Stop The Bus

I really need to stop being surprised every time the people entrusted with the job of running the world manage to
bungle the simplest of tasks.

The Municipal Railway will not use buses from its new hybrid fleet on one line that runs through the public housing projects in San Francisco’s Hunters Point neighborhood until officials can stop troublemakers there from turning off the buses’ power switches.

Muni drivers have reported over the last couple of weeks that people have been shutting down the power on their buses by flipping a switch that can be accessed easily through an unlocked panel on the outside of the bus.

When that happens, the drivers can’t accelerate, they lose radio contact with dispatchers and the interior lights on the buses go out. The power loss does not affect the brakes.

The hybrids, which are powered by electricity and started up with diesel fuel, were added to the fleet last year.

“We see this as an isolated problem but one we certainly take seriously,” Muni spokesman Judson True said Thursday.

Until locks are installed on the power boxes, True said the hybrid buses will not be used on the 54-Felton line.

Replacement coaches that are not susceptible to the same type of tampering will be used instead.

True could not say how long the fix would take. He also could not say how much it would cost.

A plan has been mapped out by city officials to increase police patrols aboard the buses. In addition, patrol cars, when available, will escort the buses through the most troubled parts of the runs.

Which, if I’ve learned anything during my time here, will now be all of them since the news that nobody thought to put locks on the things has become widely publicized. Nice work, boys!

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