SamTrans bus to SFO to allows luggage again 

click to enlarge The SamTrans KX bus no longer has to abide by a decades-old lawsuit from a now-defunct company. - JUAN CARLOS POMETTA BETANCOURT/S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • Juan Carlos Pometta Betancourt/S.F. Examiner file photo
  • The SamTrans KX bus no longer has to abide by a decades-old lawsuit from a now-defunct company.

An obsolete ban against suitcases on a SamTrans express line to the San Francisco airport will finally be lifted next month.

The remnant of a legal claim filed in the 1970s, the SamTrans KX has barred passengers from carrying luggage due to its unfair competitive advantage over private shuttle providers. San Francisco Airporter, which operated regular runs to San Francisco International Airport for years, filed the lawsuit, arguing that it couldn’t compete financially with a publicly subsidized service like SamTrans.

In response to the suit, a federal judge banned suitcases from the SamTrans KX line, which travels from Mission Street in San Francisco to the airport in 22 minutes. One-way fares on the line are $5.

However, the Airporter service was sold in 2001, and it hasn’t made regularly scheduled trips between San Francisco and SFO since 2006. Still, SamTrans had kept the baggage ban in effect.

On June 1, seven years after the disappearance of direct private competition, SamTrans will lift the long-standing baggage ban.

SamTrans spokeswoman Christine Dunn said the agency finally sought to lift the ban after receiving an inquiry from a passenger. After checking with the Federal Transit Administration, SamTrans was given the clearance to accept bags, as long as they don’t inconvenience customers or take up needed seat space.

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Will Reisman

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