Coronavirus impact: Muni suspending some service due to COVID-19 crisis

ByLauren Martinez KGO logo
Friday, March 27, 2020
Bay Area transit changes due to COVID-19
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SFMTA says all Muni Metro and light rail service will be suspended in response to the shelter-in-place mandate, and loss in ridership.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- On Monday, SFMTA says all Muni Metro and light rail service will be suspended in response to the shelter-in-place mandate, and loss in ridership.

Erica Kato, SFMTA spokesperson, says they will not be running their light rail vehicles. Instead, they'll be providing the same amount of service in the form of a bus instead of a train.

This will allow them to minimize risk for their station agents at muni metro stations. And will allow them to redirect custodial resources.

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"It allows us to take the custodians that work in those stations and we can re-deploy them to other higher needs facilities and it's actually a unique opportunity to do some much needed maintenance," Kato said.

This will effect the letter lines, the J, K, L, M, N and T lines.

"So the route won't change- you'll still be able to get picked up where you're normally picked up on the service. Really the only change is if you board or exit at one of our Muni metro stations, instead of being downstairs you'll just catch that vehicle on the service then at the street level," Kato said.

Muni Rapid routes will also be temporarily discontinued.

SFMTA says this allows them to be more nimble as ridership patterns have changed. "What we can do is send an operator on standby and add buses to any particular route at any given time. So it allows us to adapt and adjust as people's ridership changes as well," Kato said.

Click here for more details on Muni changes.

Other big announcements made Thursday, included BART. They're reporting a 92% loss in ridership. They're estimating a revenue loss of $17.5 million. BART staff says they're waiting to find out how much money BART will receive from the federal stimilus package.

ABC7 News spoke with Samantha Stewart, a Oakland resident that depends on BART and other modes of public transportation.

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"BART started closing at 9 o'clock but I work at Whole Foods so they've been very gracious to allow me to like close or come in at a different time," Stewart said.

She said seeing the empty platforms and being on an empty train has been weird.

"The first week, it was awesome, I mean less people shoving you in the face the second week a lot of troubled people," Stewart said.

In the South Bay, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Agency announced they will immediately suspend light rail after learning an operator trainee tested positive for COVID-19.