Muni bus seats are becoming an even more precious commodity.
A safety hazard precaution from bus manufacturers has prompted Muni officials to permanently flip and disable the first row of front-forward facing seats on some of transit agency’s buses. Of course this means fewer seats on some of Muni’s buses but a safer ride for passengers.
Riders will no longer be able to sit at those seats because those seats do not provide a barrier for passengers in case the driver makes a sudden stop, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency said on its website Tuesday. Only buses with this particular seat configuration are affected by this change.
The transit agency said it had looked at putting barrier in the area, but said the area had to be left cleared so that a person in a wheelchair can get in and out of the area securely.
Decals placed on the flipped seats explain why the seats are no longer available for use in case Muni riders attempt to flip them down.
Passengers who stand in the area should look out for equipment that helps secure wheelchair passengers and of course hold on because of those sudden stops.
Transit officials said the newer Muni buses are not affected because those buses have different seat configuration, which address the safety concern.
Muni apologized for the inconvenience. The transit agency said riders who cannot safely stand can ask the driver that they need a seat.
The older Muni buses with the flipped seats will get replaced in about four to five years, the transit agency said.