29 Sunset Improvement Project
The 29 Sunset Improvement Project is the first holistic effort to invest in the route for current and future users. The project aims to deliver transportation improvements to southern and western San Francisco. The 29 Sunset is one of the longest bus routes in the Muni system. It serves the Bayview, Excelsior, Park Merced, Sunset and Richmond neighborhoods.
The 29 Sunset also serves many schools and colleges. This includes several high schools, the main campus of City College of San Francisco and San Francisco State University. Nearly 12% of all passengers on the 29 Sunset identify as students compared to 9% systemwide. Pre-pandemic, this route served 17,400 daily riders. In recent months, ridership has recovered to around 14,700 daily riders.
To address systemic racism, the SFMTA prioritizes improvements to Muni routes in neighborhoods identified by our Muni Service Equity Strategy. These nine neighborhoods have a high percentage of people of color and low-income residents. The 29 Sunset provides service to four of these. This project will further SFMTA’s commitment to equitable transit service and performance.
We have heard from many Muni customers about their experiences on the 29 Sunset. Students who rely on this route to get to school are particularly vocal that we need to better serve all those who wish to ride. A key goal of this project is to reduce delays that result in long wait times. Another goal is to reduce “pass ups,” when people waiting for the bus are not able to board because the bus is too crowded.
Another issue that the project seeks to address is long travel times due to traffic. We also aim to address frequent stopping due to closely spaced bus stops.
The project includes two phases: Phase One on the west side and Phase Two on the south side. Phase One targets the line’s end near Baker Beach to the intersection of Junipero Serra Boulevard and Holloway Avenue. This allows us to complete some improvements during the repaving of Sunset Boulevard, scheduled for mid-2023.
Project Outreach and Next Steps
Outreach for this project began in 2019. SFMTA staff met with students from Lowell High School who had been advocating for improvements to the 29 Sunset. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, outreach for the 29 Sunset Improvement Project halted. Mid-2021, we resumed our outreach efforts. We gathered more feedback on the type of improvements 29 Sunset riders wanted to see.
At all stops along the route, posters promoted a community survey online and by text message. More than 400 people participated in the survey with 50% of responses coming from students. Survey results showed the highest priority for improvement is “reduced wait times.” The second priority is "reduced travel time." The third priority is "reduced crowding-related pass-ups."
In Spring 2022, we conducted a "listening tour" of key stakeholders on the west side. In those meetings, we heard similar concerns about these priorities. We also heard a desire for new 29R Sunset Rapid service. We also heard requests for reduced delays for transit at traffic signals. And, concerns about potential removal of stops.
Based on this outreach and on technical analysis, we now have proposals. We also describe the proposals in this StoryMap. We also have maps showing details of the proposed changes to curbside parking and loading spaces. We estimate that the proposals would reduce travel times by as much as 15 minutes round-trip.
More outreach to share the proposals with the community is currently underway. This round of outreach will also include meetings with community members. We will host self-guided open houses in the Richmond and Sunset. Following, there will be an online Q&A session with our project team. We will post details on these events here as they become available.
We expect potential implementation to begin in 2023. This quick-build phase is dependent on several factors. Design complexity, funding and operator availability are three. Permanent construction will likely begin in 2025.
These maps show the proposed changes to curbside parking and loading. Along 25th Avenue, a total of 13 parking spaces is being proposed for removal. Along Lincoln Way, we would add a total of three parking spaces. But, there would be several other changes. These include removal of parking spaces at some intersections. Proposal for changes at two other locations not shown on the maps. On Winston Drive at Buckingham Way, we would remove five parking spaces. On Holloway Avenue at Junipero Serra Boulevard, we would remove one parking space.