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Monday, June 5, 2023

SF residents celebrate return of Muni 21-Hayes bus to Golden Gate Park

Muni 21-Hayes bus to Golden Gate Park
Photo: Golden Gate Park

By Bay City News

San Francisco residents celebrated the return of the Muni 21-Hayes bus to Golden Gate Park, especially those living in the Western Addition, Hayes Valley and Tenderloin neighborhoods, while visitors to the recreation site took their first ride on adapted bicycles on John F. Kennedy Drive.

Saturday's celebration was announced by the San Francisco Recreation and Park District (SFRPD) and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA).

Advocates for transit riders, seniors and people with disabilities boarded the 21-Hayes bus at Alamo Square for a community ride with SFRPD and SFMTA representatives and Supervisor Dean Preston, who supported the reinstatement of the line, which had been suspended since March 2020. 

The new, slightly modified route departs every 20 minutes from Grove and Hyde streets near Civic Center Station and the main library to St. Mary's Hospital, just across the street from the east end of Golden Gate Park, including the car-free JFK Drive. It is one of three major routes returning to service, which also includes the 6-Haight-Parnassus and 2-Sutter lines.

"After a long wait, I am happy to welcome these neighborhood bus lines," said Mayor London Breed. 

"As our city continues to recover from the impacts caused by the pandemic, we must ensure that it is easier for all residents to access all that San Francisco has to offer, especially our public spaces. Restoring Muni to pre-pandemic levels and providing equitable alternative modes of transportation will help us deliver on our promise to create a more accessible San Francisco."

For his part, Supervisor Preston detailed that "public transportation is critical to our city. I am delighted to celebrate the return of these essential bus lines, including my daily commute: the 21 Hayes." 

"This has been a difficult time for transit riders, operators and all the workers who make public transit work. I greatly appreciate the remarkable coalition of advocates who successfully lobbied for the return of these lines, and I look forward to continuing to champion efforts to restore and expand public transit in our city," he added.

Once in Golden Gate Park on Saturday, community members hopped on the park's free shuttle to watch a demonstration of the Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program's Adaptive Cycling Program launch.

The free program matches people with disabilities with adapted bicycles by reservation. BORP Cycling Center houses one of the largest collections of adapted bicycles in the world, including handcycles, recumbent bikes, side-by-side tandems and other models. The program serves children, youth and adults with physical and visual disabilities, as well as their families and friends.

"Golden Gate Park belongs to everyone, and we are delivering on our promise to improve access to its treasures," said Phil Ginsburg, general manager of the San Francisco Recreation and Park District.

"The Adaptive Cycling Program means that park visitors, regardless of their disability, can take advantage of the benefits of nature while enjoying exciting exercise at JFK without cars," he said.

"We are listening to the community and know there is strong support for both a robust transit system and improved access to the parks," noted Jeffrey Tumlin, SFMTA transportation director. "We are pleased to support healthy transportation options for all San Franciscans who commute to and around Golden Gate Park, especially those with limited mobility options."

The Adaptive Cycling Program will be held from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm by appointment from April through October. Locations will alternate between Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park next to the new accessible shell lot and Great Highway on Judah Street.

To reserve a bicycle, interested parties may contact BORP Cycling Center at (510) 848-2930 or cycling@borp.org.

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