Muni chops Van Ness stops in advance of BRT

San Francisco is getting ready to finally break ground on the long-awaited Van Ness Avenue bus rapid transit project.

To prepare for some of the future changes, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin said it will start the bus consolidation portion of the project on June 4.

The Van Ness Improvement Project will include a dedicated center lane for Muni buses and boarding islands, specifically the 47-Van Ness and 49-Van Ness/Mission, from Lombard to Mission streets along Van Ness Avenue. The project also includes adding brand new low-floor buses and the elimination of bus stops.

Reiskin said Tuesday that starting the bus consolidation will help everyone get used to some of the changes that will occur along the corridor:

“We’re doing some of consolidation now so that the operators and the public can be familiar with the changes before construction starts, which will be this summer.”

He added:

“We can kind of think of it as the first physical step of this project that has been perhaps 20 years in the making.”

The bus stops that will remain and be part of the future center boarding islands include Market, McAllister, Eddy, O’Farrell, Sutter, Sacramento, Jackson, Vallejo and Union streets.

Grove, Turk, Post Pine, California, Pacific and Greenwich street bus stops will discontinue, the transit agency said.

The transit agency plans to award the construction contract for the project at the next SFMTA Board of Directors meeting on June 7, Reiskin said.

He also said that the transit agency will let riders know about the changes through its website, alerts, and will have ambassadors on the streets to assist Muni riders.

The SFMTA plans to open the Van Ness Avenue bus rapid transit service in 2019.