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The proposal to implement transit improvements along the Bayshore Corridor (generally the southeast part of the City between downtown and the county line, and east of Highway 101 to the Bay) has been under discussion for several years:
San Francisco voters passed Proposition B, which instituted a half-cent sales tax in the City and County of San Francisco to support transportation improvements and established the San Francisco County Transportation Authority to oversee programming of the tax proceeds for various transportation projects. The Expenditure Plan for these funds lists both the Bayshore and Geary Corridors as high priority corridors for "fixed guideway" transit improvements.
Muni completed the Bayshore Corridor Systems Planning Study, which examined ten alternatives along three different routes (Bayshore Boulevard, Third Street and the Caltrain right-of-way). The alternatives covered a range of transit modes, including diesel bus, electric trolley bus, rapid transit and light rail. Following this study, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (now replaced by the Public Transportation Commission) endorsed the vision of many community members and recommended that Muni select a light rail project down the median of Third Street in a dedicated right-of-way. The proposed new line would extend service from downtown to the Bayshore CalTrain station.
Muni began detailed planning for the newly renamed Third Street Light Rail Project, including preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement / Environmental Impact Report. A team of engineers and transit planners headed by ICF Kaiser Engineers worked with Muni and other City staff to determine station locations, project ridership demand and travel times and evaluate several alternatives for accessing downtown San Francisco from the Third Street Corridor. This process included extensive public outreach in the communities along the proposed light rail corridor: Chinatown, Union Square, Downtown, South of Market, Mission Bay, Central Waterfront/Potrero Hill, Bayview Hunters Point and Visitacion Valley. To aid in this process, Muni formed a Community Advisory Group (CAG), consisting of representatives from each of these neighborhoods, which met periodically to give input to Muni's light rail planning team.
After almost a year of study and community outreach the Public Transportation Commission accepted the recommendation of both Muni staff and the CAG and selected the two-phase "Build Alternative" for the light rail project. This action of the Commission defined the downtown alignment, set the station locations and determined an array of other project features. These recommendations were the result of stimulating discussion and compromise among the light rail planning team and CAG members about some key project issues, including:
The City of San Francisco and the Federal Transit Administration released the project's draft Environmental Impact Statement / Environmental Impact Report , a joint federal and state document. The EIS/EIR analyzes the impacts of the "Build Alternative" as compared with those of a "No Build" alternative in which the City would not undertake a major project in the corridor.
The San Francisco Public Transportation Commission officially selected the two-phase Third Street Light Rail Project as the "Locally Preferred Alternative" for transportation improvements in the Third Street Corridor. At the same time, the Commission also resolved the project's remaining design options. Thirty-three community members testified at this hearing, giving the commissioners their input on the project and the remaining decisions.
June 1998-June 1999
With the Public Transportation Commission's selection of the light rail line as the Locally Preferred Alternative, Muni kicked off an Urban Design Study for the corridor. Over this one-year period, Muni and its team of architects, landscape architects and artists studied the corridor and met many times with residents and merchants to come up with ideas for a completely new look for Third Street and Bayshore Boulevard. The result is a design concept for the corridor which includes unique station platform canopies, colorful trackway paving, re-designed streetlights and street trees. In addition, three artist teams have contributed to the designs, making them unique for each neighborhood.
December 1998-March 1999
The San Francisco Planning Commission certified the project's Environmental Impact Report and the Federal Transit Administration issued a Record of Decision on the Environmental Impact Statement. This represented the conclusion of the state and federal environmental process, clearing the light rail project for final engineering and construction.
Muni engineering staff completes the Conceptual Engineering Report for Phase 1 (Initial Operating Segment) of the light rail line. The conceptual engineering process established a baseline cost and schedule for the construction of the project and recommended solutions to any outstanding engineering issues.
Muni engineering completes Preliminary Engineering for Phase I (IOS). At this level, 30% of the design is complete and cost estimates are more accurate.
The Federal Transit Administration authorizes Muni to enter into Final Design.
The San Francisco County Transit Authority authorizes funding for detailed design.
Muni breaks ground on the first segment of work in the Mission Bay area.
San Francisco voters pass Proposition K reauthorizing Proposition B for the continuation of an instituted half-cent sales tax in the City and County of San Francisco to support transportation improvements with the San Francisco County Transportation Authority continuing to oversee programming of the tax proceeds for various transportation projects. Visit the SF County Transportation Authority’s website for further detail.
Muni begins the preliminary engineering work for the Central Subway, Phase 2 of the Third Street Light Rail Project.
For Muni route, schedule, fare and accessible services information anytime: Visit www.sfmta.com or call 311.
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