Muni: "Glad Bag Bus" Yanked Out of Service

Categories: Public Transit
Today's cover story is about Muni's broken vehicles and the broken system that leads mechanics to "fix" them with plastic bags, duct tape, and rubber bands.

The rolling symbol of Muni's long-term neglect of maintenance needs is Coach No. 5427, which has been motoring through city streets since at least April 2011 with rooftop wires wrapped in black plastic bags or liners held in place with zipties.

SF Weekly has learned that Coach 5427 went out on its normal runs this morning, serving on the 24-Divisidero route. About 10 a.m., however, it diverted off its scheduled course and motored to the Potrero bus yard. Whether the jury-rigged application atop this bus that has passed Muni muster every day for more than a year will be addressed is unknown.

Finally, if today's cover story left any of you wanting even more statistics regarding public transit -- and Muni's somewhat dubious performance when stacked alongside other large agencies -- see below:

Los Angeles Municipal Transportation Agency:

Mean Distance Between Failures (miles between breakdowns, essentially):

Bus: 3,727 miles.
Light-Rail Vehicles: 17,926 miles.

Vehicle count: 2,417 buses, 270 overall rail vehicles.

Maintenance staff: Diesel -- 841 mechanics, 401 attendants, 78 body repair workers.
Rail -- 207 mechanics, 92 attendants.

AC Transit:

Mean Distance Between Failures: 4,665 miles.

Vehicle count: 585 buses.

Maintenance staff: 143 mechanics, 75 service employees.

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)

Mean Distance Between Failures:

Diesel/Hybrid buses: 9,842 miles; Electric buses: 19,121 miles.

Rail --  City Trolley: 7,645 miles; Suburban Trolley: 43,730 miles
Vehicle count: 908 rail cars (388 commuter rail; 335 subway/elevated; 159 trolley/light rail; 26 high-speed rail); 1,583 diesel/hybrid buses; 38 electric buses.

Maintenance staff
: 857 bus mechanics. 901 rail mechanics

Oily bus.jpg
Jim Herd
This would qualify as a "failure"
Seattle King County Metro:

Mean Distance Between Failures: 5,805 miles, weighted average.

Vehicle count: Diesel/Hybrid buses: 1,409.

Maintenance staff: 301 mechanics, 695 overall maintenance staff.

San Francisco Muni:

Mean Distance Between Failures:

Diesel buses:

Kirkland standard: 4,469 miles.
Flynn articulated: 3,923 miles.
Woods standard: 3,142 miles.

Electric buses:

Potrero articulated: 833 miles.
Potrero standard: 1,879 miles.
Presidio standard: 1,981 miles.

OVERALL BUSES: 2,900 miles.


Light-Rail Vehicles: 2,258 miles.
Historic trolleys: 1,225 miles.
Cable cars: 1,402 miles.

OVERALL RAIL: 1,946 miles.

Vehicle count:

506 diesel buses, 313 electric buses.

151 light-rail vehicles; 40 historic trolleys; 40 cable cars.

Maintenance staff:

Roughly 200 electrical mechanics. Roughly 99 diesel mechanics.

Overall diesel maintenance personnel: 210.
Overall electric bus maintenance personnel: 90.
LRV and historic trolley overall maintenance personnel: 215.
Cable car overall maintenance personnel: 84.

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Reginald Stonebody
Reginald Stonebody

What the hell?? The Glad Bag Bus was the Muni flagship! I can't believe how much more the electric buses are failing compared to diesel. Is this an R&D issue? In theory, the electric busses should be *way* more reliable.

Tim Giangiobbe
Tim Giangiobbe

Time to buy shiny new buses that can transport the masses  Instead of bandaging gushing wounds and kissing union asses  Time to fire the whiners and expand service with the winners  Time to fire lazy workers shamming half their shift that'll give the bottom line a lift.   Time to hire new drivers with a good attitude, replace the ones who are incorrigible and rude.  Time to take maintenance seriously, before we run back to the car hurriedly

Tim Giangiobbe
Tim Giangiobbe

I was taking MUNI one day and eavesdropping on the phone conversation of a driver who was talking on the phone and driving.  The dude went on about all the overtime he was getting and was WHINING about the mortgage payment and not having enough and how he will be eating cereal mac and cheese,  ramen and eggs and about the breaks being too short.  I wanted to say something like Hey buddy ya want me to call a Whaaaaaambulance  OH WELL he does have a gripe about bathroom facilities but really makes decent money and must have some other economic monkeys that are draining the coffers from his back.  Six figure payroll when working overtime is KUSH.  

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