Bus Rapid Transit on Van Ness Avenue – Public Comment on Environmental Impact Accepted through Dec. 19

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is intended as an affordable approach to creating rapid transit along Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco’s major north-south transit route, for two miles between Mission and Lombard streets.

The San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency is analyzing the environmental impact of three BRT build alternatives and one design variation. They include:

• Dedicated bus lanes, helping reduce transit travel time by 32%.
• Transit signal priority, giving buses more green lights and helping increase transit reliability by up to 50%.
• Faster, level boarding through all doors to reduce transit delays by more than 40%.
• These benefits are estimated to contribute to a 35% increase in transit ridership along the corridor.
• While undergoing planning and design, the project received the FTA’s highest rating for cost-effectiveness several years in a row, an indication of its high benefit-to-cost ratio.

A Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) is available for public review and comment for 45 days, with all comments due December 19 (see How to Read and Comment on the EIS/EIR). The document compares BRT alternatives to conditions without BRT and documents how the BRT alternatives would affect a range of issues.

A formal public hearing for the EIS/EIR will take place on November 30 and an online webinar will take place on December 5 (see details below).

• The public hearing will be held on November 30, 2011, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway, 1500 Van Ness Ave. The event will include an open house from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. with staff available to answer questions, followed by a short presentation. A court reporter will be available during the public hearing to take verbal comments on the EIS/EIR.
• A webinar will be held on December 5, 2011, at noon. Register here.
• The next meeting of the Van Ness Avenue BRT Citizens Advisory Committee, open to the public, will be held on Tuesday, November 15, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the SFCTA offices, 100 Van Ness Ave., 26th floor.