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.

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.

”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.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (4)
  1. Don Feaster says:

    Why can’t the management of MUNI do a much better job. This urban people mover is beginning to fail miserably. In Europe, you can check the time by the punctual arrival and departure of trains and busses. Part of the reason is that the HORRIBLE drivers can not be disciplined because of an archiac contract. Every week there are new reports of MUNI run amok. Drivers texting, falling asleep at the wheel of a light-rail train, leaving doors open while speeding through the underground. Some one should start whipping some MUNI a$$. It’s disgusting. I live on the L-Line and it normally takes me 20 minutes, door to door. Last night my commute was 1 hour and 15 minutes. After a short turn (where everyone is kicked off the train to board a waiting bus) and lengthy delays in between. It’s nonsense.

  2. BigLes says:

    Wow, I thought it was horrible with the LACMTA! Good Luck.

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