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Express bus eyed for Caltrain to mid-Market run

SF Public Press
 — May 14 2012 - 1:23pm

UPDATE: The 83X Mid-Market Express was approved unanimously by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's board of directors. Service will begin on June 11, according to John Haley, transit director of operations.

Muni officials want to start an express bus route to speed workers from the downtown San Francisco Caltrain to a revitalized mid-Market jobs hub. The rush-hour service would cater to what the city anticipates will be a growing technology business cluster near the new headquarters of social media giant Twitter.

The 83X Mid-Market Express would only make stops at the Caltrain station, at Townsend and Fourth streets, and the Civic Center BART station, at Market and Ninth. If approved Tuesday by the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency, the new route would start in June, It would run weekdays from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Muni spokesman Paul Rose said the increasing number of new and expanding businesses has created a need for regional commuters to quickly and easily connect to the mid-Market area.

Twitter is planning to move this summer into the former SF Mart building, and other companies are working with the Mayor’s Office of Economic Workforce and Development to to bring more businesses, especially in the technology sector, to the mid-Market area.

Rose said the area around Caltrain is also growing, “creating an increasing local demand for improved transit connections to Market Street.”

The express bus schedule is timed with Caltrain runs, allowing six minutes for riders to get to the bus stop at Townsend and Fourth streets. The evening schedule will run every 15 minutes, according to the transit agency.

The agency says the new route could slice off as much as 12 minutes from the trip compared to using the N-Judah, T-Third and 47-Van Ness, which service the area.

The transit agency's directors will take up the proposal Tuesday at City Hall at 1 p.m.