Muni To Stop Surprising Riders By Aborting Service Mid-Route
Under a new policy, Muni won't stop aborting light rail routes. But it will take pains to warn riders that their train will not reach its destination. New practices will include making sure vehicle destination signs display where the train is actually going to end its route -- rather than where it should have gone. Operators will announce to riders when and where they can find a train going to their intended destination. And managers will avoid turning trains around prematurely if there's no train following within five minutes, the report said.
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On the L-Taraval from downtown to the zoo, 97 trains were turned back early last year. From January to October of 2010, 177 trains turned around early, a "short turn" rate increase of around 100 percent.
Riders have not been happy. According to calls to the city's 311 complaint line, riders stuck on, or waiting for, a "short-turned" train have found themselves late, stuck, or hanging around a scary dark platform not knowing when they'll be able to leave.
The Muni report on the problem sampled some of these 311 calls and cited the following complaints:
Announcements were infrequent and there was little communication between Operators and customers; The destinations signs on the LRVs were incorrect; Two back-to-back trains were switched back; Customers had to wait too long for the next train; The T Third Line had too many switched back trains in a row at Third and 23rd Streets; and Switching back trains after 10:00 p.m. may be unsafe for waiting customers.That's what you get for assuming a train's destination is the one appearing on the sign.