SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – A plan to ban private vehicles on Market Street in Downtown San Francisco is already leading to positive results, according to the new head of the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency.

SFMTA Director Jeffrey Tumlin sat down with KPIX 5 traffic reporter Gianna Franco to talk about the ongoing challenges and projects for the agency.

When asked about the changes on Market Street that took effect late last month, Tumlin said “We’re getting, weirdly, only positive comments about the changes that we’ve made to Market Street. It makes us wonder why we didn’t do this 12 years ago and why it took 10 years of very, very detailed planning in order to make this change.”

“The counts are still preliminary,” the SFMTA director went on to say. “We’re seeing between a 15% and up to a 30% increase in bikes and scooter on the street, depending upon where it is you count and how.”

Tumlin also discussed what the SFMTA plans to work on next.

“Our next set of improvements are going to be focused on what’s called “muni forward” which is looking at all of our highest ridership lines, collecting a lot of data about where those lines are being stuck in congestion or stuck at red lights and doing a thousand small projects in order to speed up buses and make them more reliable,” he said.

Tumlin also responded to commuters questions about the long-awaited Central Subway project, saying it’s more than 90 percent completed. The latest expected opening date is fall of next year.

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