Jan 3, 2024 - News

Bayview–Hunters Point community shuttle on track for this year

The Oakdale-Palou T line stop in Bayview–Hunters Point. Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

A new community shuttle could be online by the middle of this year to improve transportation access to Bayview–Hunters Point — which is geographically isolated in part because of the 101 Freeway — but organizers still need to identify the service area.

Why it matters: Residents cite the low reliability of public transportation and long travel times as key issues, according to the neighborhood's transportation plan.

  • Muni's T line, the sole train in the neighborhood, has the worst on-time performance (49.7% in January 2023) among light-rail lines in the city.

Driving the news: The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency last month outlined three potential service plans for the community shuttle.

  • One plan entails shuttle service from 7am to 7pm daily, with expected wait times of up to 15 minutes for destinations in the neighborhood, plus some outside the neighborhood, like the 22nd Street Caltrain Station.
  • Another option would feature a larger service area but longer wait times and other tradeoffs, including running only on weekdays or operating for fewer hours on any given day.
  • The final alternative would have service from 6am to 10pm daily with short wait times, but would offer service only within Bayview.

What they're saying: Those are all "illustrative exercises" about various tradeoffs "versus concrete proposals," Stephen Chun, a spokesperson with the SFMTA, told Axios via email.

Context: The shuttle program is funded by a $10.6 million grant from the California Air Resource Board's Sustainable Transportation Equity Project.

  • The community shuttle program is designed to enable Bayview residents to hail rides between a set service area to improve mobility options in the area.
  • The shuttle program is slated to run only through 2026, but the SFMTA plans to use data from the program to "improve Muni effectiveness in the future."

Of note: The Bayview is more than 25% Black, the largest population of Black people in the city, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by the San Francisco Standard.

  • Meanwhile, limited access to transportation harms health, according to a 2023 report.
  • About 21% of adults without access to a vehicle or public transit said they didn't get the medical care they needed in 2022.

Monique LeSarre, former executive director of Bayview–Hunters Point–based nonprofit Rafiki Coalition, previously told the San Francisco Standard that the neighborhood generally lacks transit options and the hills make it hard for residents to access them.

  • "We have clients who need to get to therapy, and I'm having to find Lyft money for them because there's no bus," she said.

What's next: SFMTA is seeking feedback from the community as it finalizes the shuttle plan. Details on how to get in touch with him are here.

  • In addition to determining the service area, the SFMTA also still needs to pick a company to run the shuttle service.

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