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Muni ‘NextBus’ outage could stretch for weeks

San Francisco Muni riders may have to do without NextMuni for several weeks.

As reported earlier on Thursday by SFBay, the NextBus system called NextMuni in The City, has been experiencing technical difficulties since Wednesday on predicting accurate arrival times of Muni buses and trains.

Officials at the SFMTA issued an advisory Thursday morning warning passengers that NextMuni was going through intermittent outages and had disabled predictions inside the Muni Metro and a few other lines.

SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose said in an update on Thursday that a technical issue is causing NextMuni to display inaccurate predictions and that the transit agency is “working aggressively” to resolve.

Rose said it could take a matter of weeks to restore all of the missing Muni predictions. He said by next week, the transit agency will have a better timeframe on when the predictions will get restored.

The transit agency has been going through an upgrade with the NextMuni system. The system uses AT&T’s wireless cellphone network to transmit the data to the NextMuni screens.

Data had been transmitting through NextMuni using a 2G network, which AT&T had deactivated because the technology is now outdated.

SFMTA officials said the deactivation happened sooner than expected so some Muni vehicles may  not show up on NextMuni because they simply do not have the upgraded communications and monitoring system yet.

Rose said about 70 percent of Muni vehicles, including trains, have the older new communications system in place yet inside the vehicle. Newer Muni vehicles that have arrived in 2013 and later have newer systems which do not experience this problem.

CORRECTION An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that 40 percent of Muni vehicles did not have the communications systems in place. The information was originally provided by the SFMTA. SFBay apologizes for the error.
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  1. This was announced back in 2012. This shouldn’t have caught anyone off guard. Googling will find lots of results .
    http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/att-to-end-2g-service-offers-free-3g-phone-upgrades

  2. This is going to do more damage to the agency than anything else – the nextbus/nextmuni system makes Muni work for people. But snippy comments won’t fix it – and the fact that people just voted down funding for fixes like these says that as always when Muni is broken it’s because the owners of Muni accept a lower quality of service.

  3. “SFMTA officials said the deactivation happened sooner than expected so some Muni vehicles may not show up on NextMuni because they simply do not have the upgraded communications and monitoring system yet.”

    Please. Att announced this years ago. Get with the program MUNI!

    1. Jeffrey Baker says:

      Indeed, NextBus has been aware of this issue and has claimed to be upgrading their systems since at least early 2016. And this affects not just NextMuni but all NextBus customers, including AC Transit.

      1. For AC Transit, it’s just the signs, not the communications with the buses, that use 2G networking.

        1. Jeffrey Baker says:

          That’s true, the app does still work for AC.

    2. And of course, instead of upgrading to LTE, they are only going up to 3G which will last only a few more years as well.

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