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Incoming director helps direct stranded passengers in three-hour Muni delay

San Francisco Muni subway riders were left struggling to get to their destinations Monday morning as the subway equipment problem persisted for nearly three hours.

The problem began around 8:18 a.m. when a power feeder to the K-Ingleside, M-Ocean View and L-Taraval rail lines lost power at Forest Hill station, leaving trains at a standstill at the West Portal station in the inbound direction, a key entry point to downtown for K, L and M riders.

Jerold Chinn/SFBay San Francisco Muni riders wait the corner of West Portal Avenue and Ulloa Street for bus shuttles heading downtown in San Francisco, Calif., on Monday, November 19, 2019.

Outbound service was not affected and train service ran from Castro to Embarcadero stations during the three-hour delay.

Transit officials said crews were at the scene at 8:45 a.m. to assess and begin fixing the problem.

Riders stuck at Forest Hill station began climbing up the street-level outside of the station in hopes of catching bus shuttles, but none had arrived.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency spokesperson Erica Kato said the shuttle buses may have been packed and bypassed Forest Hill station. Shuttle buses did arrive around 9:18 a.m., but were only heading to the West Portal station.

A station agent at Forest Hill told riders to walk to West Portal to catch shuttles.

Service was eventually restored at 11:28 a.m.

Jeffrey Tumlin, the soon-to-be SFMTA director of transportation, was aware of the Muni subway delay and tweeted that he had biked to the Castro station to help direct riders.

Transit officials said they are still investigating the cause of the outage at Forest Hill station.

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