We won! A faster, safer Geary Blvd is approved! 

Update July 19th, 2024
With the quick-build phase of the Geary Blvd Improvement Project largely complete, one last step remains: replacing removed bus shelters. On July 24th, San Francisco Public Works will host a hearing to approve eight replacement shelters. Please send a letter in support today!

A map of the project area.

Geary Blvd Improvement Project

With over 37,500 daily riders, the 38/38R Geary is one of the busiest bus lines in the entire Bay Area. It connects a diverse set of neighborhoods across San Francisco, including the Richmond, the Fillmore, Japantown, and SOMA, connecting all of them to each other and to San Francisco's downtown, including Market Street and Union Square. It runs past over 20 schools and childcare facilities, connects to the Veteran Affairs Medical Center, and serves senior living homes in the Fillmore and elsewhere along the corridor. The demographics of ridership on the 38/38R reflect this diversity.

The Geary Boulevard Improvement Project extends the work of the Geary Rapid Project, which was completed in 2021. It adds four major components to Geary, from Stanyan to 34th ave:

Diagram of changes the project would bring: 1/ dedicated bus lanes, 2/ bus stops changes, 3/ predestrian bulb-outs, 4/ bus bulb-outs

Working together, these improvements produced 18% faster travel times and 81% reduction in excessive speeding (over 40 miles per hour) on the eastern stretch of Geary. Bus reliability, as measured by travel-time adherence, increased 37%, helping riders get to where they are going on time. The Geary Boulevard Improvement Project is estimated to extend those benefits, reducing round-trip travel times between Stanyan and 33rd Avenue another 5.5 minutes on the 38.

Twenty years ago, voters overwhelmingly passed the Prop K expenditure plan, which listed Geary BRT as a priority project. It’s time to finish the job.

Banner image of the painting of the transit only lane on Geary, betwee Market and Stanyan.

Read our Letter to City Leaders

TO: Mayor London Breed, SFCTA Board, SFMTA Board, Supervisor Connie Chan, Supervisor Aaron Peskin, Supervisor Matt Dorsey, Supervisor Catherine Stefani, and Supervisor Dean Preston,

We are writing to urge you to support the Geary Boulevard Improvement Project. We are asking the SFMTA Board to approve the full and timely completion of the project as recommended by SFMTA staff, including the completion of transit lanes as part of the initial quick-build in 2023.

Improvements completed in 2021 along the eastern stretch of Geary made the 38/38R faster, with 18% shorter bus travel times. This work also made Geary safer for everyone, with an 81% drop in excessive speeding. We support SFMTA’s plan to bring these benefits to the next section of Geary, from Stanyan to 34th Ave. The project includes transit lanes and bus stop improvements, as well as pedestrian bulb-outs and other adjustments to make Geary safer for walking. 

Transit Justice: While not sufficient, this work is a critical step toward transit justice in San Francisco. Over 37,500 people currently ride the 38 and 38R every day—over twice the ridership of the entire Caltrain system. The 38/38R is an essential corridor connecting San Franciscans from the Richmond to the Fillmore, Japantown, Union Square, Market, and SOMA, as well as to BART and other transit connections. 

This project directly serves the SFCTA Equity Priority Community north of Geary between 19th and 33rd Ave, and the entire corridor is home to a disproportionate number of seniors, a group that includes many residents with disabilities and mobility needs. The 2023 City Survey found that our lowest-income residents use Muni most frequently. These San Franciscans deserve fast, reliable transit.

Vision Zero and Climate Goals: Between 2010 and 2021, 578 people were injured and five people were killed along this project’s stretch of Geary, most of which is on the High Injury Network. With 145 pedestrians injured, that’s an average of one person each month getting injured while walking. We know that transit lanes on other stretches of Geary have reduced crashes and that this project, which also includes pedestrian safety improvements, will save lives. 

More broadly, progress on our citywide climate and vision zero goals requires that we make transit and active modes of transportation competitive with cars across the city. We can not maximize parking and meet San Francisco’s broader goals.

Merchants and Economic Recovery: Most people traveling on Geary are not in private cars, and those who walk, bike, or take transit have been found to visit Geary businesses more often than those who drive. Numerous studies have found that pedestrian street improvements in dense urban shopping areas tend to result in improved business performance, and that business owners “often become vocal supporters of further enhancements to the public realm.” This is the economic revitalization that our city needs! 

It is also worth noting that the current proposal responds to input from small businesses by limiting and mitigating parking loss. Whereas an earlier design required removal of 60 spaces along the corridor, the current plan sees a net reduction of just 31 parking spaces, or an average of 0.9 spots per block. 

Fiscal and operational resilience: Faster transit times improve efficiency: the same number of buses can provide more service. Alternatively, fewer buses can be used to offer the same headway times and a substantially quicker overall trip for riders. This operational efficiency creates flexibility and improved service at a time when the SFMTA is under financial constraints.

The vision to create transit lanes on Geary was approved 20 years ago when Prop K passed. Let’s finish the job, and give San Franciscans a faster, safer, Geary.

Thank you,
Faster Safer Geary

Frequently Asked Questions

How much time will I save as a 38 rider?

The SFMTA estimates that 38R riders traveling between Stanyan to 33rd Avenue will save an average of 4.3 minutes round trip, while 38 riders will save 5.5 minutes. If you ride the 38 every day, you'll save 23 hours over the course of a year!

Will parking spots be removed?

In total, less than 1% of the parking within one block of Geary will be removed. Of the removed spaces, 70% will be used to upgrade the existing substandard bus stops and to implement bus and pedestrian bulb-outs. Angled parking will be converted to be parallel with the curb at some locations between 15th and 28th avenues to make space for a transit lane without losing a driving lane. Get the full details on parking impacts.

What will happen with ADA parking?

All existing blue zones and passenger loading zones will be retained in the new parallel parking configuration. Two new blue zones will be added near 17th and 19th Avenue. Read more about the impacts on ADA infrastructure here.

Will a vehicle lane be removed and turned into a transit lane?

No. By changing parking from diagonal to parallel, the project enables the creation of a new, third lane. This lane will be the side-running transit-only lane. No vehicle lanes will be removed by the project.

Has the SFMTA gotten feedback on their proposal?

Yes. The SFMTA conducted two rounds of outreach, in 2021 and 2022. Read more about how these community conversations shaped the current proposal

Who needs to approve the project? What happens next?

The SFMTA Board is planning to discuss and vote on the Geary Boulevard Improvement Project project in June of this year (2023). If the project is approved, the transit lanes, bus stop changes, and some pedestrian improvements would be installed later this year. Work that involves major construction (bulb-outs and new traffic signals) is scheduled to take place as planned SF Public Utilities Commission utility work completes in 2026 and 2027. Our ask is for the SFMTA Board to approve the quick-build this June, allowing the benefits of the transit lane and bus stop moves to flow to riders later this year, and to signal support for the completion of the entire project.

We will update this page and alert supporters of opportunities for public comment when there is a clear date for the hearing.

Where can I learn more?

Much more information is available on the SFMTA page for the Geary Boulevard Improvement Project.

How can I help?

Reach out if you’d like to get involved! We’re at: info@fastersafergeary.org. If you represent a nonprofit or other organization that wants to show support for the Geary Boulevard Improvement Project, get in touch!

Who is opposed to this project?

A small but vocal minority have already managed to delay transit lanes on Geary for 20 years. Their current ask is to delay the project once more, until at least 2025 when sewer work planned by the SF Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to begin. But there will never be a right time for these opponents. We cannot let opponents of public transit and pedestrian safety keep delaying much-needed improvements on Geary.

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Photo of Lian Chang and Cyrus Hall, behind a red table with a large "We Ride the 38" cardboard sign on the front.

Meet the Team

Faster Safer Geary is an independent campaign run by Cyrus Hall and Lian Chang. We are sustainable transportation advocates who see that the Geary Boulevard Improvement Project is a win-win-win-win for our city’s goals around reducing vehicular emissions and congestion, eliminating traffic deaths, revitalizing our economy, and more equitably addressing the needs of all San Franciscans to get around.

Cyrus is a volunteer with the San Francisco Transit Riders, and has been an avid believer in the power of public transit after living in Switzerland for seven years.

Lian is a pedestrian safety advocate and board member at Walk San Francisco. She lives car-free with her husband and six year old child on the Geary corridor. 

For questions, media inquiries, or if you’d like to join us as a volunteer, find us at info@fastersafergeary.org, or reach out to Cyrus Hall at cyrusphall@gmail.com and Lian Chang at lian.c.chang@gmail.com.

Organizations in Support of the Geary Improvement Project

San Francisco Transit Riders
Walk San Francisco
Richmond Family SF
San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
Kid Safe SF
Sierra Club San Francisco Bay
Streets for People Bay Area
Livable City
Grow the Richmond
Transbay Coalition
Seamless Bay Area