Muni equips Metro trains with safety barriers
Muni riders over the past year or so may have noticed yellow and black straps in between two-car Muni light-rail vehicles.
The straps — a safety precaution the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency says are for riders’ own good — are now in place on 151 Muni light-rail vehicles.
They are intended to help prevent Muni riders from stepping through two-car trains and falling or otherwise injuring themselves.
Incidents of riders and pedestrians trying to cross though including a woman and her dog in 2012 who tried to walk in between two coupled trains instead of waiting for the trains to pass.
The dog was unable to cross over the couplers in time and the woman became trapped underneath the N-Judah as the train began to move in the Inner Sunset.
The woman went to the hospital for minor injuries, though the San Francisco Police Department at the time said the incident could have been much worse.
Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin said the barriers are visual and physical cues to help prevent accidents on Muni light-rail vehicles.
The transit agency had been testing several types of barriers over the last several years for durability through trial and error tests.
John Haley, director of transit operations for the SFMTA, said the barriers needed to be able to expand to up to 13 feet long on all Metro lines, including tight turns like 9th Avenue and Judah Street.
The yellow and black barriers cost approximately $90 each and manufactured by Visiontron Corp.
Muni though must still deal with riders who hitch a ride on light-rail vehicles by standing on the second train’s coupler.