SamTrans has unveiled several new bus lines that should be up and running by the summer to improve service to the San Francisco International Airport and on El Camino Real.
The transit agency on June 24 will begin piloting rapid buses as well as late-night service on El Camino Real, and a separate line traveling directly between the Millbrae Transit Center and the airport will debut then as well.
Route SFO entails three distinctly labeled buses with luggage racks timed to meet northbound Caltrain trains at the Millbrae station. Service will span 5:46 a.m. to 11:43 p.m. on weekdays, and on weekends it will run about as late, but begin several hours later with buses arriving every half hour.
On El Camino Real, buses will arrive every 20 minutes instead of the current 15-minute intervals on weekdays, and on weekends, wait times shouldn’t exceed 30 minutes.
During peak hours, many stops on El Camino Real will see a bus every 10 minutes because of the new rapid bus service. With 12 stops in either direction from the Redwood City Transit Center to the Daly City Bay Area Rapid Transit station, travel time could be sped up by 40 minutes. Rapid service will run during peak commuter hours on weekdays and between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekends.
Late-night service on El Camino Real will span 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. from Mission Street and Wellington Avenue in Daly City to the SFO Courtyard, but will not hit the Colma or Daly City BART stations. This route will adhere to El Camino Real more than the 399 line, which had a similar path and was discontinued last year due to low ridership.
SamTrans has plans to further improve travel time on El Camino Real by 2021 with the Traffic Signal Priority feature, which will allow buses on El Camino Real to more efficiently navigate traffic lights. Buses will be equipped with transponders that interact with traffic signals to extend green lights for buses or move the standard light cycle faster so they spend less time waiting at red lights.
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