Presidio Yard Modernization Project
The Presidio Yard Modernization Project is an exciting opportunity to rethink, rebuild and expand the current site into a multi-level modern bus operations and maintenance facility and adjacent mixed uses. It will also continue to house the SFMTA Peer Assistance program and our historic bus fleet. A new state-of-the-art facility will advance the city’s goals of clean energy transit. Presidio Yard houses routes that serve communities all over the city, including neighborhoods in the Muni service equity strategy. For example, the 1 California serves the Chinatown neighborhood, and the 24 Divisadero serves Western Addition and Bayview Hunters Point neighborhoods. Updating Presidio Yard will improve transit for some of our most underserved communities.
A modern Presidio Yard will support reliable transit service by improving maintenance and working conditions, getting buses back into service sooner. It will also improve street safety around the facility with updates to adjacent arterials to reduce traffic-related injuries and encourage walking, bicycling, and taking transit. As the facility is in a central location along a heavily traveled transit route, the project will explore potential joint development and mixed use opportunities with an innovative vision of leveraging joint development to generate additional revenues for the SFMTA and help fund Muni operations.
The Need For Improvements
Over the last several years, the SFMTA has replaced its bus fleet to provide an improved modern transportation system, yet the majority of facilities supporting those investments are well beyond their useful life. The existing Presidio Yard, located at Geary Boulevard and Presidio Avenue, was constructed in 1912 as a streetcar facility and is no longer suitable for modern bus maintenance. The facility is structurally unsound, obsolete, and must be rebuilt. The rebuild of the transit facility will provide infrastructure for a 100 percent zero-emission, all battery-electric fleet, in accordance with the SFMTA’s Zero Emission transition plan. The Project will also provide capacity for a growing bus fleet, larger bus maintenance bays, and a modern, efficient work environment, thereby allowing for a more convenient and reliable bus service. A modern, seismically strengthened Presidio Yard will also make transit service more resilient in the event of a natural disaster.
History of Presidio Yard
Located on the corner of Geary Boulevard and Presidio Avenue is a historically significant yet frequently overlooked public transit facility. Known today as Presidio Division, this building was home to Muni's headquarters for nearly 100 years. Here’s a quick look back through time at the history of this 109-year-old property.
Constructed in 1912 and known then as “Geary Car House”, this building was the operations hub of the San Francisco Municipal Railway, the nation’s first publicly owned transit agency in a major US city. Built on bedrock from reinforced concrete, the original building had shops and storage garages for streetcar operations, a three-story office tower, and an Art-Deco style relief sculpture above the bronze entrance doors on 949 Presidio Avenue.
In 1915, the rapidly expanding Muni system required more staff and more room, so the second story of offices was added above the streetcar storage and maintenance tracks along Geary. Inside the shops, staff did everything from repairing collision damage to overhauling electric motors and major mechanical parts.
Following World War II, as many rail lines across the city were converted to bus operations, the days of streetcars at Geary came to an end. In the late 1940s, a major project was undertaken to construct a yard and garages on the north end of the building for Muni’s growing fleet of electric trolley buses. After this renovation, the facility became known as Presidio Division.
In the years following the construction of the bus yard, the building was remodeled to alter and update interior workspaces to meet the organization’s changing needs. The streetcar maintenance bays along Geary were even used to store the city’s voting machines.
Presidio remained Muni headquarters until the early 2000s when most offices were moved to the Civic Center area to co-locate many of the functions of the fledgling SFMTA (formed by voter mandate in 1999). Following the move, Presidio has continued to serve as an operations and maintenance division for most of our 40-foot trolley buses as well as the primary offices for operator training and the Peer Assistance program.