Muni to replace malfunctioning buses after computer error led to crash

By sfexaminer – excerpt

A computer error that cut signals to the brakes was found to be the culprit in a Monday morning Muni bus crash, and the San Francisco Examiner has learned that other braking problems may be widespread in the same type of bus, the most decrepit in Muni’s fleet.

Such revelations were highlighted in a document obtained by the Examiner and based on the experiences of Muni drivers who spoke under the condition of anonymity…

The cause of the crash was revealed in a memo leaked to the Examiner. The SFMTA later provided the memo to the Examiner following inquiries based on its information…(more)


Reasons why the buses are more reliable than cable cars and trains

In case you haven’t noticed, when their is a problem on a bus line, the buses CAN be rerouted. Every day you see numerous notices from SFMTA about re-routed bus lines due to emergency conditions such as fires – SF Muni Bus Lines 12, 14, 27, 49 Being Re-Routed or other alterations caused by heavy construction or roadwork.

Almost daily you also see notices about stopped trains and cable car lines
SF Muni California Cable Car Line delayed due to an Accident. There is no way to re-route a rail or cable car so the whole line must come to a halt when such an incident occurs.

If the lower costs of purchasing, and operating a bus line were not enough to convince you that buses make the most financial sense, the reliability factor should be considered as well. That is why many professional transportation professionals favor buses over rail. You need a certain number of buses just to cover for the downtime of rail.

THE ECONOMIST:  “Streetcars and Urban Renewal:  Rolling Blunder”, “Federal subsidies have inspired some silly transit projects”, August 9, 2014:  

Muni to Test Seat Reconfiguration to Make More Room on Light-Rail Vehicles

by Aaron Bialick : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

After a nudge from two city supervisors, Muni is looking to convert forward- and backward-facing seats to side-facing seats in its light-rail train cars as a way to squeeze in more passengers and speed up boarding.
The SFMTA plans to run a trial starting in January by putting one reconfigured prototype car into service, which would be monitored over six months before reconfiguring other train cars.
The pilot is moving forward at the behest of Supervisors Scott Wiener and London Breed, who called a hearing held yesterday on how the agency can increase capacity on its metro system while Muni riders await a new, larger train fleet due to arrive in 2017. By converting most seats to a sideways-facing orientation, planners estimate they could allow room for five to eight more passengers per train car while removing obstacles that can create bottlenecks when riders squeeze in and out at stops… (more)

Report on Muni’s light-rail trains is latest bad news for agency

by : – excerpt

Muni’s light-rail trains, which collectively carry more than 150,000 passengers each day, posted an on-time performance rate of just under 50 percent in May, according to a recent report that is the latest of several pieces of disconcerting news about the transit agency.
Officials from the transit agency acknowledge the systemic problems, including aging trains and the rundown tracks, but say upcoming fixes may correct some of the issues.
On average, Muni’s light-rail vehicles break down once every 25 to 30 days, and the agency has few reserve vehicles to immediately put into service, according to John Haley, director of transit for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which runs Muni. The 151 trains that comprise Muni’s light-rail fleet should have been completely overhauled about five to six years ago, but that never happened, which is why they’re so prone to breakdowns, Haley said…
The run-down condition of the agency’s trackways also lead to slower train speeds. In addition, a large confluence of bottlenecks — such as the intersection at Fourth and King streets — results in numerous delays. Scheduling for the lines — which carry passengers at street level and below the ground — has not been updated for the current operating conditions, and the agency lacks enough supervisors to monitor performance, Haley said…
One of the solutions for light-rail problems not listed on Haley’s report is seat reconfiguration. Supervisors Scott Wiener and London Breed issued a letter to Muni Transportation Director Ed Reiskin on Friday, asking him to consider rearranging train seats for more capacity… (more)

“the agency lacks enough supervisors to monitor performance”, according to Haley…

They also lack engineers, mechanics and parts, and the ability to keep the the light-rails moving. In fact, the only thing the SFMTA seems to be any good at is infuriating drivers and riders and creating traffic jams. They get an “A” in harassing the public; an “F” in running the Muni.

Now the Supervisors want to remove seats from the trains? How safe is that? Do you really want kids and the elderly standing on trains instead of sitting? Cars are required to have seat belts. Buses are not. Kids in cars are required to be securely belted into car seats. Now you want those same kids to stand on the bus handing onto the seat? Not everyone can reach those high overhead bars, and not everyone can stand up on a fast-moving bus.


SFMTA Board Approves Purchase of 45 New Hybrid Electric Buses

SOURCE: (SFMTA) : – excerpt

The Board of Directors of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all transportation in the city, including the Municipal Railway (Muni), approved the purchase of 45 new hybrid electric 40 foot buses from New Flyer Industries. These new vehicles will replace 13-year-old buses currently in service… (more)

Buses Dishing Out Parking Tickets Now In San Francisco!

Gabe Slate and Stanley Roberts of KRON 4 News:
Don’t think about pulling over into a bus only lane or slipping into a bus stop to let someone out. See this video for Buses with cameras handing out tickets to drivers.
KRON 4’s Gabe Slate and Stanley Roberts Team up to look at how transit buses are issuing parking tickets just by driving down the street.