San Francisco (Bayshore)

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Bayshore Corridor

San Francisco, California

(November 1996)


The City and County of San Francisco and the San Francisco Municipal Railway (MUNI) are proposing to construct a new 5-to 7-mile light rail line in the southeast sector of San Francisco. The corridor runs from the vicinity of the Bayshore CalTrain Station near the San Francisco/San Mateo County line, connects with the existing light rail system in downtown San Francisco via Third Street, and provides regional connections to BART and CalTrain at multimodal stations. Rail operations under consideration include exclusive (subway) as well as semi-exclusive (street median) rights-of-way, using either high or low floor light rail vehicles.

Downtown alignment and terminal design options need to be resolved in the current phase of project development. One of these options would connect with the existing MUNI Metro Market Street Subway. A second option would operate into a new Third Street Central Subway, continuing north of Market to a terminal in Chinatown. Surface options are also being considered which could form the basis for interim service. The project also includes construction of a new light rail maintenance and storage facility which is necessary to support any light rail expansion project in San Francisco.

The cost for the Bayshore Corridor Project ranges from approximately $250 million for the option that would operate into the Market Street Subway to approximately $650 million for the option which includes construction of a new Third Street Central Subway.


In October 1996, FTA authorized the initiation of preliminary engineering and the preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement/ Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIS/DEIR). The Third Street Central Subway option, which is not in the long range plan, will be studied on a broad basis rather than at the level of detail required in preliminary engineering.

The DEIS/DEIR will evaluate a No Build Diesel Bus Alternative and the Light Rail Build Alternative with multiple downtown terminal options, as well as a new rail yard. However, it is also MUNI's intent to identify options for phased implementation of the preferred alternative.

Completion of the DEIS/DEIR is expected by January 1998 and the Record of Decision is anticipated in June 1998.

The Bayshore Corridor Study is included in the current regional long-range plan, with the caveat that it will be 100 percent locally funded. However, maintaining eligibility for future Federal participation is a high priority for the City in order to leverage approximately $200 million to $400 million of federal funds with an estimated $265 million local match. Negotiations continue with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to revise the project's status for the 1997 update of the Regional Transportation Plan. To date, no Federal funds have been appropriated for this project.


Mobility Improvements - The value of annual travel time saved, relative to the TSM alternative, range from a reduction of 769 hours per day to an increase of 223 hours.

Cost Effectiveness - The cost-effectiveness index, relative to the TSM alternative, was calculated for two light rail options that would operate directly into the Market Street Subway. It ranges from $6 to over $9.

Operating Efficiencies - Annual operating efficiencies, relative to the TSM alternative, have been calculated for two light rail options that would operate directly into the Market Street Subway, and range from $1.20 to $1.90 per passenger trip.

Environmental Benefits - The San Francisco Bay Area is currently in attainment for all Federal ambient air quality standards. Data on projected reductions in emissions or VMT as a result of this project have not yet been calculated. Those calculations will be forthcoming as part of the ongoing EIS study effort.


In 1989, San Francisco voters approved the Proposition B Transportation Expenditure Program which dedicated a half-cent sales tax to transportation projects. The San Francisco County Transportation Authority, which administers this program, has programmed in the 1995 Strategic Plan approximately $265 million of Proposition B revenues for construction of a Bayshore project (including track, overhead and other infrastructure, and vehicle acquisition) and $5 million for corridor planning and environmental studies. The Transportation Authority has also programmed approximately $22 million of additional Proposition B funds for a new rail facility. The capital financing plan is rated "low." A detailed financing plan, identifying specific funding sources, will be prepared during PE.

Preliminary studies show that incremental operation and maintenance (O&M) costs for a new Bayshore light rail service may be as much as $2 million to $3 million annually. This estimate will be refined in the next phase of project development, and strategies to offset the new LRT line's O&M costs will be explored. The operating financing plan is rated "low."

Proposed Source of Funds Total Funding
Federal: Section 5309 New Start N/A ($0.0 million appropriated through FY 1997)
State/Local: N/A
Total: N/A

Note: This table is not filled out because the financial plan has not yet been developed.

Other Factors

Assessment of Land Use Policies and Conditions: This project is one of those in the FTA Office of Planning's pilot assessment of land use and conditions (as a pilot for evaluation and rating of transit-supportive land use policies as a new start criterion, beginning in FY 1999). This pilot application is described earlier in this report. Current densities and development in the corridor are supportive of transit. Active and long standing commitment to transit-oriented development is reflected in the SF General Plan and Planning Code. It promotes vertically zoned commercial districts, limits the number of parking spaces, encourages mixed use development, and designates a citywide pedestrian network. Specific policies to facilitate the development of transit supportive land use along Third Street were adopted as part of the South Bayshore Area Plan and incorporated in the SF General Plan in 1995.

The main objective of the Bayshore Corridor Project is to provide improved transit service to Bayshore neighborhoods and to achieve a goal of equity with other communities currently served by rail. The other important objective is to use a rail investment to support economic revitalization of the South Bayshore area, which is now a federally designated Enterprise Community which also lies within a city designated Enterprise Zone, and may be designated a Redevelopment Project Area.