Muni fails again, and this time with some drama Sunday night as an N-train's doors jam and hundreds became trapped in sweltering cars for about 40 minutes Sunday night after Paul Simon's set finished.
I may have been on the last N-train to successfully depart the Outer Sunset Sunday at around 9:55 p.m., because my colleague Joe Kukura reports that he got stuck on a "sardine-packed" train with doors jammed shut between 10:15 and 10:55 — all while three other trains became backed up behind it for over an hour. "We were trapped in insane heat and crowds and couldn't get off," Kukura says. "A couple passengers started having panic attacks and heat stroke so we pried the doors open with our hands to get out because the driver wouldn't let us out. The red emergency door open levers were not working."
The SFMTA did not acknowledge the incident on Twitter, though it clearly affected hundreds if not thousands of concert-goers trying to get home Sunday night. We've reached out to the SFMTA for comment.
"I don't know if this is unusual for after Outside Lands but leaving people trapped on a jam-packed overheated train for 40 minutes with no way out could have ended very badly," Kukura says.
Muni was running extra 5X shuttle buses to take Outside Lands attendees to Civic Center and BART directly from Fulton and 30th Avenue, on the north side of Golden Gate Park. But throughout the weekend, the N-Judah was running on an apparently regular schedule, with no extra trains. When I asked a Muni attendant on Judah Street Sunday night why the trains were still 15 minutes apart while tens of thousands of people were streaming out of the park, he said, "I don't make the schedule, I'm just here to make sure you get on safe."
This does not bode well for concert and game nights at the Chase Center!!
An outbound N-Judah train had a door issue this morning and appears to have been stuck in Cole Valley.
Image: Torbakhopper via Flickr