SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has announced that it will temporarily replace all Muni Metro and light rail service with buses starting on Monday, March 30, due to changes in ridership from the COVID-19 stay-at-home order.

The announcement was initially made via Twitter Wednesday evening at about 7:45 p.m.

On the SFMTA website, the agency offered details on the major service change that would find all Muni Metro and light rail routes will be replaced by buses on March 30. Beginning on Monday, customers will use buses covering the J, KT, L, M, and N lines using the same bus stops as the early morning Metro bus service.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

All Muni Metro subway stations will be closed except for downtown stations which will remain open to customers taking BART during their operating hours.

Officials said that in response to reduced ridership during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order, the service adjustments would help the agency to focus resources on routes outside of the downtown area that are connecting people to essential jobs and services.

Closing the Muni Metro underground system will allow the agency to redirect custodial resources to higher-use facilities and minimize the risk to station agents, according to the agency’s official release. Based on current ridership data and observations, SFMTA officials don’t expect the changes to impact the ability of our riders and operators to maintain social distance.

On Wednesday, officials with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency announced that an employee with the agency had tested positive for the coronavirus.

According to a SFMTA statement, the employee tested positive on Tuesday. The agency said they responded swiftly and have coordinated with the city’s Department of Public Health.

“From the onset, SFMTA teams moved quickly to secure supplies, encourage social distancing and make operational changes to minimize the risk of transmission and exposure to all our staff and the community,” the agency said. “We also knew that once there were confirmed cases in San Francisco, it was inevitable that at some point at least one member of our staff would be directly affected.”

While the rail system is closed to passengers, the SFMTA plans to do vital maintenance work on Muni vehicles and infrastructure. Officials said the closure will provide a unique opportunity to improve the state of repair of  the system.

The SFMTA will also temporarily discontinue several Muni Rapid routes. The 5R, 9R, 28R and 38R will stop running, though the 14R Mission Rapid will continue service. Riders are advised to use local service for all stops during all hours of service. The 5 Fulton and 9 San Bruno will run longer buses to help maintain social distancing for the health care providers, critical service workers and others still using public transit to get around the city.

The SFMTA also announced that the 47 Van Ness bus line will be temporarily discontinued on weekends beginning Saturday, April 4. The northern part of the 49 Van Ness route will be extended between North Point and Fisherman’s Wharf to cover part of the 47 line on Saturdays and Sundays. More information on the service changes can be found on the SFMTA website.

Comments