In 2008, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) started a pilot Transit-Only Lane Enforcement (TOLE) program that uses cameras on board buses to enforce transit-only parking violations. The program’s goal was to improve transit service by discouraging vehicles from obstructing transit-only lanes. With this program, vehicles illegally parked or stopped within a dedicated transit lane have their license plate captured by a video camera on a passing bus and the registered owner receives a citation in the mail. In 2011, approximately 23 percent of the TOLE citations were issued to commercial vehicles.
San Francisco has 26 miles of transit-only lanes, and another 22 miles planned over the next decade. The TOLE program is part of a multi-tiered approach to keep these lanes moving for buses. In addition, the SFMTA is painting the lanes red to provide a strong visual reminder to road users to avoid using the transit-only lanes, and has invested in transit signal priority to reduce the amount of time buses spend waiting at traffic lights.
The Transit-Only Lane Enforcement (TOLE) program showed promising results reducing major delays to transit vehicles along TOLE corridors.
- The 38L-Geary achieved a 3 percent daily and 7 percent afternoon reduction in delays on westbound Geary Street.
- The 2-Clement and 3-Jackson achieved a 15 percent daily and 20 percent late afternoon reduction in delays on westbound Sutter Street.