Red Lanes

By private corporate entities that are fighting to control our public streets. RED LANES for public transit only.

If this concerns you, Join us on Monday, December 3 at 1:30 PM at City Hall. Land Use and Transportation Committee.

If you haven’t had a chance to submit a letter opposing allowing private buses (tour buses, casino buses, Chariots, Academy of Art University buses, and tech shuttle buses among others), a template letter with email addresses is below. The file # is 180876.

Thank you!
Sample letter for you to edit with email addresses below:

San Francisco Board of Supervisors
San Francisco City Hall, Room 240
1 Dr. Carlton Goodlett Plaza
SF, CA 94102

Dear Supervisors:

NAME OF ORGANIZATION opposes opening transit-only lanes to private, for-profit buses such as tech shuttle buses, casino buses, tour buses, Chariots, and other vehicles that we cannot yet imagine, without any study to show such permission won’t harm MUNI and without compensation to the City for the use of a scarce public resource (city streets).

A system of comprehensive, affordable public transportation is part of our City’s effort to combat income inequality and climate change. Muni offers discount fares to seniors, the disabled, low-income people and youth. Federal law also requires Muni to serve all neighborhoods and demographics equitably — unlike private services. Moreover, as of 2015 Muni used less than two percent of all the energy consumed in San Francisco for transportation, making expanded public transportation an ideal option for reducing the City’s total carbon emissions.

Dedicated, transit-only lanes are a part of that system, and for years the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has promoted the creation of transit-only lanes as projects to improve Muni performance. In fact, the first improvement item listed as part of the Geary Rapid Project is, “Red, dedicated transit lanes to reduce unpredictable delays.”

Additionally, San Francisco’s population is projected to increase. Ridership on the Geary corridor alone is expected to go from the current average daily count of 54,000 to up to 99,000, according to the Geary BRT environmental impact report. How will the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency be able to expand its fleet of public buses to meet growing demand if its public buses are competing for dedicated lane space with private, for-profit vehicles?

Moreover state and local law prohibit access to these lanes by private, for-profit buses. State law defines a “transit bus” as a “any bus owned or operated by a publicly owned or operated transit system …” (CVC I.A.642) It logically follows that transit-only lanes are for transit vehicles. The Board of Supervisors has also passed an ordinance (Section 7.2.72) forbidding the operation of “a vehicle or any portion of a vehicle within …  a transit-only area.” The SFMTA Board of Directors does not have the authority to pass contradictory legislation.

We call on the Board of Supervisors to assert its power and reaffirm that transit-only lanes are for public transit only vehicles.