SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Officials in San Francisco announced that Muni’s light rail system would remain shut down through the end of the year after abruptly closing last week due to a COVID-19 illness and mechanical issues.
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency transit director Julie Kirschbaum made the announcement Tuesday during an agency Board of Director’s meeting, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The prolonged shutdown of the light rail system stemmed from the failure of two splices in the subway overhead wire that in part spurred the closure of the system on August 24. A worker in the system’s control center testing positive for COVID-19 also contributed to the shutdown.
The system had only been open for a few days since being closed for five months due to the pandemic.
The SF Chronicle reported that management was concerned the back-to-back breakdown of parts indicated that more parts could fail, possibly stranding customers stuck in the subway during COVID-19. Officials also said it makes sense to do the repairs now while ridership is low.
“Obviously, this is a significant failure and we’ve got some amends to make, I think, with a lot of stakeholders,” director Steve Heminger said during the meeting, according to the Chronicle.
As had happened during the earlier pandemic closure of the light rail system, buses would replace the streetcar routes until further notice. More details about how the closures are affecting various lines can be found at sfmta.com/travel-updates/bus-substitution-all-rail-lines.