Plan makes recommendations on how to improve late night and early morning transportation in San Francisco and regionally, including expanding cross bay service through improved 24 hour bus lines and eventual 24 hour BART service
San Francisco, CA – Today Supervisor Scott Wiener, along with the Mayor’s Office, the Entertainment Commission, and the County Transportation Authority, released the Late Night Transportation Plan, which contains recommendations on improving San Francisco’s late night and early morning transportation service. The Plan is the result of months of work by the Late Night Transportation Working Group that Supervisor Wiener convened via legislation to identify challenges and recommend solutions to improve service, accessibility, reliability, and safety for nightlife patrons, late night workers, and all residents.
“San Francisco doesn’t shut down once it gets dark, and our transportation system shouldn’t either,” said Supervisor Wiener. “A thriving nightlife economy and reliable transit options for workers and residents are an essential part of our city's economy and culture. With this plan, we now have a roadmap with clear near-term and long-term solutions that will improve late night transit in San Francisco. I want to thank everyone who took part in the working group for sharing their time, energy, and expertise. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with the working group to turn these recommendations into a reality.”
“San Francisco’s world-class nightlife industry is one of the economic engines of our City, bringing in $4.2 billion of spending and creating jobs that require late-night and early-morning transportation needs,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “Thank you to the Working Group for their nine month study to better understand the needs, range of tools and strategies to ensure that the growing number of late-night and early-morning employees – many of whom are low-to-middle income wage earners – have access to safe, affordable and reliable public transportation system in our Bay Area.”
The Plan makes several recommendations, including:
- Beginning a process to expand all-night bus service
- Requesting BART, Caltrain and SFMTA to produce studies documenting operational constraints for longer rail hours
- Advocating funding and project development for rail infrastructure needs to operate 24 hour service
- Creating a pilot program for location-specific improvements to improve safety and comfort for all-night travelers, like working with local businesses to install real-time transit information displays or installing pop-up taxi stands
- Improving dissemination and availability of information about late night transit options
The efforts of the working group brought results, even before the completion of the final report. This includes the launch last month of the BART-AC Transit late night bus pilot, and SFMTA’s upcoming enhancement of its late night bus Owl service, for which the County Transportation Authority is expected to approve funding for at a meeting tomorrow.
The Working Group grew out of an April 2014 hearing convened by Supervisor Wiener, at which city departments, local transportation agencies, nightlife advocates, and late night workers and employers reported on needs and solutions to provide better 24 hour transportation service in San Francisco. The hearing exposed significant late night transit needs and deficiencies and led to legislation by Supervisor Wiener calling for the formation of the Late Night Transit Working Group, which began meeting in June. Many of the concerns raised around late night transit were voiced by the nightlife community with concerns for patrons and employees and labor groups with concerns about ensuring safe and affordable transportation access for their members.
The Working Group met five times over the last year to discuss needs and solutions for San Francisco’s late night transit system. The group was organized by Supervisor Wiener’s office, the San Francisco Entertainment Commission, the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, and the County Transportation Authority. Included in the working group were representatives from local and regional transportation agencies, including Muni, BART, SamTrans, CalTrain, and AC Transit, labor groups with employees who work late or early shifts, nightlife and culture advocates, the business community, and other stakeholders. For a full list of participants, click on the link to the report below.
“The Transportation Authority is pleased to support both the planning for, and funding of, transportation solutions for late night travelers,” said Tilly Chang, Transportation Authority Executive Director. “We appreciate the efforts of the community and partner agencies to improve accessibility for the city's overnight workforce, patrons and visitors.”
“Our 3,500 janitors clean San Francisco's downtown office buildings when the majority of the City is asleep,” said Olga Miranda, President of SEIU Local 87. “We need safe, reliable, and affordable public transportation after 2am.”
“If the Bay Area wants to have world-class nightlife, it needs world-class transit,” said Tom Temprano, owner of Virgil’s Sea Room. “For nighttime small businesses the lack of reliable transportation hurts our bottom line and puts our employees at risk. Late-night patrons and workers deserve to be able to get home just as safely and efficiently between 9pm and 5am as folks who travel during a traditional 9-5 hours.”
In 2011, at Supervisor Wiener’s request, the City Economist assessed the economic impact of the nighttime economy and determined that the industry contributes $4.2 billion annually to San Francisco’s economy, employs over 50,000 people in largely middle class jobs, and generates about $50 million in city tax revenue. He has previously authored legislation to expand access to live music and DJs and enhanced the effectiveness of the Entertainment Commission.
The report can be viewed on http://nightlifesf.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Other9to5.pdf or by contacting Supervisor Wiener’s office.