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Sunset District may get new shuttles under proposal by Sup. Gordon Mar

Sunset District may get new shuttles under proposal by Sup. Gordon Mar
Photo courtesy of SFMTA Photography Dept.
By Marie Edinger - Published on May 27, 2022.

The Sunset District may get an on-demand community shuttle soon — because currently, the neighborhood's selection of public transit routes is sparse. A Mobility Study for District 4 released last year by the San Francisco Transportation Authority suggested a short-distance shuttle should be explored as an option.

Now, Supervisor Gordon Mar is proposing just that. The Supervisor wants an on-demand micro-transit program for Outer Sunset and Parkside. The shuttle would take people to major commercial areas in the neighborhood and other popular local destinations, plus would connect riders with larger public transit routes if needed.

“With a business plan we can conduct outreach to inform this future potential service, identify potential service models and establish the operating requirements of a successful service,” SF Bay quotes Supervisor Mar as saying.

The District 4 Mobility Study found that solo driving made up just a quarter of travel within the district. Carpooling was the main mode of travel at 37%, followed by walking at 29%. Just 4% of trips in District 4 used public transit.

Public outreach about the potential micro-transit option has been going on since 2020, including multiple forums held in Chinese. Supervisor Mar says he’s found that on-demand service would work better in District 4 than a fixed-route option.

“This would work really well, particularly in the Sunset District, which is low density,” Mar told SF Bay. “I think it would work better than a fixed-route community shuttle just because I just can’t imagine what the route would be to really allow people to get to destinations, because we’re so spread out in the Sunset.”

There are similar proposals for short-trip community shuttles in the Bayview, Treasure Island, and Yerba Buena Island areas already. Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island would begin as an on-demand service and then transition to a pre-planned route as demand increased and the fixed paths that were most needed became clearer. The Bayview shuttle so far has been envisioned as a service to the neighborhood operated through either an app or a call center.

The SFCTA’s Citizens Advisory Committee is reviewing a request for funding a business plan to develop the community shuttle, and will vote on its approval at a future meeting. The development of the business plan is anticipated to cost $310,000.