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VIDEO: 1 California Temporary Emergency Transit Lanes Community Meeting, February 24, 2021

Thursday, February 25, 2021

The SFMTA is working to protect essential workers and transit-dependent San Franciscans who rely on Muni to get to work and essential appointments. During the initial days of shelter-in-place, the 1 California saw significantly faster travel times east of Arguello Boulevard compared to pre-pandemic. But with traffic now returning, average speeds along the 1 California corridor have decreased, slowing bus travel times and contributing to crowding. 

As of November 2020, about 20% of 1 California trips between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. are considered crowded by COVID standards. In order to protect people who rely on transit from increased exposure to COVID-19 on slow or crowded buses, we need to act quickly to move more people, even though we have fewer resources. 

The 1 California serves the Chinatown neighborhood–one of San Francisco's neighborhoods with high percentages of people of color and low-income households. In addition, 65% of Chinatown and Nob Hill households do not own a car, more than twice as many as the citywide average of 31% with no car.  

Installing temporary emergency transit lanes on segments of the California corridor will help keep the 1 California moving, reducing crowding and travel times for people who still depend on transit to get around the city. When buses aren’t competing with traffic, they can complete routes more quickly, providing more frequent service and greater capacity with the same number of buses. This is especially important at a time when buses can only carry a third of the passengers as before the health crisis while the SFMTA is facing a major revenue shortfall.