San Francisco could soon follow London’s footsteps by using bus-mounted cameras to nab drivers who double park in transit-only lanes.
It is the latest attempt to help Muni buses meet on-time performance targets mandated under a voter-approved proposition by clearing the roads of drivers who illegally park in transit-only lanes.
In the last few years, Muni has implemented a variety of programs and measures to make the transit system that carries 700,000 daily riders on more than 1,000 buses, trains and trolleys faster.
A three-month pilot on the 1-California bus route included additional police enforcement, improved fare collection and extra supervisors and resulted in an on-time performance increase from 81 percent to 88 percent.
A similar pilot is being conducted on the J-Church metro line.
The City has 19 streets with more than a dozen miles of transit-only zones, including the major thoroughfares of Geary Boulevard, Market, Mission, O’Farrell, Post, Potrero and Sacramento streets. When it comes to double parking in transit-only lanes, the fine in San Francisco is $250.
Details on how many cameras will be used and which buses they will be piloted on are nil, as Muni says it is still developing a “draft concept of operations that will define the technology and how it will be implemented,” Muni spokeswoman Maggie Lynch said.
City officials, however, have cited figures from London’s program, which resulted in a 92 percent reduction in transit-only zone citations because of the video enforcement.
A bill, authored by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, that would allow the camera enforcement passed the state Senate this week and is now waiting for the governor’s signature.
“Ifthe governor signs this bill, Muni service will be improved,” Newsom said in a statement released this week. “Double parking significantly impacts on-time performance and delays hundreds if not thousands of San Franciscans on public transit citywide every day.”
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