Will San Francisco Ever See Serious Enforcement of Bus-Only Lanes?

Yes, this is a bus-only lane. Photo: Mike Sonn/Twitter

While waiting at a bus stop on Third Street this weekend, Streetsblog reader Mike Sonn tweeted about his frustration with the nearly non-existent enforcement of bus-only lanes. Watching drivers fill up the few traffic lanes set aside for transit with impunity is an everyday part of riding Muni in San Francisco, where ensuring that marked transit lanes are actually used for transit just doesn’t seem to be a priority for police.

A Muni bus “passed us because it couldn’t access the bus stop,” Sonn tweeted. “Come on!!!”

As we’ve reported, the SFMTA is installing enforcement cameras on the front of all Muni buses, but they can only be used to ticket drivers who park in a transit lane. Only police officers can cite motorists for clogging up the transit lanes while driving, because it’s classified as a moving violation. So until Muni becomes a priority for the SFPD — or until the SFMTA implements more effective design measures to signal that bus lanes are off-limits to drivers – Muni riders will be left in the lurch.

America’s Cup vehicles parked in Muni stops, however, are fair game for SFMTA parking enforcement: