Bath­rooms offer relief for Muni drivers

Muni operators will be getting a boost in the number of restrooms available to them at bus terminals in San Francisco after going through a lengthy process to get them.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency said it has reduced the gap of transit terminals that have no restrooms from 57 to six since establishing a task force in 2012 to place at least one restroom at 105 transit terminals for Muni operators.

Eric Williams, president of the Transport Workers Union Local 250-A thanked SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin and the board for finally getting the much-needed restrooms for operators:

“Finally we’re putting a restroom on the ground as we speak on Third and Hudson. You just don’t know what that does for the membership and the riding public.”

The transit agency uses a mix of licenses, leases and permits with stores and restaurants for operators to use their restrooms and portable restrooms.

The SFMTA has also been putting in permanent modular bathrooms at some of the terminals like on Third and Hudson streets near the end of the 54-Felton route. Seven of these types of restrooms have so far been installed in six locations. The transit agency plans to build a total of 22 permanent restrooms.

Williams said that if operators are unable to find to a respectable restroom, he tells operators to pull the bus in, which can lead to service delays.

Before any of the permanent bathrooms can get built,  the Department of Public Works, Arts Commission and then by the Board of Supervisors must approve them first. Each of the restrooms cost $170,000.

The SFMTA is planning to build another operator restroom at 19th Avenue and Buckingham Way near San Francisco State University along the 18-46th Avenue route.

A public meeting on placing the operator restroom at that location will be held at the university’s Administration Building on Nov. 4 at 2 p.m.