2/7 10:15 AM: Good work, team! MTA spokesperson Judson True sends an alert that the repairs the the N Judah line necessitated by a sinkholes were completed, as of 9:50 this morning, and that regular N service is resuming. True says that some bus shuttles will remain in place for now, as the N works to get back on its regular schedule.
Fantastic that all this has been handled before Monday’s commute, so yay!
2/6 4:20 PM: Muni is finally publicly addressing the N Judah delaying sinkhole! Well, kind of.
In a note to media sent out at 4:14 today, MTA spokesperson Judson True says “Since yesterday at approximately 8 p.m., regular light rail service on the N Judah has been disrupted by a sinkhole near the N tracks on Judah at 29th Ave.”
After noting that shuttle buses are in effect between Ocean Beach and 19th in both directions, True adds that “There is no estimate at this time for when regular service will resume” and that the SF PUC (aka the water company) and DPW are addressing the issue.
2/6 9:25 AM: According to Muni employees we spoke to at 9 AM Saturday, it’s still unclear when repairs will begin, let alone conclude, on the sinkhole disrupting N Judah service between 19th Ave and Ocean Beach. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, personnel issues are to blame. And, hey! Before you blow off this story as tediously hyper-local (how I hate that term! But, yeah, sinkhole in Sunset! SEXY) or “who cares, it’s just the Outer Sunset,” keep in mind that the frustration and issues herein are applicable to any Muni problem, anywhere in town.
According to a Muni official who, while happy to provide comment to the Appeal, declined to be named, “we don’t know when we can get started on this because we can’t get anyone to come out to work, and we won’t know how long it will take to fix until we get started.”
Gesturing to a barricade at the curb at the intersection of 29th and Judah, he said “we’d planned on another project, then this (the sinkhole) happened. So far we can only get two people to come out, and we need people from the water company too…I actually need to get back to calling people.”
After that, we rode down to the shuttle bus turnaround at Ocean Beach, and spoke to an (again, declining to be named) Muni driver who said “they’re just lucky this is happening on the weekend. If this is still going on on Monday, it’s gonna be bad — with all the problems with labor and concessions and layoffs, they’re going to have a hard time calling in enough drivers to take care of all the people who live out here who need to get in.”
When I told the driver what her colleague had reported, that repairs might be slow due to personnel issues, she responded “if you thought the City wanted to take your job, would you get out of your bed to come work in the rain? Ask your newspaper readers how many of them would do that?”
2/5 11:21 PM: Due to a sinkhole on Judah near 29th Avenue, regular N Judah service is disrupted for an unknown period of time.
According to the drivers I spoke to tonight on my ride outbound at around 10:30 PM Friday, the problem began earlier that night. As a result, both the inbound and outbound Ns aren’t running past 19th Avenue, with shuttle buses carrying passengers traveling in either direction between 19th Ave and Ocean Beach.
I got a look at the sinkhole as my shuttle bus passed it — it’s smack in the middle of the tracks, and blocked off with all sorts of DPW accessories. When I passed, there was no evidence of any workers repairing the issue.
As it looked like MTA spokesperson (and tweeter) Judson True was still on the clock, recently alerting followers of the Muni twitter feed to a Chron store he was quoted in regarding possible salary concessions on the party of Muni drivers, I emailed him asking him if he had any information on when repairs are expected to be made, and when the N would return to regular service. True promptly responded, saying that he didn’t have any current information on the issue, and that it was possible that he’d know more Saturday morning.
Speaking for my ride this evening, the transition from train to bus was relatively seamless, and both drivers did a good job of communicating the situation to passengers. I’m hopeful that if you have to manage this stretch of N during the service disruption, however long it lasts, your trip was as pleasant as mine.