Muni's 11-Year-Old Computers Conk Out, Riders Delayed

Categories: Public Transit
Not that old. But old.
At Muni, computer techs can still party like it's 1999 -- because that's the vintage of the computers running the system.

At 6 a.m. this morning, the central computers developed a signal problem on the K-T, M, and N lines, forcing the trains into manual mode while in the Metro Tunnel -- which means riders had extra time to read magazines, reminisce about Juan Uribe's big home run, and, eventually, board bus shuttles.

Just as you would with a misbehaving PC running Windows 98, Muni reset its central computer. The problem was fixed by 7:23 a.m. -- but, as of the present, riders are still being shunted into bus shuttles and a backup is still being eased, primarily at West Portal.

Muni spokesman Paul Rose said the agency is "in communication with our maintenance vendor to upgrade the system." Fair enough, but that takes money -- and Muni is not exactly rolling in cash these days. Rose said this and other recent signal problems are not related.

There is a baseball game of note at AT&T Park later today, and Muni is hoping to restore regular service -- and then some -- by the time a crush of orange-clad riders board later today. "That is the plan," Rose noted.

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