From the Examiner with respect to plans for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in San Francisco:

Two planned projects to install swift-moving buses on Geary Boulevard and Van Ness Avenue are underfunded by as a much $235 million.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which operates Muni, wants to install bus-rapid transit vehicles on the two thoroughfares as a way to increase speed and efficiency and make public transportation a more attractive option on the congested corridors. The BRT vehicles (a hybrid of sorts between light-rail trains and Muni trolley buses) would travel on dedicated transit lanes and would receive signal priority at intersections.

However, the BRT proposal for Van Ness Avenue is facing a funding shortfall of $15 million to $80 million, and the one on Geary Boulevard has a gap of $115 million to $155 million, according to the SFMTA, which will make a presentation on the project at its Board of Directors meeting Tuesday.

With funding the Van Ness BRT line would be up and running in 2015, the Geary BRT line by 2016. Without funding, well…
Bus rapid transit projects facing major funding shortfalls [SFExaminer]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Joe

    Love, the city that knows how.
    p.s. David heller just messed himself over the idea of Geary BRT never happening

  2. Posted by sfrenegade

    This may be elevated to TARFU instead of just SNAFU. Or perhaps even higher, since Geary RT (no B, unless you’re talking about its historic Muni designation, the B-Geary)) should have been in the works at least 46 years ago. Without this funding, Geary RT will be even further behind.

  3. Posted by kthnxybe

    I’m on one of the citizen’s advisory committees for these projects. This explains why our last meeting was canceled and never rescheduled.
    It was always my understanding, however, that the remainder of the federal funding to make it happen was something that was going to be applied for after the preferred project alternatives were selected. Perhaps I didn’t understand correctly.

  4. Posted by BeyondAngry

    So it’s OK to spend about 200 million on an America’s Cup sailing center, but we can’t get BRT funding? Another fine example of San Francisco “liberal values”. I am coming to the conclusion that the entire city government only serves the needs of those who live on outer Broadway.

  5. Posted by @BeyondAngry

    …and inner Turk st.

  6. Posted by sfrenegade

    “So it’s OK to spend about 200 million on an America’s Cup sailing center”
    Please find the answer to “Where is the America’s Cup money coming from?” before getting outraged about it.
    To quote SocketSite on this question:
    San Francisco’s pitch to host the 2013 America’s Cup now includes a promise “to raise at least $270 million from businesses and other sponsors”
    SFMTA projects are funded by a different source.

  7. Posted by DiverJ

    I remember a few yeas back when BART had a surplus and decided to give riders free rides. Genius use of funds. “I don’t see how we’ll ever need more $$ in the future — let’s just give it away”

  8. Posted by BobN

    A rather remarkable price tag for some painted lines and bollards…

  9. Posted by sfrenegade

    “I remember a few yeas back when BART had a surplus and decided to give riders free rides.”
    Luckily this time they saved the cash and used it for car improvements, like cleaning, and also saving for the future. The most recent free-ride idea was proposed by the BART board members who were up for re-election, and when they polled BART riders, they wildly disagreed with the terrible idea to give a piddly fare decrease for a few months.

  10. Posted by acoustician

    Really, is BRT that good of a deal anyway? It’s always sounded to me like less than a half-measure.

  11. Posted by sfrenegade

    “It’s always sounded to me like less than a half-assed measure.”
    Fixed that for you. Theoretically, the idea is to create a solid right of way on Geary and Van Ness that could be upgraded to subway/light rail one day. Realistically, if we had had the political will over the last 50 years and been able to convince the Geary merchants, it would be light rail or subway already. It might take another 50 to get from BRT to something better, so yes it is less than half-assed, perhaps quarter-assed.

  12. Posted by diemos

    BRT is incredibly cost effective. It just carries the usual stigma that its “the bus”.

  13. Posted by kthnxybe

    BRT has certain advantages over LRT, including flexibility, cost and timetable to completion – including the time it takes to placate NIMBYs. A subway is the ideal situation of course, but we’re not getting that in my lifetime. Nobody is buying me my ideal living situation at 2701 Broadway either, nor a pony.
    But it sounds like we’re stuck with the indignities of the 38 Geary for a while longer.

  14. Posted by Adam

    This is really interesting:
    It would reduce the amount of lines overhead and allow more flexibility for MUNI buses.

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