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SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Some San Francisco bus drivers are saying the city isn’t doing enough to keep them and their passengers’ safe on overcrowded buses, as ridership is increasing.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency said it’s monitoring the bus lines closely, but operators and riders told KPIX 5 that it’s still way too overcrowded.

In the heart of the Mission, one sector of San Francisco that’s been a hotspot of COVID-19 transmission, the buses are packed.

“It’s always crowded,” said one rider.

KPIX 5 boarded one of buses.  From the front, to middle, and all the way to the back of the bus, it was impossible to find six-feet of space.

One SFMTA operator who didn’t want to show his face, fearing for his job, described what it’s like on his shift every day.

“We try to keep our distance as far as not having anybody near us, but for the rest of the people it’s not safe because they’re riding so close to each other,” the operator told KPIX 5.

At least 37 SFMTA operators have tested positive for COVID-19 so far.

SMFTA has implemented safety protocols like cleaning its buses at least once per shift, and limiting buses depending on size, to 20-to-30 riders.

“We are watching ridership more closely than ever, so that we can add service where it’s needed,” said SFMTA’s Tom Maguire.

But operators said the limiting of passengers is not working.

“A lot of passengers that will run to the bus. When they see the doors open, they will just get in,” said the unnamed SFMTA operator.

Maguire said, “As essential workers continue to need to get around, and businesses start to reopen we’re going to need to provide more capacity,”

“The passengers are pretty much saying I don’t care if it’s overcrowded, I’m still getting on the bus,” said Roger Mareco of the Transport Workers Union.

SFMTA allows drivers the option to bypass stops if there are too many people already onboard, and to drop-off passengers ahead of a crowded stop.  But the union representing bus operators believes the city isn’t doing its job well.

“Maybe a C minus or D plus, because there’s more that can be done and more that should be done,” said Marenco.

The union is asking for more frequent bus service on overcrowded lines including several of the main lines that serve the Mission District.

It also wants SFMTA to expedite the start of surface light rail service to ease some of the congested bus lines.

News Source: cbslocal.com

Tags: san francisco news buses coronavirus covid 19 muni overcrowding san francisco san francisco news sfmta social distancing san francisco news san francisco

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Giants Lose To Padres, Miss Playoffs On Seasons Final Day

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco Giants had their postseason hopes dashed on the final day of the regular season, losing 5-4 to the playoff-bound San Diego Padres on Sunday.

San Francisco finished 29-31 under first-year manager Gabe Kapler, beginning the day tied with Milwaukee for the final NL playoff spot. The Brewers hold the tiebreaker, which meant the Giants needed to win and have Milwaukee lose at St. Louis — the Brewers did their part but the Giants couldn’t.

Now, the Giants’ drought reaches four years since they lost a four-game division series in 2016 to the eventual World Series champion Cubs. The Giants — World Series winners in 2010, ‘12 and ’14 — will look back to costly losses in the final stretch, most notably Thursday’s 5-4, 11-inning defeat at home to the Rockies then 6-5 to the Padres in Game 2 of Friday’s doubleheader.

Wil Myers homered in the second for San Diego (37-23), the NL’s No. 4 seed, as the Padres prepare for their first postseason in 14 years. They’ll host a three-game series against St. Louis beginning Wednesday.

Mitch Moreland hit a go-ahead double in the fourth. Jorge Mateo’s double in a three-run seventh followed by Greg Garcia’s sacrifice fly provided insurance.

Brandon Crawford hit a two-run homer for the Giants in the seventh then Wilmer Flores connected in the eighth. That just wasn’t quite enough.

Trevor Rosenthal closed it out for his 11th save, retiring Austin Slater on a called third strike to end it. Slater put his hands on his head, and Giants players cursed from the dugout at plate umpire Rob Drake.

There was no out-of-town scoreboard to be seen inside Oracle Park to follow the Brewers-Cardinals game. Dozens of boats and kayaks stayed hopeful waiting on the other side of right field in McCovey Cove on a picture-perfect late-September day when first-pitch temperature was 84 degrees.

In fact, even former Giants fan favorite outfielder Hunter Pence watched from a vessel called BRAVO a day after announcing his retirement.

Mauricio Dubon homered in the bottom of the second for San Francisco, which also missed giving Drew Smyly (0-1) his first victory in five starts and seven appearances.

Smyly struck out 10 over five innings for his 11th career double-digit strikeout game and first since Sept. 25, 2019, at Washington with Philadelphia.

San Diego starter Adrián Morejón was winless in his final four appearances since getting the decision in relief against the Giants on Sept. 10.

Dan Altavilla (2-3) relieved and pitched 1 2/3 innings for the win.

San Francisco went 77-85 in retired manager Bruce Bochy’s final year of 2019.

TATIS IN 2020

Fernando Tatís Jr. worked a short day to get off his legs with the playoffs ahead, and so did Manny Machado.

Tatís homered Friday and Saturday, and the 21-year-old Padres slugger finished the shortened season with 17 home runs and 45 RBIs, batting .277.

TRAINER’S ROOM

San Diego C Jason Castro took a foul ball off the face mask in the bottom of the sixth and had his jaw looked at for several minutes before he exited. Austin Nola replaced him.

UP NEXT

If he’s healthy as the Padres expect, RHP Dinelson Lamet is the projected Game 1 starter for San Diego on Wednesday. Lamet gave his team a scare when he came out of Friday’s game with biceps tightness.

San Francisco’s first spring training game in Cactus League play is set for Feb. 27 against the Angels.

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