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San Francisco Welcomes Global Climate Leaders

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Muni, the greenest transit system in the United States.

It’s a little-known fact that San Francisco is home to the first publicly-owned and operated transit system in the United States. It’s even less widely known that the San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni) operates the greenest transit system of any major city in North America.

Thus, it seems somewhat fitting that San Francisco will play host to the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) from September 12th - 14th at the Moscone Center. The Summit, organized by Governor Jerry Brown, will bring together climate leaders from around the world to “take ambition to the next level.”

The Summit will provide a unique venue to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of countries, states, regions, cities, companies, investors and citizens with respect to climate action. At the same time, the Summit will provide a launch pad for new ideas, deeper worldwide commitments and accelerated action from countries that can put the planet on track to prevent climate change and realize the historic Paris Agreement.

Environmental sustainability has long been a priority for the City of San Francisco. The SFMTA’s work is guided by three policies: Transit First, Vision Zero and the City’s Climate Action Strategy. Together, these policies play an important role in guiding the agency’s efforts to provide a variety of environmentally sustainable mobility options for San Franciscans.

Here are a few of the things we have been doing to help address climate change at home:

  • Muni carries 26 percent of all daily trips in San Francisco, with more than 725,000 trips per day and 200 million trips per year. Despite this, Muni generates less than two percent of San Francisco’s transportation sector greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (and less than one percent of the city’s total GHG emissions).
  • Muni light rail vehicles and trolley coaches run on 100 percent clean Hetch Hetchy power and our hybrid buses run on 100 percent renewable diesel.
  • San Francisco has committed to operating an entirely battery-electric bus fleet by 2035. As that technology continues to be developed and tested, we are working on ways to further reduce emissions as we make the transition.
  • San Francisco is one of only five transit agencies in North America to be recognized with APTA’s Platinum Sustainability certification.
  • In 2014, San Francisco became the second city in the United States to adopt Vision Zero. By making our streets safer, we are making active forms of transportation, such as walking and bicycling, more attractive and viable alternatives.
  • Bicycling is the fastest growing mode of travel in San Francisco. Last year, the city was ranked the second “most bicycle-friendly city in the United States” by Bicycling Magazine.

Summit Affiliate Event

While the Summit itself is by invitation only, there are a variety of “affiliate events”, which are open to the public.

On Tuesday, Sept. 11 from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., the SFMTA will co-host an event entitled, Joined-Up Climate and Health Governance: Best Practices in partnership with the Mediterranean City Climate Change Consortium (MC-4), Loyola Marymount University Center for Urban Resilience and the LA Regional Collaborative.

The event is free and open to the public and will feature speakers from the World Health Organization, European Commission, UN-Habitat, the SFMTA and San Francisco Department of Public Health. Space is limited, so be sure to RSVP.

For more information, visit the Global Climate Action Summit webpage.

Howard Street Closure

During the week of GCAS and extending through the Annual Salesforce Conference, there will be some road closures that will affect traffic on Howard Street.

Tuesday, September 11 through Sunday, September 30: Howard Street between 3rd and 4th streets will be closed to vehicular traffic from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day. This closure encompasses the Global Climate Action Summit, Moscone Center construction work and the annual closure for the Salesforce conference.

Heavier than normal traffic should be anticipated throughout the closure period from 2nd to 4th streets between Market and Harrison streets. Vehicular and bicycle detours will be posted.

Additional details on the conferences can be found on the GCAS and Salesforce webpages.