A San Francisco supervisor was aboard a San Francisco Municipal Railway Muni Metro light-rail vehicle during a frightening incident Friday evening in which a door on the vehicle remained open as it sped through the subway tunnel.
Supervisor Scott Wiener was a passenger on the L-Taraval vehicle, which was traveling between the Van Ness and Church stations sometime after 6 p.m. with an open door on its right side.
“I thought I’d seen everything on Muni,” Wiener said.
The incident was caught on video–with the supervisor in the foreground–by a passenger who posted it to YouTube.
Wiener said as the train was about to depart the Van Ness station, “all the doors but one closed, and the train just went.”
Once the train was in the tunnel, the operator came on the intercom, Wiener said, and advised riders that the door was open and to stay away from it, but the video shows that most passengers remained right near the opening.
“There’s not a lot to be done,” he said. “We could put on the emergency brake, but then that could injure people.”
The door slid shut at one point but then slid open again during the trip to the Church Station, Wiener said.
The train arrived at the station, and all passengers were asked to clear the vehicle, he said.
Wiener said he contacted Muni senior management immediately after leaving the station to notify them of the incident.
He said he was later told by agency officials that the door was malfunctioning and that the operator failed to secure it.
Wiener said he had never seen that happen on a vehicle he was on, but “apparently now I’ve heard it has” happened elsewhere in the Muni system.
“It was one of those ‘Twilight Zone’ situations,” he said.
A Muni spokesperson was not immediately available to comment on possible disciplinary action against the operator.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News