Muni buses catch fire; hundreds more taken offline, inspected


In separate incidents last week, two Muni trolley buses caught on fire, prompting the agency to pull 298 buses into yards for inspection.

SFMTA’s Director of Transit Operations, John Haley, spoke to the SF Examiner:

“The connector of the pole is what burned through,” he said. Haley had a burned connector pole in his pocket, just to help recount what went wrong on the bus to anyone who may need an explanation.

Haley pulled 298 buses into “divisions” (what SFMTA calls its repair yards) for inspection. The buses which caught fire, he said, were nearly 15 years old, and are a similar configuration to many buses in the Muni fleet.

The inspections “found about 45 buses in need of repair.” SFMTA made necessary repairs so as to impact commutes as little as possible. A longer-term solution hasn’t been announced. “These coaches are ready to be replaced,” [Haley] said, “but given the delivery schedule (of new buses), most will remain in service for another two years.”

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Photo by Todd Lappin

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