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Posts from the Bus Shelters Category


Revamped Muni Bus Loop Opens at City College Ocean Campus

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After a makeover, the bus loop that serves as a terminal for Muni’s 8X and 49 lines at Phelan and Ocean Avenues, the site of City College’s Ocean Campus, became operational yesterday. It’s part of a larger city project, in the works for ten years, to create a more efficient and attractive transit hub while opening up the adjacent land for a mixed-use, affordable housing development with shops on the ground floor, complemented by a new plaza that will welcome students stepping off or waiting for the bus.

The loop was actually re-aligned: Whereas buses used to take a right turn off Ocean, stop, then take a left turn back onto Ocean in the opposite direction, the loop now takes buses on a right turn towards Phelan, where they use the three new side-by-side platforms to load before making another right turn on to Phelan.

Stops for the 8X/8BX and 49 that used to sit on the south side of Ocean have been moved to the new bus platforms. The project will also include pedestrian bulb-outs at the adjacent crosswalk across Phelan. The plaza and building development will break ground later this year, according to an SFMTA news release.

Check out more images after the break.

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SFMTA Installs 100th New Transit Shelter

Photos: Matthew Roth

Photos: Matthew Roth

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) announced today that it has installed the 100th new transit shelter, representing a new aesthetic for one of the more iconic pieces of street furniture in the city.

The shelters began on a trial basis in May 2009 when Mayor Gavin Newsom showcased a solar-powered shelter on Geary and Arguello Boulevards in the Richmond. The shelters feature a new wave pattern on the roof meant to reflect both the hills of the city and the Golden Gate Bridge, according to designer Olle Lundberg of Lundberg Design.

The installations follow a two-year process to develop, design and fabricate the new shelters, which were created with the SFMTA’s transit shelter advertising and maintenance contractor, Clear Channel Outdoor.

The contract with Clear Channel requires the company to provide the new shelters and replace the existing 1,100 shelters no later than the end of 2013, in exchange for the majority of advertising rights. The SFMTA will get some of the revenue, which the agency expects to top $300 million over the 20-year term of the contract.

“San Francisco has a strong history of environmental sustainability and we pride ourselves on being a city of inclusion,” Mayor Gavin Newsom said in a statement. “The new Muni shelters reflect those values and will make getting around this beautiful city easier and greener.”

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Chinatown Students Conduct Thorough Surveys of SFMTA Bus Stops

Bill_Yu.jpgCCDC volunteer Bill Yu measures the width of a sidewalk for a bus stop survey. Photos: Matthew Roth

One of the central criticisms of Muni's objective to consolidate bus stops is that it hasn't conducted thorough demographic analysis of the people who use each stop, particularly seniors and the disabled. Rather than rely solely on the distance between stops and the incline of the streets, say critics, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) should make nuanced decisions about each stop based on the amenities near the stops and the people who use them.

But one community group isn't waiting on the SFMTA to do the legwork.

Staff at the Chinatown Community Development Center (CCDC) and approximately twenty students with clipboards and measuring tape analyzed 34 bus stops in Chinatown, an initiative the group hopes will be a model adopted by other neighborhood groups and the SFMTA itself. The students who conducted the surveys are part of CCDC's Youth for SROs Leadership Empowerment program, most of them children of recent immigrants to the United States.

"We're trying to offer a community perspective of how people use a bus stop," said CCDC's Deland Chan, who coordinated the surveys with Judy Kuang. "We're trying to capture exactly the value of a bus stop, not in terms of the spacing, but in terms of its importance to community uses, in terms of who uses a bus stop and what the people think they would like to improve with the transit system they encounter on a daily basis."

As part of the rationale for the survey, CCDC said bus stop spacing should be part of the larger goal of facilitating transit as an attractive alternative to driving, integrating design features that improve public health and safety, and ensuring that existing transit services complement and encourage travel by foot.

"Because the MTA do not include the demographic and the land use data, we are collecting all the data," said Bill Yu, a high school senior. Yu said that without looking at neighborhood amenities, a bus stop placement policy would fall short of community needs. "I think this is really helpful for the community, especially the Chinatown neighborhoods. The people who live here need bus stops because they need to take the bus to buy food and other stuff for their basic needs."



Eyes on the Street: New Bus Shelters Appear on Market Street

new_shelters_1.jpgPhotos: Matthew Roth
Although they aren't quite as innovative as the solar bus shelter at Geary and Arguello boulevards that we profiled in May 2009, the newly designed MTA bus shelters are appearing around the city, including these two on Market Street near the Ferry Building.

Designed by Ollie Lundberg of Lundberg Design, the top of the shelters are identical to the Geary trial, inspired by San Francisco's hilly topography. These Market Street shelters are an amber color, in contrast to the red of the Geary Boulevard solar-powered shelter. The composite waves on one shelter are frosted amber, with neon shining up from the stainless steel structure; the other is clear amber, with neon running along the side.

The shelters are part of Clear Channel's advertising contract with the city and every shelter is expected to be replaced by 2013.

MTA spokesperson Judson True said the agency has seven new shelters, but many more are coming. "We expect mass installation to begin in the next few months."

True said not all of the new shelters would be outfitted with solar due to shadows, regular fog, or an inability to hook into the grid.



Wanted: Your Photos of Crummy Transit Conditions

boarding_b44.jpgWaiting to board the B44 in Brooklyn. Photo: Benjamin Fried

Our latest call for photos was inspired by the picture at right,
taking by Streetsblog New York’s own Ben Fried. It’s an all too
familiar scene — transit riders crammed together, waiting for a bus
(or train) that doesn’t come when it’s supposed to (if you
missed the story that went with the picture, it’s here).

Crowding is just one indignity transit users have to face. Others include
inadequate bus shelters, nonexistent or vandalized seating, blocked
entrances — you know the stuff.

Send us your pictures of
crummy transit service and infrastructure where you live and we’ll put
together a new slide show. You can e-mail JPEGs to me at sarah [at]
streetsblog [dot] org, or tag them with "streetsblog" and "transitfail"
in Flickr. Get your submissions in by next Thursday.

Our past slide shows have been on bike traffic, space hogs and work bikes. Check them out if you haven’t already.


Mayor Newsom and MTA Cut Ribbon on New Solar Bus Shelters

bus_shelter.jpgClear Channel's Bill Hooper, MTA Chief Nat Ford, and Mayor Newsom in front of the new bus shelter. Photos: Matthew Roth

At a ribbon cutting ceremony on Geary and Arguello Boulevards in the Richmond District yesterday, Mayor Gavin Newsom, MTA Chief Nat Ford and representatives from Clear Channel presented the next iteration of the city's bus shelters, the first of 1100 new shelters that will be installed between now and 2013. The shelters combine innovative solar technology with a design that is meant to evoke both a seismic wave and the hills of San Francisco.

"San Franciscans who are waiting for their bus or streetcar to arrive will be pleasantly surprised when they see the new transit shelters we're putting in across the City," said Mayor Newsom. "Transit shelters that use photovoltaics, LEDS, and WiFi are going to be standard in the future and I'm proud that San Francisco is once again acting like the pace car for other cities by trying and implementing these technologies."

The prototype shelter has two maps and more room to display transit information, NextMuni displays and a push-to-talk system to read NextMuni information for the visually impaired. The wave-like red roof of the shelter is embedded with photo-voltaic cells that will power the LEDs and are expected to pump the excess electricity they generate back into the city's grid. WiFi is being tested at the prototype shelter and is expected to be included in other shelters, assuming no problems arise.

The shelters are made of materials that are meant to reduce maintenance costs and resist some forms of graffiti and etching, which Mayor Newsom said was a bane of the older shelters and an eyesore. 

"We're going to see a very stringent maintenance schedule adopted and implemented," said Newsom. "I'm looking forward to seeing this shelter looking like this four, five, ten years from now. I'll be driving by--and riding by, because little do you know I take Muni in spite of some of those who wish I didn't so they'd have another reason to criticize me."