Golden Gate Park's shuttle service introduced a slew of upgrades this past Saturday, which now means riders can enjoy shorter wait times — by far the most bemoaned complaint regarding the free service — and the option to board the shuttle Monday through Friday, as well.
Before the pandemic, Golden Gate Park's only free-of-charge shuttle bus service primarily ran down JFK Drive — a road that's since been made into a car-free corridor as part of the City's Slow Streets Program. But even then, the park’s two-bus service was woefully inadequate. (Not only did it stop at just a handful of destinations inside Golden Gate Park, but wait times to board the buses often exceeded the fifteen- to twenty-minute advertised pick-up windows.) However, a long list of recent improvements to the shuttle service brought some much-needed, positive change — among which includes additional stops and a promise of speeder pick ups.
Starting Saturday, riders of Golden Gate Park’s free shuttle will enjoy major improvements, including new weekday service, an expanded route with connection to public transit, more stops, and less waiting! pic.twitter.com/Ft0f9NggYl— San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (@RecParkSF) February 25, 2022
Announced by the San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department on Saturday, riders of Golden Gate Park’s free shuttle can now count on "expanded routes with connection to public transit, more stops, and less waiting."
From Monday through Friday, the shuttle will also now run from noon to 6 p.m. with pick up times every 25 minutes; the Saturday, Sunday, and holiday service will still run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with wait times improved to every 15 minutes, courtesy of a third shuttle bus added to the schedule; riders can continue enjoying shuttles around GGP until 8 p.m. March 5.
Additionally, the City parks and recreation department also noted in a press release that the following changes have been added, too:
• Connections to the Haight Ashbury neighborhood and its cafes, shops, and bus lines, as well as the park’s renovated Stanyan Street edge.
• Shuttle information that is easier to find and use online.
• New stops, including: Stow Lake Boathouse and café, with easy access to Strawberry Hill and its lakeside path, waterfall, picnic areas, and Chinese Pavilion.
• Haight and Stanyan streets near Whole Foods Market with connection to Muni lines 7, 33 and 66.10th Avenue/de Young Museum stop a short distance from the 5-Fulton and closer to the museum’s entrance than ever before.
It was announced in tandem with the Golden Gate Park shuttle updates that new handicap-accessible construction has begun throughout the park. These changes were primarily based off the feedback the department received from older adults and members of disability communities who participated in a Golden Gate Park Safety and Access Program survey.
These modifications and updates include twenty new accessible parking spots being added at the GGP Bandshell parking lot, a re-paving of nearby walking areas, and creating a new accessible path to the Japanese Tea Garden. There will also be new curb ramps throughout the park.
All of these improvements announced over the weekend represent the first installment in a multi-phase effort to better the Golden Gate Park Shuttle service —which, per the SF parks department, will include even more shuttle stops (along with new seating, shelters, and additional informational signage) in the future.
For more information on the Golden Gate Park Shuttle, as well as viewing an updated map for the service, visit https://sfrecpark.org/ggpshuttle.
Photo: Courtesy of Twitter via @RecParkSF