DOT Announces $75M for Bus Rapid Transit Project in San Francisco

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today announced the award of $75 million in federal grant funds for construction of the Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project, which will significantly improve transit service in one of the busiest bus corridors in San Francisco.

“The Obama Administration is proud to partner with San Francisco to help bring more modern, reliable transit service to residents in this busy area,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

“This new BRT line will provide a convenient connection to the Muni light rail system, and it will improve access to jobs, health care, and opportunity throughout the Bay Area.”

(Big changes are coming to Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco, as crews begin building the Bus Rapid Transit project. Courtesy of CBS SF Bay Area and YouTube)

The two-mile BRT line will operate in dedicated lanes along U.S. Highway 101/Van Ness Avenue, a key route for commuters traveling between the Golden Gate Bridge and downtown San Francisco.

Carolyn Flowers, FTA Acting Administrator
Carolyn Flowers, FTA Acting Administrator

The project includes nine side-platform stations with low-floor bus boarding and passenger shelters, as well as traffic signal priority, pedestrian improvements, and the purchase of new buses.

“The FTA is awarding highly competitive grant funds for this project because there is a clear need for better alternatives to traffic-congested roads in San Francisco,” said FTA Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers.

“For many of the residents in this corridor who rely on public transportation, the Van Ness BRT will reduce transit travel times, improve transit service reliability, and provide a more enjoyable ride.”

Van Ness BRT Sutter Street Station (Image Credit: San Francisco County Transportation Authority)
Van Ness BRT Sutter Street Station (Image Credit: San Francisco County Transportation Authority)

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is receiving approximately $45 million through the FTA’s Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program, as well as $30 million in FTA Bus and Bus Facilities funds toward the $223 million project.

The remaining cost is being covered by other federal, state, and local sources.

The CIG Program is the nation’s primary grant program for funding major transit capital investments.


Projects accepted into the program must go through a multi-year, multi-step process according to requirements in law in order to be eligible for and receive program funds. For more information about the program, please visit FTA’s CIG web site.

SFMTA anticipates the Van Ness BRT service will open in 2020 and provide 52,400 average weekday trips in the opening year.