Riders of Muni Metro have been suffering through an overnight closure of the underground portion of the system since this summer, an indignity Jay referred to as the transit agency trying "to ruin your life" when the service disruption began on July 31. But soon your life will be unruined, as the SFMTA says the construction project that necessitated the closure is on track to conclude in less than three weeks.
Anyone who has tried to ride the J, K, L, M, N, or T through any of their underground stations after 10 p.m. has had to instead catch a shuttle bus that then drops riders off at a surface-level stop. It has not been fun, especially as the NextMuni prediction system wasn't enabled for the shuttles, so you never knew if your ride was five or 50 minutes away. (Though our Ask a Native columnist says that Muni might have felt like it sucked less when we didn't have any idea of when it was supposed to show up, this sudden lack of arrival times made Muni feel like it sucked even more!)
But soon we'll have to find another Muni issue to bitch about (an epic task, I know), as Muni says in a project update that the closures are set to end on January 22, just in time "to accommodate the construction of Super Bowl City, which begins January 23, 2016." I guess that's one thing we can thank the Super Bowl for — it certainly gave the SFMTA a firm deadline to meet!
Of course, the SFMTA would argue that the inconvenience has all been worth it, as the troublesome closures allowed them to replace the telephone system they use in emergencies and to modernize Muni Metro's "currently outdated radio system." And both of those upgrades have apparently been going well! According to the SFMTA, "the two projects have been moving along as planned."
"The contractor for the blue light telephone replacement is using multiple crews to install cable hangers at various locations in the subway," they write, and "At the same time, the radio replacement crews are installing the infrastructure for the new telephone system including cable hangers, light fixtures and telephones between West Portal and Embarcadero."
According to the SFMTA, "By the time they’re done, crews will have installed about 15,000 cable hangers and 15 miles of cable for the new communication systems in the subway." Here's hoping that some of that translates into better, safer service for the 155,000 folks who ride the Metro system, who might otherwise feel like the last six months of hassles was a big waste of time.