Rerouted bus through heart of Mission District hurts business, neighbors say


Construction on Mission Street in San Francisco that began in March has rerouted buses onto South Van Ness Avenue. The Muni lines affected by the reroutes are the 49 and 14. Photo by Sandy Lopez/Mission Local.

Riders and businesses in the Mission District say the rerouting of major Muni bus lines is causing confusion and hurting commerce.

The 14-Mission, 14L-Mission and 49-Mission/Van Ness, which usually travel along Mission Street, have been rerouted to South Van Ness since the beginning of March because of a repavement and infrastructure project by the Department of Public Works and Public Utilities Commission. The project affects Mission Street between 16th and Cesar Chavez streets.

“Fewer people have been coming into the store since the buses stopped coming” said Aide Diaz, an employee at Factory Bargains at Mission and 19th streets. The Goodwill store has also seen a decrease in customers. “The construction has been very bad for business.”

“In the morning it’s dead,” said Maria Zarate, an employee at Goodwill. “There are less people on the street. It looks like a ghost town.” 

Not only is the project hurting businesses, but it is also confusing Muni riders because of the new stops on South Van Ness Avenue. A bus driver who regularly drives the 14-Mission said riders ask if the bus still travels along Mission Street, and said riders are not familiar with the stops on South Van Ness.

Muni spokesman Paul Rose said the transit agency provided signage and staff at the affected bus stops between March 2 and 6, but riders still seem not to be familiar with the new stops.

“I don’t know where I am or where the bus is heading on this new route,” said Muni rider Candy Fonseca. “The route is something that I still need to get used to.”

Another Muni rider echoed the same sentiment. “This new route makes me not want to head to the Mission to do my shopping — it is very confusing,” said Rosa Galeano.

The reroutes will continue for six months, the approximate time it will take the repavement project to be completed.

Muni riders can find a list of affected stops on the transit agency’s website.

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This article was produced in collaboration with Mission Local, a non-profit community news organization covering San Francisco's Mission District online and in print.