New Muni route targets Mission Bay riders

A new Muni route could be in place by the end of January that will take riders to the new Mission Bay campus of University of California San Francisco.

The new 55-16th Street bus route is up for approval at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s board meeting Tuesday. If passed, the new route could be implemented on Jan. 31, a day before the university’s hospital opens to the public.

Starting at Mission and 16th Street, the bus would travel along the 16th Street corridor and serve all 22-Fillmore bus stops between Mission and Vermont streets.

New inbound and outbound stops are proposed on Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Missouri and Fourth streets, where the new UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital is located.

Transit agency officials originally planned to extend the 22-Fillmore east along Kansas Street and north of Third Street to Mission Bay, but said more time would be needed to complete the overhead wire work.

The SFMTA said it still plans to move ahead with the expansion of the 22-Fillmore, but said the 55-16th Street bus route would be quicker to implement in time for the opening of the new hospital.

SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose said the new bus route would help provide connections along the 16th Street corridor:

“The 55-16th Street line will provide convenient connections from the Mission district and 16th Street Mission BART to the growing Mission Bay neighborhood and the new UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, which opens on February 1.”

Buses would run every 15 minutes during the day and 20 minutes during the evening, according to the transit agency.

According to Rose, the agency has enough operators and buses to run the line.

The new route would require 10 operators to work 18 hours of service, seven days a week, and the agency would utilize its hybrid electric and diesel buses to run the service.

The annual operating cost of the new route is approximately $2.5 million and would be paid through the SFMTA’s operating budget.