The T-Third rail line made a return Saturday. Accompanied by a new express bus to downtown San Francisco, the line serves residents in Bayview and Hunters Point neighborhoods.
Officials with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency said the T will run an abbreviated route from Sunnydale to the Embarcadero station while the new 15- Bayview-Hunters Point Express provides Bayview and Hunters Point residents with direct connection to downtown for the first time in the SFMTA’s transit history.
Bus service on the 15 will operate from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends with buses approximately running every 10 minutes. Express bus service will operate from Third and Palou streets to Market and Third streets.
The 15 is not exactly a new bus line, as it existed before as the 15-Third Street, but it was discontinued in 2007 after the T went into revenue service.
Transit officials and Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton, who represents District 10, worked with a number of community groups during the Covid-19 pandemic to find ways to improve public transit service in the area.
At a press conference Tuesday with SFMTA officials, Walton said:
“We want to make sure everyone can get to transit hubs, downtown and commercial corridors in a timely manner in order to provide for families and be connected to the rest of this beautiful city of San Francisco.”
The supervisor added:
“Bringing the 15 bus back was a major part of the excitement for us. Not only does it remind us of the rich culture here in the district, but it will provide new rapid service through community and help us move around seamlessly.”
The SFMTA’s Director of Transportation Jeffrey Tumlin noted that residents in District 10 who are transit dependent have for years experienced unreliable service and slow travel times.
He said the new route allows residents in the Bayview and Hunters Point to access 55 percent more jobs in The City within a 45-minute commute, adding:
“This new service, along with the return of the T third rail service on Saturday,and added service on the 8AX, 27-Bryant, and the 55-Dogpatch routes, has been a priority for the agency during the pandemic.”
Last month, the J-Church rail line returned to service last month. Transit officials plan to resume more rail service over the next several months.
Additional bus routes and modifications to existing routes were implemented Saturday as well.