San Francisco

UMR Index


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Score: 70.1%

Sustainable Mobility



Score: 53.6%

Public Transit


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Score: 61.1%

Population 4.8 million
Surface area (km2) 2,872
Population-density (people/km2) 1,682
GDP per capita ($) 127,185
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What San Francisco Does Well in Urban Mobility

San Francisco remains a global hub for public and private mobility investment with specific emphasis on electric vehicle (EV) incentivization, via charging station installation, and connected and automated vehicles (CAV) technologies. City estimates call for a doubling of public charging stations to 2,000 by 2025, and for EVs to account for half of new car registrations by 2026.

The city is a hotspot for research and development efforts by private institutions in the mobility sector, employing talent from some of the top universities in the world. In August 2023, the city allowed commercial robotaxi operations for the first time.

Urban Mobility Readiness Index, Sustainable Mobility and Public Transit scores

Challenges and Opportunities for San Francisco’s Transportation System

With low public transit station density, ridership levels remain relatively low, and San Francisco's residents rely on private cars to move around the city. The city’s transit plan includes an additional Bayview Caltrain station that may accommodate up to 4,000 daily trips and will be within a half-mile of 2,500 low-income residents. Separately, San Francisco was awarded more than $163 million in funding from California authorities in September 2023 to develop more housing, transit improvements, and infrastructure.

City-wide challenges in active mobility infrastructure continue, with difficulties in cycling stemming from a lack of dedicated car-free zones and cycling infrastructure that is compounded by hilly terrain. However, San Francisco has a 10-15 year plan to allocate funding for new low-vehicle-traffic streets that better serve cyclists and pedestrians and to make e-bike offerings more accessible.

Dimensions of the Urban Mobility Readiness Index score

How San Francisco Can Improve Its Public Transportation and Sustainable Mobility

San Francisco has been proactive in tackling some of its most pressing issues by bolstering public transport and active mobility offerings, yet further efforts will help.

Nearly half of trips are taken with private cars in San Francisco. The Bay Area city lags behind its peers like New York in terms of reducing car ownership: San Francisco's residents own on average 1.8 times as many cars as New Yorkers. San Francisco can discourage car usage by introducing car-free zones, removing parking availability, and promoting alternatives like public transit, active mobility, and shared mobility. San Francisco can boost active mobility through targeted investments in infrastructure and road safety such as building bike lanes, heightening traffic enforcement, and supporting bike sharing initiatives.

San Francisco can bolster its public transit offering by introducing more stops and stations along its commuting lines. Focusing on bus and tram services would be a resource-efficient option compared to developing additional metro and rail stations. Increasing the number of stations makes the public transit system more accessible to the city's residents and will help increase ridership and lower car usage.

Comparative Urban Mobility Readiness Index scores