Muni to shut subway early for testing of new trains

San Francisco transit officials are preparing to start extensive testing of five new Muni trains inside the subway.

But that means the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will have to shut down Muni Metro service for periods of time from July 22 to Aug. 20 between West Portal and Montgomery stations.

The subway will close early weeknights at 9:30 p.m. and all day on weekends. The SFMTA will setup a bus bridge from Embarcadero Station to St. Francis Circle (St. Francis and Sloat boulevards).

According to the SFMTA, bus shuttle service will begin at 9 p.m. on weeknights. Muni riders who want to catch the shuttles should wait at the Muni shuttle yellow-flagged bus stops.

On the weekends, the SFMTA will continue with the same bus bridge system, but will also add an extra bus bridge from Church Street and Duboce Avenue to the Embarcadero Station just for the weekends only.

Surface trains will continue to run, but only on certain Muni Metro lines at specific locations. The J-Church will operate from Balboa Park to Church and Duboce, then continue as the N-Judah towards Ocean Beach. The N-Judah from Ocean Beach to Church and Duboce, will continue as the J-Church towards Balboa Park.

The L-Taraval from the zoo to West Portal Avenue and Ulloa Street will continue as the M-Ocean View towards San Jose and Geneva avenues.

The K-Ingleside will run from St. Francis Circle and Balboa Park. The T-Third will run from the Embarcadero Station and Sunnyvale.

No testing will occur during the Outside Lands event on Aug. 11 to Aug. 13. There are, though, several San Francisco Giants games scheduled during the testing period.

The SFMTA said they will run outbound trains for approximately 90 minutes after game. Muni riders will only be able to exit the stations.

Before the new trains go into service by the end of the year, SFMTA spokesperson Erica Kato said the new trains need to through “rigorous” testing:

“The testing will occur within the subway — we had previously been doing some tests overnight on the surface level.”

One of the testing requirements is to run each train for 1,000 hours, said Kato.

The brand new Muni light rail vehicles arrived earlier this year.

Muni riders can find out more information about the shutdown on the SFMTA website.