting and landscaping along Van Ness as part of the $345.9 million project. The utility fixes included replacing sewer pipes and water mains, some of which hadn’t been replaced in more than a century, city officials said.

The Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit system will serve the 49-Mission/Van Ness and 90-San Bruno Owl Muni bus lines and some Golden Gate Transit buses and is expected to cut travel times for passengers on those buses by a third.

City officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday morning to celebrate the opening of the new transit-only lanes.


“Today marks a significant step forward in our effort to transform transit safety and efficiency along one of San Francisco’s busiest corridors,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also issued a statement about the project, which received about $116 million in federal funding.

“The first of its kind in San Francisco, the Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit System will provide easier commutes through the heart of our city — reducing congestion, improving safety and helping combat the climate crisis,” Pelosi said.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency director of transportation Jeffrey Tumlin said, “We have long awaited today’s momentous grand opening and can’t thank the city and the Van Ness corridor enough for their patience and cooperation” during construction on the project.

More information about the project can be found at https://www.sfmta.com/projects/van-ness-improvement-project.

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