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Release date: SFMTA Receives Award of $78M for Transportation in San Francisco

*** Press Release ***

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced Tuesday, August 14, 2007 that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) will receive $78 million as part of the Urban Partnership Program award to the San Francisco Bay Area, through the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the San Francisco County Transportation Authority.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Mary Peters, stated that the Urban Partnership Program presents a novel opportunity. “This partnering is like nothing we have done before.” As the U.S. DOT seeks to cut gridlock in major metropolitan areas across the country, the SFMTA will make the most of this opportunity to act on concrete measures that will improve transportation and transit in San Francisco.

SFMTA Executive Director/CEO, Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr. added, “I commend the DOT and FHWA for their foresight in both recognizing the need and for funding an infrastructure project of this nature in a metropolitan area. The SFMTA is very excited to receive these funds for two critical aspects of transportation management in San Francisco. By expanding SFgo and developing real parking management tools downtown, we can ease congestion for those who drive and improve the reliability of our transit system.”

The SFMTA has two programs that were identified as recipients for this congestion management grant: $58 million was awarded to SFgo and $20 million was awarded to the San Francisco Smart Parking program. Both projects will help upgrade infrastructure while easing traffic congestion and improving transit operations.

The SFgo real-time traffic management and transit signal priority system is a powerful traffic management tool.  It has been implemented in other corridors around the City, but never before on this scale.  Travelers will benefit from signals that respond to the actual volume of traffic on roadways, faster response by City personnel clearing traffic incidents, real-time street-side information on travel conditions, and improved coordination between all modes of transportation.  SFgo will be allocated $58 million to provide upgrades to the infrastructure of five major corridors: Geary, Polk, Van Ness, Franklin, and Gough. All five streets serve as major cross-town traffic arteries.  The infrastructure upgrades will include: improved signals, controllers, the installation of new pedestrian countdown signals, Accessible Pedestrian Signals for the blind or partially sighted, and transit priority capabilities.

The SF Smart Parking program is the other SFMTA project to benefit from funding through this grant.  This project is a multi-faceted approach to parking management in downtown San Francisco.  As part of the City’s Transit First policy, improvements to the city’s transportation network seek to increase the efficiency of existing transportation infrastructure and encourage use of public transportation.  As the City grows, new developments attract millions of visitors annually, further clogging already congested routes.  These congested routes also delay transit.

The $20 million award will provide the majority of the funding required to

  • Install a parking guidance system to direct drivers to all Parking Authority garages with available spaces using variable message signs, static signs, 511, and internet technology;
  • Implement off-street parking pricing and payment programs using variable pricing with FasTrak and TransLink;
  • Implement on-street parking pricing and payment systems for variable pricing at multi-space meters with sensors at individual spaces allowing multiple payment features including Smartcard, credit cards, and pay-by-cell-phone; and
  • The development of software that will integrate the current parking meter system with the new open system allowing for new payment technologies.


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