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Buses, Bikes and Feet: For Transit Planners, the America's Cup World Series is All About the Future

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The America's Cup World Series transit map for August 25 and 26. Click on the image to expand. The full brochure (PDF alert!) can be downloaded here. [Map via SFMTA]

For next week's race, it's all about the buses, bikes and pedestrians. The SFMTA is looking at the America's Cup World Series Race (August 22-26) as a dry run– a laboratory, if you will– for the big event in 2013 and events beyond that, including a new, improved Fleet Week. There's a just-revised version of the agency's transit brochure (PDF alert!) to plan your approach from afar, with satellite garages for those who'll drive and extended MUNI bus lines. None of the buses actually get to Marina Green, and unless you take a bike, there's a bit of a walk involved. Not surprisingly, there's dedicated parking (and dedicated booze) for luxe America's Cup ticket holders, but be warned, the public parking lots at nearby Crissy Field are expected to fill up fast. For the latest transit info next week, there's the America's Cup 511 site, plus our favorite transit app, NextBus.

Transit planners are looking beyond the combustion engine– at the legacy changes that increased access to the waterfront requires, everything from the public realm work that's going on now at Fishermans' Wharf to the extension of the F-line to Fort Mason and beyond (that's complicated). According to Peter Albert, a manager and liaison for the SFMTA's urban planning initiatives, over 300 people were involved in the planning and fine-tuning of the transit plan for the race's weekend, with changes as diverse as expanding Clipper Card use and allowing Golden Gate Transit (service from Marin County to downtown) to make local stops. Probably the same number of people will be on hand to troubleshoot the event, and Albert says they're looking into ways to enable public comment.

As for bikes, we seem to be turning from a place where no one was ever expected to ride a bike ("too many hills!") twenty years ago to Copenhagen on the Pacific. A citywide bike rental/bike sharing program is expected to roll out in Spring 2013, and so next week transit planners will be watching Parkwide, the bike rental vendor for Rec & Parks, with locations at Justin Herman Plaza, Union Square and Marina Green, plus two in Golden Gate Park. Rec & Parks project manager Cassandra Costello tells us that Parkwide is planning to be nimble enough to meet demand during the race, and that you'll be able to pick up a bike at one location and return it at another if you like. Parkwide has a number of bike models to choose from, like 2- and 4-seater surreys in addition to the expected 2-wheelers, and Costello cautioned that not all models will be available at all locations. And of course, there will be a bike valet at Marina Green for the race if you've got your own.
· 2012 America's Cup World Series Weekend Transit Services (.pdf) [SFMTA]
· America's Cup 511 [511 SFBay]
· NextBus [MUNI]
· Bike Rentals & Tours [Parkwide]