1 killed by Muni train at bus stop in San Francisco’s Visitacion Valley

abc7news – excerpt (includes video)

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Police and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) are investigating a deadly accident involving a Muni train in San Francisco.

The incident happened around 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning on Bayshore Boulevard and Sunnydale Avenue and a man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officials say while the train was stopped and waiting for the light at the last stop, a man on the platform approached the train and tried to open the doors.

“Preliminary information indicates that the deceased sat on the couplers between two LRV cars while the train was stopped,” police said in a news release. “He fell underneath the second car of the train once it started moving again.”

When the operator started to turn the train around, the man fell off the platform and the second car of the train hit him… (more)

Muni operators tell assault stories, plead for safety

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

They’ve been vomited on, spat on, beaten, sucker punched, shot with fire extinguishers, and threatened with murder.

Now Muni operators have had enough.

The men and women who help ferry more than 700,000 people in San Francisco every day, and night, aboard buses and light rail vehicles have come forward to tell their tales of assault, in the hopes of compelling The City to do more to keep them and the riding public safe. Those operators were gathered by their union, Transport Workers Local 250-A and its president, Roger Marenco… (more)

Muni cuts training hours to boost number of train operators, combat driver shortage

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

In its scramble to roll out qualified train operators quickly amid a citywide Muni slowdown caused by an operator shortage, The City’s transportation agency has cut its standards and reduced the training hours for train operators, the San Francisco Examiner has learned.

Additionally, the number of hours certified trainers teach operators has been cut. Instead, operators are partially trained by other, already-trained operators that may not be certified trainers themselves — a practice that has the Muni operators union crying foul.

“If operators themselves don’t feel safe with their own training, how safe is the service being provided?” said Roger Marenco, president of the Transport Workers Union Local 250-A, in an August interview with the Examiner…(more)

Muni can’t seem to win. Maye they should listen to the workers instead of the voices in their head? We understand the biggest problem for the drivers is that they do not feel safe or respected. Why talk to the PUC? Aren’t they the group that is in charge of all the Uber, Lyfts and non-public disruptors? What do the drivers say about their training? Are they satisfied? Or may we ask?

More time for Muni talks

In regards to Central Subway media events, taxpayers should hold on to their wallets and purses when SFMTA management and politicians congregate. Developers are trying to ramrod the subway into North Beach’s and the Waterfront’s prime real estate.

EXAMINER: “From Readers”, June 17, 2014

Muni drivers deserve better
Net wage cuts would offend anyone, not just Muni operators—especially when The City has copious revenue, proposes the largest San Francisco budget in history and gives tax breaks to rich companies in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Because of the Central Subway’s costly $595 million in matching state and local funds, Muni has cut service, eliminated bus lines, shortened routes, deferred maintenance, increased missed runs, switchbacks, fares, fees, fines and meters—while blaming Muni operators for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s own financial hara-kiri.
With mushrooming SFMTA managers and more than six-figure salaries, only Muni operators are hobbled—even while $10 million is taken from operating reserves for the subway’s unnecessary Pagoda Theater work.
Now, $15 million more is threatened for acquisition of the property.
Worse, huge subway cost overruns loom ahead, unveiled by the Central Subway’s cost engineer, whose whistle-blower’s complaint alleges a cooking of the books.
Bleeding dollars from the Muni system, developers are toying with Muni like a Monopoly game.
Taxpayers should take up torches and pitchforks to end the financial madness.
Howard Wong
San Francisco