A bus running on the 48-Quintara/24th Street line is testing out a new sliding door design that could save space on buses. (Courtesy SFMTA)

Sliding doors could open up more space on Muni buses

A simple engineering change could soon make Muni’s 900 buses roomier across the system: sliding doors.

Buses in San Francisco today feature doors that open inward, creating a need for more than 500,000 daily bus riders to “please stand clear of the doors,” as Muni recordings frequently warn.

While seemingly a minor annoyance, the doors take up valuable standing space on a Muni bus, at least two people wide, shoulder-to-shoulder, and create a constant need for riders to shuffle and re-shuffle when they opens to let passengers disembark.

But one, single bus currently running on the 48-Quintara/24th Street line may change all that.

Instead of opening inward, its doors slide open, running across the outer hull of the bus.

The new design is part of a test run for Muni; but they may only spread throughout the fleet once Muni converts to battery-only electric vehicles.

Right now, that process has taken a brief pause.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors committed to a Zero Emission Vehicle Policy to convert its 900 or so buses to become all-electric battery buses by 2035.

To get ahead of the game, on October 15 the SFMTA board considered purchasing nine zero-emission battery-electric buses as part of a pilot run — the buses that may get the new doors.

That contract would not exceed $5.2 million, per public documents.

But SFMTA Board Chair Malcolm Heinicke and board member Steve Heminger told SFMTA staff on Tuesday that they wanted bus manufacturers to offer a better price.

Any manufacturer who offered a successful pilot, they argued, would stand to gain a contract to produce 800 battery-electric buses.

The pending effort was postponed for a future meeting for SFMTA staff to address those concerns.

But whenever those buses do materialize, they’ll do so with futuristic doors — and more space to stand.


Bay Area Newssan francisco newsTransit

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/


Just Posted

CalTrans settles lawsuit over homeless sweeps on state property

Settlement requires agency to give warning before taking property and assist with retrieval

Plan to relocate Bayview charter school meets with resistance

School district wants to move KIPP elementary to vacant Treasure Island school site

Black like Bey

SFMOMA showcases photographer Dawoud Bey’s beautiful, sociopolitical images

Musician shot by off-duty FBI agent on Haight Street speaks out

Man thought official was a ‘fake cop’

Newsom: California’s homelessness crisis ‘a disgrace’

Governor uses State of the State speech to call for new revenue to tackle problem

Most Read