Opinion: SamTrans sneaks bus route onto Montara neighborhood streets


By on Thu, July 5, 2007

Looking out our living room window this morning, I was greeted by a curious site. A bus stop sign in an orange bucket full of cement on the corner of the street.

Uh-oh, Montara N.I.M.B.Y. Alert (well actually, not in my front yard.)

SamTrans apparently placed signs overnight in Montara announcing it’s intent to extend it’s Bus Route 17 through the back streets of Montara beginning July 1.

Okay, so SamTrans has decided to turn Montara neighborhood streets into a full-time bus route without any neighborhood notification, or input.

I immediately called SamTrans looking for more information, they didn’t have any details. So I dug around on their website, and found information in the form of a hard to find route schedule and map PDF, buried deep in the site.

The intended route extension begins in Moss Beach at Etheldore St, travels along the back of Sunshine Valley Rd to Harte Street in Montara, then continues down the length 6th Street to Main Street, circling onto 7th Streets and Farallone Avenue, before returning back up Sixth Street towards Moss Beach.

The route is scheduled to operate hourly 7 days a week, 7am-8pm weekdays and 9am-8pm weekends. Highlights include 4 buses up and down 6th street 7am-8am every weekday.

So SamTrans has made up bus stop signs, printed up route maps, but they’re only just now getting around to letting residents know (via bucket), five days before daily, hourly service begins on their streets.

If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering why SamTrans would decide to run a bus route up the one-laned 6th Street through the back of Montara to Moss Beach, rather than along Highway 1 (as the rest of Route 17 runs.) And the other SamTrans bus routes use Highway 1 to Main Street in Montara. It would be less disruptive to quiet neighborhood streets, but who knows.

I don’t know yet. SamTrans hasn’t returned my phone call yet.

Concerned neighbors can contact Sam Trans at 800 660 4287, or contact Paul Lee directly at SamTrans at 650 508 6200.

Details of the Route 17 extension were hard to find on the SamsTrans website, but here is a link: http://www.samtrans.com/schedules.html#Coastside

Or here is a PDF of the Route 17 map and schedule.