Support faster transit in San Mateo County

San Mateo County Transit District

Transit is in serious trouble because of the pandemic. We need to take steps now to ensure that transit can thrive in the future. This includes safely increasing ridership and providing increased, faster service on key routes such as El Camino Real, which is a vital regional connection in San Mateo. One way to increase the reliability of bus service on El Camino is through dedicated bus lanes. Pre-pandemic, El Camino had some of the highest traffic congestion in San Mateo County, with higher capacity vehicles like buses stuck in the same traffic as single occupancy vehicles. Reliable, faster bus service on dedicated lanes in El Camino will increase ridership and provide an equitable solution to traffic congestion for lower income, who rely on transit at higher rates than higher income users of the corridor. Other bus rapid transit improvements, such as signal preemption for buses approaching intersections to have signal priority, are also important improvements to implement for the corridor.

SamTrans is currently undergoing a comprehensive operational analysis, called Reimagine SamTrans. As the agency seeks public input for how to increase ridership and make the experience more effective for riders, it will be important to advocate for increased reliability via supporting bus infrastructure improvements such as dedicated bus lanes on high-capacity corridors.

Caltrans is the state agency that owns and is responsible for El Camino Real. It will be important to build political support with cities along the corridor in order to have more sway with Caltrans.

Sign this petition to urge Caltrans, SamTrans, and cities in San Mateo County to make fast, reliable transit a reality in San Mateo County.

Sponsored by

To: San Mateo County Transit District
From: [Your Name]

Dear San Mateo County Transit District,
As you are all aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to transit ridership declines across the country. Transit agencies are also losing revenue from fares, sales tax, and gas tax. Even if these funding gaps are filled by federal aid, the challenge of bringing riders back to transit will still exist.
With the massive reduction in driving during shelter in place, we have experienced better air quality and less traffic. Coming out of this crisis, we need to create a better future for transit in San Mateo County. Improving transit speed would make transit a more attractive option for people and would increase ridership as the economy reopens.
SamTrans is currently engaging in a comprehensive operational analysis, Reimagine SamTrans. This effort is intended to improve the experience of riding transit for riders, grow new and more frequent ridership for SamTrans, and build SamTrans’ efficiency and effectiveness as a mobility provider. As part of this process, we urge you to study the implementation of improved bus infrastructure on high-capacity corridors such as El Camino Real, that would increase the reliability of bus service, increase ridership, and reduce travel times for riders. These improvements would help riders and are in line with the stated goals of Reimagine SamTrans. Improvements we urge you to study include bus rapid transit improvements on El Camino, such as dedicated bus lanes, signal prioritization, and higher frequency service. Furthermore, these efforts should extend throughout the SamTrans service area in the hopes of reducing congestion, a benefit for all travelers.
While this crisis has been a struggle for everyone, we have the opportunity to come out of it stronger and create a better future. We urge the Transit District to pursue improved bus infrastructure as part of the Reimagine Process. If additional funding is required, we encourage the District to consider partnering with the private sector to get funding for a study for these improvements. We can work towards increasing transit speed and efficiency and help bring riders back to transit.