New Video Surfaces Of Open Muni Train On The Move

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.)

  • SFBeacher

    It CAN get pretty stuffy on those trains, when they’re packed full. Just sayin’…

  • Clarence R. Fischer

    May I please, please, please, become a MUNI Safety Officer ……. If I were on that train …… I would have had that train STOPPED right now …… so thhat no one would have gotten hurt. MUNI LRV’s are suppose to be able to be stopped by (1) A Human Operator, and (2) By Any other human by pulling down the emergency red lever near the doors. What is wrong with this MUNI STUPID – VISOR???? Please hire me ….. thanks …… Clarence R. Fischer at clarencefischer at att dot net

    • Da Fish

      right on ….. MUNI “STUPID – VISORS” are only concerned about their paycheck !!!

    • SFBeacher

      The red levers are for opening the door in an emergency.The train can be stopped in an emergency by pushing the red BUTTON , marked emergency train stop.

  • Bloodhounds

    Well on a positive note the train kept moving so no one was late for work school,ect… I’ve taken muni alot of times and the doors won’t open. Atleast they could get out in case of an emergency.

  • Diamond Driver

    If it were a private company running MUNI would they still be rolling now?

  • local opinions

    goodness…such a big deal about nothing….hey, in the oldays, the streetcars didn’t have any doors….people hang out of the cable cars all the time………and every one is all exited about this story……hope you guys don’t wet your pants….

  • sf peaches

    A few years ago, a courageous fare inspector named Tony Lama rescued a passenger who had fallen onto the tracks. A train was stopped nearby, and passengers ensured that the train remained still by holding a door open. It’s horrifying to think of how that would have turned out if the train’s safety catch had failed. Let’s hope the news media keep a close watch on how these incidents are investigated and resolved (Please note: the word “media” is plural).

  • HooDatIS?


  • Scott Poggenburg

    Leave it to Muni to give a whole new meaning to “open door policy”

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  • Barry

    An open door is a big thing, just stand away from it if you are scared. You’re not going to be sucked out and if you do somehow get killed by an open door than that is natural selection at work. What is disturbing about this story is how people seem absolutely helpless to do anything for themselves and think that taking a video is an answer, like the cowardly fool who recorded a woman being beaten nearly to death in McDonalds. Get involved and do something people, this world is what we make out of it and we don’t need have everything solved by authorities! If everyone started doing what was right and common sense we would all be much better off.

    • Barry

      I meant isn’t a big thing. Geez I need to proofread more.

  • tom slickk

    Something called cable cars have no doors, people swinging on, and why no complaints? This is a news story that’s nothing trying to be something…

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