Muni sickout continues for second day

Crowds of riders wait for a Muni metro line at Powell station during the first sickout.
Photo by Jessica Christian

Update: At 2:23pm the SFMTA sent an update on shortened Muni Metro service. See our guide to Muni sickout service below.

Muni delays are expected for a second day as the sickout continues through Tuesday, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency confirmed early this morning.

The reduction in service is slightly alleviated by an additional 100 buses in service, bringing the scheduled running fleet of buses to 300 out of 600.

The continued absence of hundreds of Muni drivers and other workers through simultaneous requested sick leave comes on the heels of an overwhelming vote by the Transport Workers Union Local 250-A to reject a contract proposal by the SFMTA. The main dispute in the contract is around pensions.

In a statement to press, the union said the wage increases SFMTA is offering wouldn't cover the pension increases. 

"Rather than improving wages and benefits, under the transit agency’s proposal," the union wrote, "the vast majority of drivers would be paid less in real wages over the life of the agreement than they make now."

“This is a great city, but a very difficult place to operate a bus, streetcar or cable car,” said TWU 250-A President Eric Williams. “This also is a very expensive city and while SFMTA’s ridership and revenues are on rising, the agency seeks to cut wages and benefits and convert full-time positions to part time.” 

The union said they offered to return to the bargaining table but were rejected, and anticipate arbitration will begin to help negotiate the contract. 

In the meantime, there's no indication when the sickout will end.

“I apologize to San Francisco residents and visitors for the continuing disruption to our transit service,” said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation, in a statement to press. “We are doing everything we can to get operators back to work and mobilizing all of our resources to keep as much service moving as we can.”

In a memorandum issued to Muni workers last night, the SFMTA warned drivers that strikes and slowdowns aren't allowed in the contract betwen workers and the SFMTA, and that abuse of sick days for a sickout may result in not being paid for their absence, or even termination.

The Bay Guardian tried contacting the unions for a response, but were unable to reach them by press time. 

In the meantime, Muni advised transit riders walk, bus, bike, or take any form of transit that isn't, well, Muni. BART will accept Muni transfers for the day. 

The SFMTA also issued a list of cancelled and delayed Muni lines for the day:

Muni Service

All routes and lines continue to experience missed and delayed service. Customers should expect crowding and waits of up to 60 minutes. Some routes may be turned back mid route to help minimize crowding. Announcements will be made via NextBus, on vehicles or in Metro stations. 

Muni Metro (J Church, K Ingleside, L Taraval, M Ocean View, N Judah, T Third)

New! – As of 3 p.m., Tuesday: the J, L, M & N will operate on short routes with limited bus shuttles to the terminals. Customers should allow extra time for transfers. See details below.

  • J Church—will operate between Embarcadero Station and 30th Street. Limited bus shuttle service will be provided between 30th Street and Balboa Park Station. Customers traveling between Balboa Park Station and 30th are encouraged to use BART or Mission Street routes.
  • K Ingleside—will operate on its regular route
  • L Taraval—will operate between Embarcadero Station and 22nd Avenue. Limited bus shuttle service will be provided between 22nd Avenue and the Zoo.
  • M Ocean View—will operate between Embarcadero Station and SF State. Limited bus shuttle service will be provided between 19th Avenue and Holloway and Balboa Park Station.
  • N Judah—will operate between Embarcadero Station and 19th Avenue. Limited bus shuttle service will be provided between 19th Avenue and Ocean Beach. T Third trains will provide service from Embarcadero to Caltrain at 4th and King.
  • T Third—will operate on its regular route

Muni Bus Service

  • No limited-stop service on the 5L, 9L, 14L, 28L, 38L and 71L routes
  • The following routes will not operate:
    • 1AX/BX, 31AX/BX, 38AX/BX
    • 16X, 88
    • 3 Jackson – The majority of stops on this route are covered by the 2 Clement
  • 8AX Bayshore Express and 8BX will operate without changes.


Below we've embedded tweets and twitter photos from yesterday's #munisickout.