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Video Shows Door Staying Open During Muni Train Ride

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A video shot by Muni commuter shows a L Taraval train being operated with a door open on April 1, 2011. (Alex Merenkov)

A video shot by Muni commuter shows a L Taraval train being operated with a door open on April 1, 2011. (Alex Merenkov)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5 / KCBS) — A shocking video shot by a Muni passenger last Friday showed a train full of passengers being operated with the door gaping open during the ride.

On Friday night, Alex Merenkov boarded the L Taraval train during rush hour. At the Van Ness station, one of the passenger doors did not close, prompting Merenkov to record his commute.

Merenkov’s video shows the train traveling through the tunnel at regular speed with the door open. At least two passengers were standing by the open doorway. The door begins to close just as the train arrives at the Church station.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

“My first thought was somebody push the red button, stop this train, this is dangerous, somebody is going to fall out of here,” he told CBS 5.

Merenkov did not hit the button himself because he wanted to document the dangerous situation.

“It doesn’t make me mad, it just makes me wanna go, like, ‘Hello San Francisco, like San Francisco Muni does not care about your safety at all. And they’re rude to you, they don’t care about you, and you’re gonna get hurt one of these days because of their carelessness,’” he said.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency admits operator error during the incident. Director of Transit John Haley said the operator was having trouble with the door, overrode a safety feature and did not use a special pin to keep the doors closed. Haley said the incident was serious and unacceptable.

“So in this particular case it doesn’t look like the procedures were followed,” he said. “Obviously this was a serious incident. We are very thankful that no one was hurt. Obviously it’s unacceptable.”

The SFMTA said they will take appropriate disciplinary action against the operator. They recommend that if you do see this happening on your train, press the red button to signal an emergency.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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