Muni axes seats for more room on Metro trains

Muni riders on the N-Judah Wednesday morning may have noticed a lot more space to stand on their train.

Muni officials launched a one-month pilot Wednesday to test out a new seat configuration on of one of its light-rail vehicles to address overcrowding issues.

The new layout replaces 14 double-wide seats with single-wide seats, adding more floor space for about 10 more standing Muni riders.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency said a total of 26 standing riders would now be able to use the extra space made available.

Supervisors London Breed and Scott Wiener along with SFMTA directors Ed Reiskin and John Haley took the first trip on the new configured train Wednesday morning on the N-Judah. Both supervisors asked the transit agency last year if they could somehow add capacity to the trains by modifying the seats.

Wiener wrote Wednesday on his Facebook page addressing overcrowding and capacity issues on the Muni Metro:

Because of Muni’s light rail vehicle shortage, we have serious crowding problems. Until we get to an acceptable vehicle count, which will take a few years, we need to be resourceful in expanding system capacity.

Transit officials will test the reconfigured train on the N-Judah until May 29. The train will then move to the L-Taraval starting May 30 until June 13.

Any Muni riders who happen to board the train can take a three question survey online on whether Muni should move forward with the new layout in the future.