(Adapted from a press release from San Francisco's Office of Economic and Workforce Development)
San Francisco's Office of Economic and Workforce Development and S.F. Supervisor Scott Wiener along with regional transportation agencies on Friday, August 5, launched a new regional multilingual outreach campaign for the AllNighter, the late-night and early-morning bus network that serves San Francisco, the East Bay and the Peninsula. The system, which is operated by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), AC Transit, SamTrans, Valley Transportation Authority and Golden Gate Transit, runs from midnight to 5AM and consists of over 20 bus routes, with stops at most BART and Caltrain stations.
“A safe, affordable 24-hour transportation regional network is necessary to serve daily commuters along with the hardworking individuals that work late night or early morning hours. There is a significant workforce that doesn’t keep the traditional 9am-5pm hours, and they are vital to the everyday operations and economic well-being of the San Francisco Bay Area region,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. “The AllNighter multilingual outreach campaign will promote greater awareness of these transit options.”
The AllNighter multilingual outreach campaign is one of the key initiatives recommended by the Late Night Transportation Working Group in its report The Other 9-to-5: Improving Late-Night and Early-Morning Transportation for San Francisco Workers, Residents, and Visitors. Over a period of nine months, the group examined the current state of nighttime transportation, surveyed workers, residents and nightlife patrons, and came up with a set of recommendations. These major steps included, among other efforts, an information campaign that targets different segments of the late-night and early-morning rider and potential rider community. The report found that there was a lack of basic awareness and understanding of existing nighttime transit options. For more information, visit www.nightlifesf.org.
“San Francisco and the Bay Area run 24 hours a day, and our transportation system needs to reflect that reality. Whether you’re a baker trying to get to work in the early morning hours, or someone trying to get home after a night out with friends, you deserve a safe and reliable way to get around,” said Wiener, who wears a second hat as an MTC commissioner and also spoke on behalf of MTC. “This is why I established the Late Night Transportation Working Group, which brought together an impressive group of nightlife advocates, business owners, workers, transit advocates and city staff. I’m excited we are starting to see progress with the launch of the AllNighter outreach campaign, and I look forward to further efforts to improve our Late Night Transportation system.” Wiener convened the Late Night Working Group to assess and address the 24-hour transportation needs of San Francisco late-night and early-morning riders.
San Francisco’s nighttime economy produces over $50 million in annual tax revenue and employs approximately 52,000 workers supporting different industries such as nightlife, hotels, hospitals, manufacturing and distribution, and many others. A significant number of these workers are low-income individuals who rely on public transportation to get to and from their jobs. On an average weeknight, an estimated 250,000 late-night and early-morning transportation trips are made in San Francisco alone.
“Today service sector workers are traveling longer distances to their workplaces because of affordability in cities,” said Karen Heisler, owner of Mission Pie and a member of the Late Night Working Group. "As we continue to work on improving our late-night and early-morning transportation network, this ingenious work-around will help publicize new and existing services to those that need access to them the most.”
The first phase of the multilingual AllNighter outreach campaign features cable television, social media, bus, BART and Muni station advertisements. Partnerships with community organizations will also be used to broaden the outreach effort. The project will run through the summer of 2017. San Francisco's Office of Economic and Workforce Development led the implementation of the Working Group’s recommendations. The team worked closely with SFMTA, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), AC Transit, Samtrans and Golden Gate Transit to develop the campaign.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) also supported the initiative by granting $200,000 in toll dollars from Regional Measure 2, which will be used to sustain the campaign and measure its success. Beginning in 2006, MTC has delivered $1.8 million in bridge tolls every year for operating late night and early morning bus service around the Bay. MTC is now stepping it up again, providing an extra $177,000 a year – for last year and this year – to support operation of the AllNighter services. Together with funding from MTC’s Lifeline Transportation Program to increase AC Transit’s and Muni’s late night services, MTC has contributed a total of $28 million to the AllNighter service around the Bay over the last dozen years.
MTC also is proud to operate the Bay Area’s 511 traveler information system and the 511.org website that is the one-stop shop for information on the AllNighter services offered by SF Muni, AC Transit, SamTrans, VTA and Golden Gate Transit. The All-Nighter services have been integrated into 511’s handy online Trip Planner and Schedules pages on 511.org. A route map and tips for riding the All-Nighter is available at allnighter.511.org.
“We’re proud to provide funding for the AllNighter bus system,” said Andrew B. Fremier, deputy executive director for Operations at MTC. “Our transit agency teammates are working to deliver safe, reliable and affordable services for workers who finish their shifts after midnight or start long before dawn. Together, we help keep the Bay Area economy moving around the clock.”
The goals of the AllNighter Outreach Campaign includes:
- To raise awareness of existing late-night and early-morning transportation options, including the system of routes offered by Bay Area transit providers (SFMTA, SamTrans, AC Transit, BART, Golden Gate Transit, etc.)
- To make information about late-night and early-morning transportation options easier to access online and offline
- To create an engaging campaign concept and multilingual materials that can be shared with transit agencies for use beyond the initial campaign
- To measure the impact of the marketing effort using relevant performance indicators to inform future efforts
“Whether for work or recreation, people use Muni and other regional transit providers to get around day and night,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation, Ed Reiskin. “The new late night Muni Owl routes and service increases are examples of the overall improvements we are making to adapt to the needs of Muni riders in a growing economy and city population.”
The Late Night Transportation project is a partnership between regional transit partners, MTC, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA), various small businesses and associations, the Entertainment Commission, and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. San Francisco's Transportation Authority is currently leading planning work to enhance and potentially expand the network of all-night bus service and is also developing an ongoing performance monitoring plan. For more information on the late-night and early-morning bus service, please visit allnighter.511.org.