SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – San Francisco Muni is struggling with a shortage of light rail drivers and passengers are starting to feel the effects, but the transit agency has said that help is on the way.

The shortage has forced Muni to use bus shuttles to fill in gaps in light rail service, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed by passengers, who say that they’ve had to wait longer to be picked up.

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KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

Muni is about 70 light-rail operators short of where they should be due to attrition and a past hiring freeze.

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”We’ve made some decisions in the past where we’ve had to cut service, and we didn’t see the point of trying to add operators when we’re cutting service,” said Muni Spokesman Paul Rose.

Things could improve soon as a new class of 27 operators graduated from a Muni academy Thursday.

The agency is now paying 16 retirees to work part time. Rose said that Muni should fill its driver shortfall by July.

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