Late night transit options up for review, expansion
Nightlife in San Francisco contributes $4.2 billion annually to San Francisco’s economy, employs over 50k people in largely middle class jobs, and generates about $50 million in city tax revenue, but many of these middle class workers and revelers have a difficult time getting home after hours from neighborhoods like the Castro.
Muni Metro service ends at 1AM and BART stops running around midnight, which leaves unreliable OWL service, walking, getting a more pricey, hard to hail cab ride home, or worst of all: people driving drunk.
The SFMTA recently conducted a nightlife transportation study focused on the Polk Street area and found that the two biggest improvements that could be implemented for late night transit are increased bus service at late night and late night BART service.
District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener wants the same study done for the Castro and at this weeks Board of Supervisors meeting called on transportation providers including the SFMTA, BART, AC Transit, ride-sharing companies, and the taxi industry to report on current late night service options and proposals for improving service for late night workers and patrons. The meeting is scheduled to take place at a Land Use Committee hearing in late February or early March.
“Our nightlife and entertainment industry is a significant part of our cultural and economic lifeblood, but we aren’t succeeding in giving people good options to get home safely at night,” said Supervisor Wiener. “We need to be sure that people leaving bars or getting off work late at night have reliable and accessible transit options, so they don’t drive drunk or end up waiting in the dark for a bus that comes once an hour.”