The SFMTA Launches Next Phase of Country’s First Mixed-Use Bus Yard
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all surface transportation in the city, today released the Request for Qualifications for the Potrero Yard Modernization Project. This innovative project will replace the obsolete bus facility and yard with a modern, three-story bus maintenance and storage garage, equipped to serve the SFMTA’s fleet as it grows and transitions to battery electric vehicles. It will also enable more efficient trolley bus maintenance, enhance the agency’s resilience to climate change and natural disasters, and ensure that SFMTA staff are able to perform their work with enhanced safety and efficiency measures.
“Potrero Yard is our second oldest bus yard in the Muni system and prior to Covid-19 carried 14% of our total ridership,” said Director of Transportation Jeffrey Tumlin. “Rebuilding the yard is not only important for keeping our buses running now and into the future, but also for realizing an incredible opportunity to support the city’s housing and affordable housing goals above the yard.”
This first-in-the-nation mixed-use bus yard will not only store and maintain 213 buses, increasing capacity by approximately 50%, it will also include up to 575 rental units of housing with an initial affordability target of 50%. The city’s commitment to addressing a citywide shortage of affordable housing means this project also challenges potential developers to seek additional funds to maximize the affordability percentage, even up to 100% affordable.
“This is a long overdue project that will bring this bus operations and maintenance facility into the 21st century by enhancing staff working conditions, supporting battery-electric trolley bus operations, and being able to maintain reliable transit service for our customers” said Julie Kirschbaum, SFMTA Director of Transit.
The facility will include the following features:
- LEED Gold Certification
- Built to an elevated structural and seismic standard
- Infrastructure for battery-electric buses
- Centralized location for Street Operations - Muni’s “first responders”
- Centralized, modern space for Muni operator training
- Ground floor active uses on Bryant and possibly 17th streets
As the City and County of San Francisco and the SFMTA face a new reality under COVID-19, the pandemic presents challenges to the project in several ways, including rapidly changing market conditions. Despite these uncertainties, the SFMTA and the city are committed to an equitable project with a substantial, ambitious affordable housing component. The SFMTA is also adapting community outreach strategies during mandatory social distancing to continue transparent, comprehensive, and inclusive stakeholder engagement.
“This exciting project will help fix two of the city's most pressing issues: lack of affordable housing and unreliable transit service,” said Alexander Hirji, Potrero Yard Neighborhood Working Group member and San Francisco Youth Commissioner. “The yard portion of the Project allows the SFMTA to maintain busses effectively, send them out to the riders, and it allows for future bus technology innovations in years to come. Up top, the affordable housing portion allows this city to make strides to its goals for providing quality affordable housing to residents. This project will shape the agency for many decades, and in a good, sustainable, and equitable way.”
This RFQ initiates the process to select a developer partner to design and build the project. The RFQ process will evaluate the qualifications of proposed project teams and determine up to three top responders based on an evaluation of relevant experience and qualifications. The top responders will then be invited to submit a full proposal through a subsequent Request for Proposals (RFP) process that will be issued in early 2021. The city strongly encourages all potential respondents to elevate the participation and contribution of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and underrepresented voices as teams are formed. Respondent teams should reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of San Francisco and participation of underrepresented communities.
San Francisco Public Works will administer the contract on behalf of the SFMTA. The RFQ Documents, Plan Holders List, Addenda, pre-SOQ conference information and SOQ submission deadline can be found at the Public Works Electronic Bid Documents Download site at www.sfpublicworks.org/biddocs.
The project is undergoing environmental review by the SF Planning Department. The Potrero Yard’s environmental review documents are available on the SF Planning Department website. The public comment period for scoping of the environmental document is August 19 to September 18, 2020.
Please visit the Potrero Yard Modernization Project web page for details and to sign up for project updates.