The Union Square BID serves members and creates a high quality visitor experience by managing and activating public spaces, attracting new investment, and advocating for the District’s future success.
Union Square is the vibrant heart of San Francisco and an international destination where visitors come to enjoy exceptional retail experiences, luxury hotels, world-class cultural institutions, and great public spaces found only in the City by the Bay.
A Business Improvement District is a defined area wherein property owners are self-assessed to fund services that improve the overall quality of life for residents and visitors. These services supplement those provided by the City and can include additional cleaning and safety measures, advocacy, beautification, marketing and a variety of other services that go above and beyond to promote this important area. The Union Square BID was the first and is now the largest of the City’s existing property-based business improvement districts. We work collaboratively with City, community, and our members to support Union Square.
A lively 27-block community surrounding Union Square Park in the heart of San Francisco makes up the Union Square BID. It is generally bordered on the north by Bush Street, on the east by Kearny Street, on the south by Market Street and on the west Taylor Street. Within this service area there are 600 parcels, which include both public and private ownership.
The original USBID was founded in 1999 and focused primarily on cleaning and safety issues. Today’s expanded USBID continues to recognize the need for providing cleaning and maintenance and critical public safety services, though has since added destination marketing, advocacy, beautification and capital improvement programs to enhance the experience of the Union Square area and contribute to a safer and more vibrant community. In 2017 alone, the USBID removed over 560,000lbs of debris.
- 14 cleaning FTE’s provide 2 sweeps per sidewalk daily, pressure washing every other week, remove excessive trashing and over flowing trashcans, remove sidewalk stains and graffiti removal and respond to cleaning requests and mitigate illegal dumping.
- 10 FTE Safety and Hospitality Ambassadors provide the following services: individuals disturbing the peace, sleeping/lying on the ground compliance, aggressive panhandling, and safety escorts.
- 3 FTE dispatchers coordinate member services via phone, email and the Union Square Everywhere App between 7am-9pm daily.
- A San Francisco Police Department 10B officer is on duty for the USBID for 10 hours daily. This officer mitigates crime, responds to requests from members and ensures enforcement of laws including quality of life matters.
The USBID is governed by a 23 member board of directors made up of the property and business owners and other stakeholders representing a variety of businesses in Union Square. All major measures are voted on by the Board of Directors, then given to the USBID staff to implement. The USBID also follows a management plan and contract with the City and County of San Francisco.
The USBID several advisory committees to help provide ongoing stewardship of the district. Businesses are welcome to participate any of the committees to share their expertise and passion for Union Square. The committees are as follows:
Public Affairs & Advocacy
Services & Public Safety
Streetscapes & Beautification
Finance & Audit
Partnership with City agencies is instrumental to the BID’s mission and success. Members receive supplemental benefits provided by the USBID above and beyond baseline City cleaning and safety services. The USBID also works hand in hand with the City in order to represent, organize and advocate on behalf of the stakeholders of Union Square.
The USBID is funded through a self-assessed tax on the property owners of Union Square that is administered by the City Tax Assessor’s Office through property tax bills. The BID’s budget is published in our Annual Report submitted to the City of San Francisco. Per the BID’s management plan with the City of San Francisco and property owners the budget is allocated 65% to clean and safe services, 15% to management and administration and 10% to streetscapes, advocacy, events and destination marketing and 10% can be allocated to any of these services or other projects.
As a model for public-private partnerships, the USBID must periodically undergo reauthorization as outlined by our charter from the City and County of San Francisco and our members. In 2019, this process will include both a petition and ballot vote-by-mail for our members, certification from the Board of Supervisors, and ultimately the Mayor’s signature. As we engage our members and convene local stakeholders, we are excited about the prospect for a successful renewal that brings an enhanced budget, enabling us to meet and exceed the current level of services that our members have come to rely on and value, as together we maintain a prosperous and safe community.
For more information on the USBID's Renewal process, click here.
To report or request service needs to the USBID's Dispatch Center, contact the dispatcher at 415-781-4456 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and our dedicated USBID staff will respond quickly and your requests will be responded to within 45 minutes. You can also download the free Union Square Everyday App to request cleaning/maintenance and report an incident.