Safety, reliability and efficiency are the most critical transportation challenges facing San Francisco today. The City’s Vision Zero goal aims to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2024, and Muni service must be more dependable in order to attract additional riders as the city’s population grows by at least 10,000 to 20,000 a year.
When City leaders make more efficient use of finite road space, they can move more people, more safely. With 65,000 daily riders, Mission Street is not only Muni’s second highest ridership route, but also a San Francisco health department-designated “high injury corridor,” which means pedestrian and auto collisions are historically more common there than on other streets. With their eyes on this prize, the SF Municipal Transportation Agency implemented the 14 Mission Rapid Project in 2016.
Can projects aimed at improving bus service also improve safety?
Zendrive conducted an analysis to measure the impact of the project, collecting data before and after certain features–such as red transit-only lanes, left turn restrictions and forced right turns for private vehicles–went into effect. Using sensors on a smartphone, we monitor risky driving behavior such as hard braking, speeding and distracted driving in real time. Our proprietary data and technology helps identify the root causes of dangerous traffic, and assist decision-makers and stakeholders in designing safer streets, crafting outreach programs and taking actions to improve safety.
In total, we examined over 100,000 trips, 7,500 drivers and 1.1 million miles driven from January to October 2016 along the 14 Mission Rapid project corridor (Mission Street between 11th and Randall streets). You can scroll down to the bottom of this post to view an interactive map that visualizes each event.
Zendrive’s study of the safety impacts of the SFMTA’s 14 Mission Rapid project found a demonstrable reduction in risky driving behaviors:
Early findings show that the project is on course to achieve the SFMTA’s goals of improving the reliability of Muni’s 14R, 14 and 49 lines, and enhancing safety for everyone walking in the neighborhood. The agency’s surveys of transit service and the public have found that bus speeds have improved by 2 minutes on average and that riders feel like they’re saving 10 minutes per trip. The MTA expects to release more data about the project this spring.
“Zendrive’s data is exciting because it can give the public and officials early insight into whether a project is heading in the right direction or not,” said Noah Budnick, Zendrive’s Director of Public Policy & Government Affairs. “The 14 Mission Rapid is a great example of a win-win: better bus service and safer streets. We’re proud to help tell that story.”
“On the days I take my daughter to school via Muni, the 14-R is flying. I’m covering 20 blocks in less than 10 minutes which is dramatic in terms of times savings,” said Matthew Roth, who alternates between bus or bike rides for his Noe Valley-to-Mission commute. “The buses aren’t encumbered by traffic, even during rush hours at 8 AM or 5:30 PM. I much prefer the 14-R over the J for getting across town, since you can get there faster than if you were in a car.”
Press play on the interactive map below.
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Press play on the interactive map below for a visualization of data captured before, during and after project implementation.
We measured the impact of a city bus service project, collecting data before and after certain laws, such as red transit-only lanes, left turn restrictions and forced right turns for private vehicles laws went into effect.