After several days of drama following a widely seen video of an elderly woman who got her hand caught in the door of a new Muni train and was subsequently dragged and injured, Muni is disabling the rear single doors on all 68 of the new trains.
As NBC Bay Area reports, the move comes just after the San Francisco Board of Supervisors announced that it was un-approving $62 million in funding for the next batch of new Siemens cars until the door issue can be resolved.
The SFMTA has insisted that the trains have all gone through rigorous testing and that the trains are safe, but the agency will be adding "ambassadors" to train platforms to warn people not to stick appendages into the doors. Also, acting transit director Julie Kirschbaum told NBC Bay Area that she had "deep concern" over the fact that the train operator involved in the incident did not see the woman caught in the rear door before taking off out of the station.
Also, over the weekend, the TV station aired a clip in which Kirschbaum was attempting to demonstrate herself how the doors's sensors respond to objects stuck between them, and at one point, a rear door on one of the new trains appeared to lock on her own fingers.
Muni is disabling the rear single doors, perhaps in an acknowledgement that the single-door sensors are not functioning as well as they double-door sensors are.
The agency said it wanted operators to concentrate on the front doors of the train, and passengers will have to board near the middle — this will mean a lot of confused people at rush hour who are trapped in rear sections and have to fight their way off from a door further up.
"We’re taking the back doors out of service temporarily while transit staff further investigate and really make sure that the safety of our passengers is our number one priority,” said Muni spokeswoman Erica Kato in a statement to NBC.