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New Video Surfaces Of Open Muni Train On The Move

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – A new YouTube video surfaced Thursday that apparently shows an open door on a moving San Francisco Municipal Railway Muni Metro light-rail vehicle – the second such incident in the past three weeks.

Cell phone video of the incident was posted by user 415mdc, a San Franciscan in his 30’s, who talked to CBS 5 under the condition that his identity would remain anonymous.

He said he was riding the L train at 10 am Thursday when the train left the West Portal station with the door open and stayed open the entire way to the next stop, Forest Hills.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

“Everybody was looking at each other,” he said. “A couple of ladies were in shock. They actually moved down to the other end of the car. There was one guy who went closer to the door, I’m not sure why.”

415mdc said the man who is seen leaping off the train ran and got the conductor at the Forest Hill stop. He said riders stayed on the train while a conductor shut the door and latched it shut, then the train moved on.

“I’m scared to stand by the door now,” said the rider. “After experiencing it myself – seeing the doors open – I would never stand by the doors if I can.”

Muni spokesman Paul Rose said the incident is under investigation. Underneath the youtube video, it appears a Muni staffer has posted phone numbers, trying to get in touch. The amateur photographer told CBS 5 he would call Muni back and offer his video.

>>Related: Texting Muni Driver Back Behind Wheel Despite Suspension

SFPD spokesman Sgt. Michael Andraychak told CBS 5 that a group of officers assigned to Muni are now reviewing the amateur video, as well as videos on the train as part of a criminal investigation. They are checking every possibility – including the possibility that the door was tampered with.

They do not believe for tampering to be the case, but Andraychak said they will check the possibility as part of a thorough investigation.

415mdc said he does not think that’s a possibility. He said he was on the train for about 10 stops before West Portal and the door was working fine.

Then, at West Portal, he said he saw the door had problems, a Muni employee came and tried to fix it. But the train ended up taking off with the door open. After the train arrived at the next stop, he said passengers ran and got the Muni employee, the same person who had tried to fix it in the first place. That Muni employee then managed to lock the door shut for the rest of the trip.

“They need to fix their cars,” 415mdc said. “We’re all paying customers. I’m paying my monthly pass. They’re forcing us to use the Clipper cards. They’re probably tracking us. We’re doing our part and they need to do theirs.”

The video was posted three weeks after another YouTube video surfaced showing an open door on a L-Taraval light-rail vehicle traveling between the Van Ness and Church stations on the evening of April 1.

Supervisor Scott Wiener was on the train during the dangerous ride and witnessed the open door.

Wiener said as the train was about to depart the Van Ness station, “all the doors but one closed, and the train just went.”

Once the train was in the tunnel, the operator came on the intercom, Wiener said, and advised riders that the door was open and to stay away from it, but the video shows that most passengers remained right near the opening.

The train arrived at the station, and all passengers were asked to clear the vehicle, he said.

Wiener said he had never seen that happen on a vehicle he was on, but “apparently now I’ve heard it has” happened elsewhere in the Muni system.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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