Muni Forward makes getting around San Francisco faster, more reliable and safer. We’re expanding the Muni Rapid network, making new connections and giving Muni customers priority on congested streets.
Muni Forward improvements provide sustainable, transformative change to San Francisco’s public transit system. The SFMTA has built more than 55 miles of reliability improvements to keep Muni moving—with upgrades like red transit lanes, bus bulbs for faster boarding and traffic signals that stay green for transit. In 2020 and 2021, we added over 14 miles of new or upgraded transit lanes – the fastest expansion of transit priority in San Francisco’s history.
A Rapid Network of core routes prioritizes reliability and frequency on San Francisco’s busiest transit corridors. We increased service across the system prior to the pandemic, adding more frequency where it’s needed most. And we’re continuing to make new connections as the system is restored, with new service to the Bayview, Mission Bay, and the Presidio.
Ridership has grown where we’re making improvements – that means fewer cars on the road and a greener city. Overall ridership on Muni Rapid bus lines increased by 23% from 2015 to 2019, even as transit ridership decreased across the country. And during the pandemic, ridership has returned faster on corridors with major Muni Forward improvements -- like the 38 Geary, 14 Mission and 9 San Bruno -- than the Muni system as a whole.
Muni Forward improvements take a systemwide approach, informed by ridership data, customer feedback and the Muni Service Equity Strategy. This groundbreaking strategy delivers transit improvements to neighborhoods with high percentages of households with low incomes and people of color and lower vehicle rates, as well as on lines with higher rates of seniors and people with disabilities.
Muni Forward is also an essential component of the city’s Vision Zero Strategy, the City's commitment to eliminate traffic fatalities. Making needed safety improvements for people walking, including Muni passengers, is a vital part of improving the system as a whole. More transit riders also means fewer vehicles on the road, which helps make streets safer for people walking.
To improve the customer experience, Muni Forward is also delivering technology and infrastructure improvements, making the system smarter, faster and more reliable. This includes new and improved signage at every Muni bus and train stop, a new Muni map, expanded real-time information at stops and smarter management of our service.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we shifted our focus to Temporary Emergency Transit Lane projects to keep buses out of traffic and protect people who rely on transit from increased exposure to COVID-19 on slow or crowded buses.
Temporary Emergency Transit Lane projects installed in 2020-2021 include:
- 1 California: Locations on California, Sacramento, and Clay streets
- 14 Mission and 14R Mission Rapid: Mission Street in SoMa
- 19 Polk: 7th and 8th Streets in SoMa
- 28 19th Avenue HOV Lanes: HOV lanes on Lombard and Richardson (HOV lanes will be installed this fall on Park Presidio and Crossover Drive)
- 38 Geary and 38R Geary Rapid: Geary Boulevard in the Richmond
- 43 Masonic and 44 O’Shaughnessy: Locations on Presidio, Masonic, Laguna Honda, Woodside, and Bosworth streets
- T Third: 4th Street Bridge from Berry to Channel streets
Implementation has continued on Muni Forward projects as well. Recently completed projects include:
- 22 Fillmore phase 1: 16th Street from Potrero Avenue to 3rd Street
- L Taraval phase 1: Taraval Street from 46th Avenue to Sunset Boulevard
- 7 Haight-Noriega: Stanyan to Laguna
- Market Street: New transit lanes from 3rd Street to Main Street.
Construction is also underway to reduce travel times on the 38 Geary (Geary Rapid Project) and the 28R 19th Avenue Rapid and will begin soon on the second phases of the 22 Fillmore and the L Taraval.
In February 2020, the SFMTA Board approved the Transit Priority Quick-Build Program, which will help the SFMTA deliver Muni Forward transit priority improvements even faster.
In 2022, we’ll start outreach on a new round of Muni Forward corridors and hot spot improvements. A full map of Muni Forward transit priority improvements is available here, which includes our tentative timelines for beginning outreach on future corridors. Stay tuned for more improvements coming to a Muni line near you soon!
You can also review our most recent Muni Forward update to the SFMTA Board here.
Muni Forward improvements are grounded in the Transit Effectiveness Project, the first major evaluation of the Muni system since the 1980s, approved by the SFMTA Board of Directors in 2014. Major financial support for Muni Forward reliability improvements is provided by the 2014 General Obligation Bond (Proposition A), approved by 72% of San Francisco voters, as well as a range of local, state and federal funding sources.