Muni board to approve upgrading communications system 

click to enlarge San Francisco Muni operator James Lee demonstrates the use of out-dated communications equipment currently in use on buses. - MIKE KOOZMIN/THE S.F. EXAMINER
  • Mike koozmin/the s.f. examiner
  • San Francisco Muni operator James Lee demonstrates the use of out-dated communications equipment currently in use on buses.

Muni’s aging communication systems could be completely overhauled as part of an $86 million plan to upgrade the agency’s radios.

Installed in the 1970s, the radio sets, which connect Muni’s transit operators with a central command center, are outdated and extremely difficult to use, according to agency documents. Along with being unreliable, the radios will not be ably to comply with new federal requirements for broadband frequencies, which are set to go into effect next year.

The $86 million project will replace the communications systems in 1,100 Muni vehicles, add 575 handheld radios for employee use, and install new digital and audio components to the agency’s light-rail vehicles, among other perks. The contract proposal includes $22 million for other potential communications projects, if needed.
The majority of the funding for the plan will come from the federal government, with some money coming from local sources.

The SFMTA board of directors will vote on the contract proposal Tuesday. If approved, the work must be completely finished within three years.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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Will Reisman

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