El Camino Corridor Bus Rapid Transit Phasing Study


Last year, SamTrans was awarded a grant by the California Department of Transportation to conduct a feasibility study of the potential for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service along the El Camino Real corridor.  The geographic area included in the study is the historic El Camino Real, from Daly City to Palo Alto. The 26-mile corridor carries the highest ridership in the SamTrans bus system. The main bus route serving this Corridor is Route ECR with over 13,000 daily weekday boardings, which account for one-third of the system-wide boardings.

BRT is a type of bus service and accompanying facilities that attempts to provide a “rail-like” product in terms of speed, vehicle type, and station amenities.

SamTrans is completing a BRT Phasing Plan Study that identifies a plan for the phased implementation of BRT in the El Camino Real Corridor over an extended time period.  Goals of the study include:

  • Improving the passenger experience for existing customers and attracting new riders
  • Promoting livability and commercial viability
  • Maintaining cost effective operations
  • Minimizing traffic and parking impacts

The initial focus of the phasing plan is the introduction of Rapid service, a faster service with limited capital expense on transit priority, vehicle and station amenities.  The longer-term focus is on the possible introduction of BRT.  See HERE for more information about BRT and Rapid service.  Key components of the phasing plan include:

  • Essential system components
  • Impacts to customers
  • Ridership forecasts
  • Capital and operating costs
  • Funding strategy  

Over the last year, SamTrans has developed BRT service concepts, analyzed operating and capital costs and ridership potential, and identified opportunities to implement transit priority features along the corridor.  Results of the phasing plan are summarized in the SamTrans ECR BRT Phasing Study.

The section of El Camino Real being studied is a highly travelled corridor, averaging more than 29,000 vehicle trips each day. It is anticipated that congestion in the corridor will only increase as San Mateo County’s population, job market and number of households is projected to increase by roughly 30 percent by 2040. With increasing densities and planned development along El Camino Real, this is an opportune time to develop a Rapid/full BRT phasing plan so SamTrans can be better prepared to meet the needs of current and future transit customers as well as support the vision of the Grand Boulevard Initiative and other planning initiatives. Transit improvements would complement planning efforts that could help promote walkable environments, spur revitalization and promote economic development in the corridor.

Public Outreach
The second phase of public outreach is scheduled for November through December 2014.  For a full list of upcoming public meetings and workshops please click

Project Documents
HERE for project documents.

HERE for additional contact information or to leave us a comment.

10/17/13 - rph