Bayview-Hunters Point residents expressed frustration Tuesday about Muni’s practice of turning around T-Third Street trains before they reach scheduled stops.
Muni officials say rerouting trains and buses prematurely, called switchbacks, is necessary to deal with service shortages and delays in other parts of the system.
However, residents in San Francisco’s southeastern communities have to deal with the problem increasingly more often than others. In January, Muni recorded 48 switchbacks on the T-Third line, a 152 percent increase from the prior month. The 48 switchbacks were more than on any other light-rail line in Muni’s system.
“I’m an 80-year-old senior citizen,” Bayview resident Espanola Jackson said at a Muni board of directors meeting Tuesday . “There is no reason I should have to walk several blocks to my home.”
Many of the complaints Tuesday were related to the trains turning around at Third Street and 23rd Street. Muni spokesman Paul Rose noted that trains that stop there are at the end of their shifts and are heading to a maintenance facility for the night. They actually contribute to increased service, since not all of the trains heading back to the facility are T-Third vehicles.
Still, Rose said, the agency is working on improving service systemwide, so Muni customers, particularly T-Third passengers, will experience fewer switchbacks.
The T-Third line is supposed to travel down to the Sunnydale station on Sunnydale Avenue.