Would-be rioters setting their sites on buses to burn after the Super Bowl on Sunday won’t have much luck pursuing their incendiary ways on Market Street.
Following the unrest that broke out after the Giants won the World Series in October — which included a Muni bus being set ablaze downtown on Market Street — city officials have elected to detour all transit vehicles off San Francisco’s main artery Sunday night.
Starting at 5 p.m. — when the game pitting the 49ers against the Baltimore Ravens nears halftime — Muni’s 5-Fulton, 9-San Bruno and 71-Haight buses will be shifted onto Mission Street, with the detour spanning Van Ness Avenue to the Ferry Building.
The F-Market historic streetcar service will be replaced by buses all day, and at 5 p.m., those vehicles also will be detoured onto Mission Street. Five other buses, including the 38-Geary, will have their routes terminated before entering Market Street. Passengers are being encouraged to use Muni’s underground service through downtown.
The decision to reroute the buses came at the behest of several city department heads, who worked with employee unions to come up with the best possible plan, said San Francisco Police Department spokesman Officer Albie Esparza.
“We wanted to take the proper logistics to insure that vandalism is minimized as best as possible,” said Esparza.
After the Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers on Oct. 28 to complete a four-game sweep, riots broke out San Francisco, particularly in the Mission District and on Market Street. More than 30 people were arrested in the wake of the events, including three for setting a Muni bus ablaze, causing $700,000 in damage to the vehicle.
By rerouting the buses for today’s Super Bowl, The City hopes to avoid another ugly outcome.
“We expect a peaceful Sunday, but we’ll be ready for anything,” said Muni spokesman Paul Rose. “We’ve worked to develop a plan to keep our passengers and employees as safe as possible.”