Commuters sound off about Muni changes

Although six weeks have passed since Muni’s T-Third metro line began weekday operation, commuters are still grumbling about transit changes they say are forcing people back into their cars.

The commuters aired concerns Wednesday at a town-hall style meeting called specifically to address concerns of Caltrain commuters who transfer to Muni at Fourth and King streets. Muni Executive Director Nathaniel Ford was responding to an online petition started by a Mountain View resident working in the Financial District.

Two weeks after the T-Third began operating seven days a week, Eric Svetcov realized his commute from the Peninsula to San Francisco was altered by the subsequent changes in service. He launched an online petition, which to date has been signed by more than 160 commuters.

Muni launched seven-day service for T-Third on April 9, and the $648 million rail line sent rippling effects throughout the system. Since the rocky start, commuters have been stranded for up to 50 minutes and massive complaints about the changes in other bus and rail lines have led Ford to admit that Muni is plagued by institutional troubles, including a systemwide shortage of drivers, overcrowded maintenance facilities and outdated equipment.

Thousands of people commute from the Peninsula to San Francisco each weekday, disembarking at the Caltrain Station at Fourth and King streets before transferring to a Muni bus or metro line. Concerns raised Wednesday ranged from missed connections to jampacked trains to dangerous platform conditions.

Before the T-Third, many Caltrain commuters transferred to a two-car N-Judah train once in San Francisco. However, the N-Judah no longer services the Caltrain station, and riders are forced to use T-Third or J-Church trains, which board at two separate platforms.

Svetcov said people are risking their lives by running between the T-Third and J-Church platforms, which are separated by about five lanes of traffic, to catch whichever train arrives first.

One man said taking the N-Judah away from the Caltrain Station was akin to shutting down the MacArthur Maze to drivers.

“I pretty much feel like I’m out of options. This is putting people in cars,” said Darren Schreiber, another Muni rider.

Felisha Madaris, who lives in San Francisco and uses BART and Muni to commute to her job in Oakland, said she is no longer able to pick her son up from school on time. She used to take the 15-Third bus, but it was canceled after 67 years to make room for the new line.

Ford told the commuters Wednesday that officials did not expect the challenges stemming from the T-Third to be as great as they were. He did not site specific actions that would be made to give commuters some relief, but he did say changes were in the works.

“We are not getting you where you are going on time, and that’s the bottom line,” he said.

arocha@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

Just Posted

People take part in early voting for the November 5 election at City Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Electionpalooza: SF school board recall will kick off a flurry of local races

‘It’s going to be a lot of elections and a lot of decisions for voters to make’

The fate of San Francisco nicotine giant Juul remains to be seen, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing whether to allow certain flavored vape products on the market. <ins>(Jeenah Moon/New York Times)</ins>
How the vape king of teen nicotine addiction rose and fell in San Francisco

‘Hey, Juul, don’t let the door hit you on the way out’

Cabernet sauvignon grapes sat in a container after being crushed at Smith-Madrone Winery in St. Helena. (Courtesy Smith-Madrone Winery)
San Francisco’s ‘Champagne problems’ — Wine industry suffers supply chain woes

‘Everywhere you turn, things that were easy are no longer easy’

Glasses behind the bar at LUNA in the Mission District on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Glassware is just one of the many things restaurants have had trouble keeping in stock as supply chain problems ripple outward. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF restaurants face product shortages and skyrocketing costs

‘The supply chain crisis has impacted us in almost every way imaginable’

A student carries a protection shield to her next class as part of her school’s COVID-19 safety measures. (Courtesy Allison Shelley/Eduimages)
Projected K-12 drops in enrollment pose immediate upheaval and decade-long challenge

State forecasts 11.4% fewer students by 2031 — LA and Bay Area to be hit hardest

Most Read