Muni set to end nightly Metro shutdown


San Francisco’s nighttime Muni Metro service is scheduled to return soon, just in time for the start of Super Bowl festivities in The City.

The subway has been closed early each night around 9:30 p.m. since last July, so the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency could replace blue line emergency telephones and an archaic radio system which dates to the 1970s.

Hoodline reported last month from an SFMTA update that the upgrades would be completed on Jan. 22, a day before crews begin staging for the Super Bowl City fan village at The Embarcadero and the NFL Experience at The Moscone Center.

SFBay spoke with SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose to check up on the status of making the Jan. 22 deadline last Friday. He said the transit agency is on track to finish most of the work on Jan. 22 and reopen Metro night service on Jan. 23:

“So far we have accomplished much of the work that requires the closure of the subway. Our goal is to complete the rest of the work during non-revenue hours.”

Though Muni riders may have been inconvenienced during the last seven months because of the nightly closure of the subway, Rose said the upgrades will benefit riders.

The transit agency replaced 90 of its old emergency phones with 118 new ones, which Rose said will help improve communications especially during emergencies inside the subway:

“Though these phones are only used in emergency situations, the upgrade to a more dependable system is needed to deal with unplanned emergencies, such as a natural disaster or a medical emergency.”

Work also included upgrading the transit agency’s radio system from analog to digital and expanding the number of channels from 11 to 26 to improve communications for operators and support personnel, Rose said.

He also said the new technology will also help improve audio and visual announcements inside the subway and on surface light-rail vehicles for people with disabilities.

Muni riders though should prepare for another shutdown tentatively scheduled on weekends this summer so the transit agency can replace rail tracks inside the Twin Peaks tunnel. More information about the project can be found on the SFMTA website.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay and covers transportation and City Hall. He has spent a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Jerold is a San Francisco native and frequently takes public transit everywhere he goes. Follow Jerold on Twitter @jerold_chinn. Email tips to

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