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Explaining Muni’s new Chase Center-specific bus lines

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Two express lines hope to concentrate transit into corridor from BART straight to the arena, but only on certain days

Exterior of Chase Center, which features white paneling, large window, and a massive display in front. There’s also people walking around.
Chase Center.
Photo by Patricia Chang

With Chase Center’s opening just weeks away, San Francisco has pinned its hopes on attendees using Muni to get to and from the arena instead of driving and potentially creating vehicular gridlock outside the new venue.

In another bid to push Warriors fans et al. toward public transit, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) announced last week it will run two additional bus lines expressly to get people to and from Chase Center events: the 78X 16th Street Arena Express and the 79X Van Ness Arena Express.

The new 78X and 79X will begin running approximately 2.5 hours before the start of any Chase Center event and for 30 minutes after events. “After events, both routes will drop off at 16th and Mission BART station” Lori Phelan writes for SFMTA.

Phelan also notes that the “the new route 79X Van Ness Arena Express will run from existing route 47/49 bus stops along the Van Ness corridor.”

For anyone confused about the new route, a look at the route map provides a clear explanation: The 79X services the Van Ness stops all the way to 16th Street and Mission, then it becomes an express route heading straight to the arena.

The 78X is comparably straightforward, running between just two stops, one at 16th and Mission and the other at 16th and Illinois, immediately next to the arena.

With the tailored BART/Muni connection at 16th Street, the city hopes to push as much potential East Bay traffic as possible into this specific public transit corridor. Those heading to the arena can ride Muni free (“your ticket is your fare”), but will still have to come up with BART fare on their own.

As for when the buses will run to the 18,000-plus seat new arena, UCSF’s traffic prognostication calendar may prove a useful reference for anyone looking to hop a ride.