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Revised Muni seats debut with more grip, less slip

Less slippery seats on board the San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency’s new Muni trains debuted Wednesday on a two-car train along the M-Ocean View rail line.

The new seats provide more definition for a person’s body so passengers can stay put in their seat when trains are moving. Additional changes include new forward-facing single seats, different lengths of straps for passengers to hold while standing and lower seating surfaces.

The SFMTA in 2019 decided to axe the original slippery bench configuration after Muni passengers pointed out the seats were uncomfortable when the first 68 Siemens trains went into revenue service in late 2017.

Complaints included sliding around on the seats as the trains moved or made sudden stops. Passengers also complained about the height of the bench seating, leaving some passengers’ feet hanging.

Before construction of the new trains, the agency did a survey and held a demo day years ago to get feedback from customers on the type and configuration of the seating they would want to see onboard the new trains. About 54 percent of those surveyed preferred the longitudinal seating configuration as it provided more space onboard the train for more passengers.

On Thursday, SFBay was able to track down the trains with the new seats on the N-Judah route. They are onboard vehicles 2014 and 2033.

Transit aficionado and a member of the SFMTA’s Citizens Advisory Committee, Chris Arvin, created a  online tracking map to find the location of the trains.

Muni passengers can expect to see more of these trains with the new seating arrangement over the next couple of years, as more new trains continue to arrive to replace the old Breda vehicles.

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