Unlicensed San Francisco Muni Operators Face Firing

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Dozens of San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency operators are facing the possibility of being fired for their failure to obtain valid driver’s licenses.

Management has found it difficult in the past to fire operators because of a progressive disciplinary process that takes months to complete.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

But with Muni’s new contract, the process has been streamlined, that according to Municipal Transportation Agency spokesman Paul Rose.

“At this point, they’re not being paid. They’re receiving benefits. But they’re not operating vehicles and are waiting to get their license back in service,” said Rose. “At this point, our best thing is to go along with the contract and separate these operators from the MTA if they don’t have their license in place after a certain amount of time.”

Rose said they may begin to hand out pink slips to unlicensed drivers in the next few weeks.

A spokesman for the Transport Workers Union, which represents the operators, said it will defend drivers who are being treated unfairly, especially if there are medical issues involved.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • freda

    Facing the possibility???
    If Iwere driving without a license I would be arrested. These people are driving busses with the public on them for crying out loud. The MINUTE their license expired they should have been fired. Oh wait, they are union. You can’t fire them.
    Absolute outrage here. Furious that I have been paying $2 a ride with an illegal driver. The first thing Reiskin needs to do is dump these ‘drivers”.

  • Ed

    Driver license who needs a drivers license they have a union card

  • Sadie

    I am wondering what the medical conditions are that the article mentions. If a medical condition prevents them from getting a valid driver’s license then they of course should not be driving a bus. I am astounded at times when I see Muni drivers who are morbidly obese and probably have medical issues that could lead to accidents. Of course you don’t have to be morbidly obese to have a heart attack, stroke etc but it certainly increases the chances. What are the guidelines here?


    Listen can we buy from them then? the Trafer ticket? for A FREAKING DOLLAR?

  • JD

    This is one of the most absurd things I’ve ever heard. You can’t fire a driver who doesn’t have a valid driver’s license. This is a perfect example of how unions have outlasted their purpose.

  • Jim Wissick


  • ptown

    I LOVE IT!

  • PLW

    San Francisco politicans do not have a clue… Illegal is legal. Unions’ rule. Welcome to the Coo Coo’s Nest!!!!!!!!!

  • JaneQPublic

    These drivers who can’t drive because it would be ILLEGAL for them to do so should be fired – every last one of them! And we the public are asked to pay higher fares to keep them on the payroll for benefits???

    This totally assinine situation just flushed my longtime support of unions DOWN THE TOILET!

  • Jing Ho

    they are not licensed to drive and they are employed by MUNI as drivers to transport thousands of passengers??? this is insane!

  • Scovy

    Isn’t this a big fat lawsuit waiting to happen if someone is injured while riding the bus or more likely hit by them and finds out the driver is unlicensed to drive.

    • JD

      “IF”!! How about “WHEN”. It seems like Muni is involved in a fatality about once a month.

  • tn

    As the ambulance chasers wet their appetites for the next accidents, the city management is powerless to act (react) accordingly. This is a train wreck waiting to happen and everyone is holding their breath (or watching for it to happen). I feel sorry for the future victims of these unlicensed, employed civil servants.

  • piggypig

    i took muni all my life and can vouch that most of the drivers are pretty good at driving…i would hav nvr tho twice honestly lmfao

  • srfnkth

    SFMTA this is the tip of an iceberg. How about the parking enforcement officers? Do they have licenses? If not shouldn’t they be banned from working? Issuing citations? Having vehicles towed? How about the tow truck drivers contracted by the city?

    This is the same for licensed professions…Doctors? Building contractors? Pilots? Taxi drivers? Police? Firefighters?

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