Muni's Phone Line Broken for Three Months, Nobody Notices

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Joe Rosato Jr.
    A traveler walks by a Muni bus parked outside the terminal. On August 7th, all bus traffic will move to a temporary terminal at Howard and Main Streets.

    It's no surprise when Muni equipment fails to work, but usually it takes longer than three months for anyone to notice.

    A text-messaging tip line that the agency set up has been unable to receive text messages since September, and investigation revealed.

    Muni set up the tip line to encourage passengers to send information about graffiti. Riders are encouraged to sent texts about taggers, including a description and details about the time and place. Cleaning up vandalism costs Muni about $11 a year.

    But nobody reported anything. And after months of silence, technicians checked on the line and discovered that it couldn't receive texts. So any tips that passengers might have sent as lost forever.

    The line was finally fixed this past week. Feel free to begin sending your tips: the number is (415) 770-4455.

    It's only the latest embarrassment for the failing transit agency. Muni has also come under fire recently for its Entry-Level Training Program, which was designed to recruit economically disadvantaged employees, but wound up providing little training or work. The Muni employees' union worked to prevent the entry-level employees from filling jobs that had historically gone to union members.