The Muni service is reduced on certain lines with high traffic because nearly 50 operators are still not vaccinated

Starting this week, service on Muni bus lines with some of the highest ridership will be reduced as the San Francisco transit agency grapples with a shortage of operators after the employee vaccination deadline. the city.

Four so-called “short” routes – serving parts of lines 1-California, 14R-Mission Rapid, 30-Stockton and 49-Van Ness – have been temporarily suspended in response to staff shortages. These four truncated routes cover portions of these popular lines and are intended to help improve frequencies and reduce congestion.

In its announcement, the Municipal Transport Office said it has chosen to suspend these shortened routes because they “can be temporarily removed without compromising access to stops or connections along the entire route”.

While all four affected lines still have full service, passengers should expect potentially longer waits and crowded buses on these lines. It is not known when service on the four affected short routes will be restored.

The Municipal Transportation Agency ran out of 98 employees, including 48 operators, who were not vaccinated, when San Francisco’s vaccination mandate went into effect on Monday. For weeks, agency officials had warned of potential impacts on services as a result of the warrant. In early October, he reported more than 300 unvaccinated operators.

As vaccination rates improved in the weeks that followed, the agency found itself short of 110 operators and nearly 40 parking enforcement officers who were still unvaccinated as of Monday.

The agency is training more operators after temporarily suspending training during the pandemic, although the loss of operators due to the city’s vaccination deadline could affect SFMTA’s plans to restore some services to Muni in February.

“We will eventually recover from any loss of operators, but it will set us back for several months,” SFMTA director Jeffrey Tumlin told the agency’s board on Tuesday.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect the correct number of unvaccinated Muni workers.

Ricardo Cano is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected]

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