SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Dual events at the Chase Center and Oracle Park caused concern for traffic gridlocks in the area on Tuesday, but extra Muni buses helped traffic flow smoothly–at the expense of nearby residents.
Tuesday night, while Dave Matthews brought down the house inside Chase Center, fans hopped on specially marked Muni buses to get in and out of Mission Bay. Those buses, though, weren’t extra — they were diverted from regular runs — specifically affecting the 8 lines that run through Visitacion Valley, Bayview and Sunnydale.
“We were promised that we would have increased bus service, increased rail service, increased shuttle service during Chase Center events and in general because of the Chase Center–but what ended up happening is they re-routed and decreased service for the 8, the 8X, the 8XR to accommodate Chase Center, and I want to make sure that we nip that in the bud right away,” District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton told KPIX 5.
SFMTA says service had to drop due to sick calls by operators, leading to a shortage Tuesday evening.
“We didn’t take any bus service from any line. Because we had that operator shortage, we weren’t able to fill as many missing runs as we could have because of operator availability,” said Erica Kato.
SFMTA and the Warriors have been mounting an aggressive PR campaign to get Chase Center goers to use Muni to avoid “carmageddon” in the tightly packed Mission Bay neighborhood that is flanked by both Oracle Park and UCSF.
“I think it’s important to point out that we have been dealing with an operator shortage–this is something we’ve been very transparent about. We’ve been very diligent about providing extra service to Chase Center to make sure we don’t have extra cars on the road,” Kato said.
On the T-Line platform Wednesday, regular riders were baffled.
“That’s kinda frustrating, like waiting for the bus and they’re affecting people to get home and it may be their main transportation, and just for an event, like that’s not right. Like, a lot of people got places to go and they need to be there on time,” said 8 line rider LaRon Cook.