In August, we joined people in the Tenderloin community, many of them residents, seniors, and people with disabilities, in solidarity to call on the SF Municipal Transportation Agency to reinstate the 27-Bryant and 31-Balboa bus lines in the neighborhood.
Muni is a critical part of ensuring affordable access to transportation — especially for residents in the Tenderloin, where basic resources such as schools, parks, healthy grocery stores, pharmacies, and hospitals are lacking in the neighborhood. Due to the narrow sidewalks and lack of open space in the neighborhood, we joined the same stakeholders at an action in July, calling for the city to close vehicle lanes so residents could properly social distance and recreate. When a community needs to rally on a bi-monthly basis to advocate for things more affluent neighborhoods receive without asking, it shows us where the City’s priorities and investments lie.
Many speakers at the July action expressed how cutting the 27-Bryant and 31-Balboa has made it significantly harder to get to the grocery store, pharmacy, and doctor appointments. Currently, the 38-Geary, 19-Polk, and 5-Fulton lines operate through the neighborhood, but residents with disabilities explained that they are unable to walk the few blocks to get to those lines, whereas the 27-Bryant picks them up and drops them off exactly where they need to go.
Since SFMTA cut nearly 70% of Muni lines in April, we’ve heard from Tenderloin residents and our partners at Senior and Disability Action how those cuts have significantly impacted their daily routines. Curtis Bradford, a community organizer at Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, shared a story about a man named Papa Ray who relies on the 27-Bryant to go to dialysis every morning at St. Francis Hospital. Since the 27-Bryant line was cut, Papa Ray needs to wake up even earlier so he can walk to the hospital or take a taxi when he’s short on time. For Papa Ray and many residents in the Tenderloin, taking taxis or rideshare is often not affordable and Muni is necessary to ensure they can get around.
Whether it’s expanding Slow Streets here or bringing back Muni lines, the SFMTA needs to do more to show that they prioritize the Tenderloin. To get there, we need your help. If you want to join us in our advocacy, sign up and we’ll let you know how you can get involved in this Tenderloin campaign.