Muni Receives $21.4M in Federal Funds for New Buses, 8x Line Improvements

The SF Municipal Transportation Agency received more than $21 million in federal funds to purchase new buses and implement improvements like colored bus lanes, transit priority signals, and bus-mounted enforcement cameras, the agency announced today.

An 8x bus sits in a "bus-only" lane on Third Street. Photo: Aaron Bialick

The funds come from the Federal Transit Administration’s Livability and State of Good Repair grant programs. In total, the FTA will provide $45.7 million for transit upgrades on systems throughout the Bay Area, including BART, AC Transit, SamTrans, and the Valley Transportation Authority.

Muni, which has the oldest transit fleet in the nation, will be able to replace 18 twenty-year-old buses with low-floor, biodiesel hybrid buses using the $15 million State of Good Repair grant, according to a news release. Another $6.4 million, which comes from the Livability grant, will be used for these improvements along the 8x Bayshore Express line as part of the 8x Mobility Maximization project:

  • Coloring of existing dedicated transit lanes;
  • Transit signal priority;
  • Pre-payment fare collection;
  • Information panel and transit arrival prediction signs;
  • Vehicle branding and enhanced stop identification; and
  • Cameras on buses to capture vehicles illegally occupying transit-only lanes.

“Investments in optimizing existing service and enhancing the customer experience will not only help us better serve our current customers, but also will help attract new customers,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin in a statement. “Underscoring San Francisco’s Transit First policy, the SFMTA will direct these funds to frontline Muni service.”

The grants are part of a nationwide package of $787 million in transit investments announced by the FTA today.

  • voltairesmistress

    This seems like fantastic news. Will the improvements in signaling, color painted transit lanes, and enforcement be only for the 8X line or for all lines?  Looking forward to using some faster bus lines and hope this helps.  Does anyone out there know?

  • SteveS

    Grants for sensible maintenance and small, cost-effective improvement programs?  What kind of bizarro news is this?

    My only theory is that politicians have decided colored pavement is photo-op material: http://sf.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2009/12_03/Mayor_painting.jpg

  • Anonymous

    Yay!  Glad the overloaded 8X is due for some improvements.  Too bad they’re arriving just as the Central Subway boondoggle will necessitate re-routing on the 8X.

  • mikesonn

    There’s a reason for that…

  • Sebraleaves

    In that case the SFMTA can drop their request for Sunday parking enforcement. They no longer need that much money.

  • mikesonn

    But Sunday meter parking enforcement wasn’t about the money, it is about proper management of a limited resource.

  • 20 year old buses?  The only Muni fleet with that kind of aging buses is the electrical powered articulated buses that runs on the 14 and 49 (not the Skodas).  The 40 foot NABI buses are only 10-12 years old.

  • kexiao

    tinyurl.com/cyk9xz2