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West Portal Transit Delay Reduction Pilot

**On Tuesday, May 21 the SFMTA Board voted to approve the pilot project with all proposed elements. We plan to begin implementing the changes in early June. The pilot will last approximately 6 months and be evaluated according to our Data Collection Plan that was revised to incorporate feedback received from stakeholders.** 

West Portal Station is a key node in the Muni rail network, where 3 lines (K, L and M) connect to the Twin Peaks Tunnel and the subway running beneath Market Street. Approximately 80,000 customers pass through this station each day. While there have been many upgrades to West Portal over the last 100 years, bottlenecks still persist regularly that can cause delays for Muni customers and detract from the experience of visiting West Portal. Along with planned operational improvements, the SFMTA is proposing new ideas to the area near the portal to improve transit, traffic circulation and pedestrian safety.

Project Timeline 
Spring 2019
Outreach and Approvals
Summer 2019
Pilot Implementation and Data Collection
Fall 2019
Evaulation and Reporting
48 Quintara Stop Changes
Image of Stop Removal Sign
Image of Stop Relocation Sign
Relocate Ulloa & West Portal Ave inbound stop
Image of Stop Removal Sign
Remove Vicente & West Portal Ave inbound stop
Traffic Changes, Monday - Friday 6am - 10am
Image of Muni Only Lane
New Muni & Taxi Lane on northbound West Portal between Vicente & Ulloa
Image of No Left Turn Sign
No Left-Turn from northbound West Portal to westbound Ulloa
Image of No Left Turn Sign
No Left-Turn from southbound Lennox to eastbound Ulloa
Image of Left Turn Only Sign
Left Lane Must Turn Left from left northbound lane on West Portal to westbound Vicente
Image of Straight or Right Turn Sign
Straight or right turns allowed on northbound West Portal right lane at Vicente
Traffic Changes at All Times
Image of No U Turn Sign
No U-Turn from northbound West Portal Ave at Ulloa

The intersection at West Portal is very complex which leads to delays that affect Muni, vehicles and pedestrians. With the goal of improving the intersection, staff studied the area, looked at traffic data trends and analyzed Muni train patterns. Based on that data, SFMTA staff came up with several recommendations and shared them with stakeholder groups including local merchants, neighbors and transit customers. After receiving feedback and some additional ideas, staff made considerable changes to the plans and are now proposing the following changes.

Most of proposed changes at West Portal would be in effect weekday mornings from 6am-10am. The morning commute hours are a key time to keep trains moving efficiently here and throughout the Muni system.


Northbound traffic West Portal Avenue would still be allowed to make all turns at Vicente, however those continuing straight on weekday mornings from 6am-10am would need to use the right lane only.

Related Proposed Route Changes to the 48 Quintara

Many Muni customers transfer at West Portal from the 48 Quintara to inbound K, L or M trains. Moving the inbound stop for the 48 Quintara would require that transferring customers only need to cross one street instead of two -- making the intersection safer and reducing conflicts between pedestrians, trains and cars.

Current route for both inbound and outbound routes of the 48 Quintara.


The outbound route will stay the same, however the inbound route will shift and the inbound stop at Vicente and West Portal Avenue will be discontinued.

The above proposals were approved by the SFMTA Board on Tuesday, May 21. The pilot is currently planned to begin in early June.

Additional Proposed Loading Zone Changes

Map showing proposed changes to parking and loading on Ulloa Street.

During the outreach process, staff also heard general concerns related to the lack of commercial loading space in the area for many merchants. In response, SFMTA is proposing to extend the commercial loading zone on the south side of Ulloa Street between West Portal and Claremont. This proposed larger zone will allow larger trucks a safer place to load out of traffic. To accommodate the increased commercial loading zone, the existing green (short-term) parking meter would be relocated to the adjacent off-street parking lot. SFMTA staff discussed the proposal with fronting businesses and found them to be receptive to the change. 

The loading zone changes will go to the SFMTA Color Curb hearing on May 24, 2019

For more information or questions, contact: Phillip Pierce, 415.646.2734,