High Five for the 5 Rapid
The 5/5R Fulton had some of the most significant service improvements in decades, aimed to increase the frequency of Muni service, reduce overcrowding and increasing safety along the route. The improvements were apart of Muni Forward’s effort to make getting around San Francisco safer, easier and more reliable. They included substantial service increases, eye-catching bus shelter enhancements, a new vibrant Muni system map designed to facilitate faster commutes, renaming core bus lines to better complement travel and changed the Limited bus line to Rapid.
Muni transports more than 700,000 people during a normal weekday: that’s more than the individual populations of Seattle, Washington, DC and Boston. The majority of those daily trips are taken by bus. For this round of service increases, Muni Forward prioritized the bus routes that are the workhorses of our transit system, identifying the time of day to enhance the frequency and extend service hours on Express routes. The cumulative result is more service and less crowding.
Overall, the 5 Fulton and the 5R Fulton Rapid are a Muni Forward success story. To date, improvements that span from La Playa to Market Street have resulted in a 60 percent increase in ridership from 14,000 in 2009 to 21,000 daily passengers today (equating to over 9,000 added daily boarding’s). The safety improvements constructed reduced the collision rate by almost 40 percent on the route.
We have made a number of transit improvements to the 5 Fulton line over the last 10 years including:
- 2009 we extended evening service to Transbay Terminal.
- 2011 McAllister was converted to a two-way street saving three minutes on the average trip.
- 2013 we launched the 5 Fulton Rapid service that reduced travel times along McAllister by up to seven minutes for the Rapid riders and reduced crashes on Fulton between Masonic and Shrader.
- 2015 increased frequency during rush hours and mid-day to reduce crowding.
- 2016 introduced 60’ buses on the 5R to reduce crowding.
- 2017-2018 implemented capital changes to reduce transit travel time along the corridor including installing bus bulbs at Rapid stops, traffic signals at various locations on Fulton (west of Park Presidio and east of Arguello) and McAllister.
These improvements have resulted in a 60 percent increase in ridership, equating to over 9,000 added daily boardings. Additionally, in a rider survey conducted in 2017, we found that 90 percent of riders were satisfied with the 5/5R service, 66 percent agreed that it is less crowded than when they first started riding it and 15 percent stated that they previously drove before switching to the 5 Rapid
For the recently completed segment on McAllister, the project team was recognized with a San Francisco Collaborative Partnering Award.
2017 Rider Survey found:
90 percent of riders satisfied with service.
66 percent found it less crowded.
- 15 percent previously drove before switching to the 5R Fulton Rapid.
More Improvements Coming for the 5 Fulton and 5R
The segment from Arguello to Park Presidio is the final segment of the 5 Fulton and 5R Fulton Rapid lines to be upgraded. To continue to improve travel time and reliability, the project proposes to add transit bulbs/sidewalk extensions at six bus stops on Fulton, without removing any parking spaces:
Arguello (farside outbound)
6th Avenue (farside outbound)
8th Avenue (farside, both directions)
Park Presidio (farside, both directions)
As these sidewalk extensions are located at well-trafficked entrances to Golden Gate Park, we are coordinating with SFMTA’s Livable Streets team as they study pedestrian safety needs along the Fulton corridor, as well as with SF Recreation & Park and SF Planning. The project will ensure these improved bus stops complement any additional pedestrian safety improvements being planned.