It’s back to school Monday for San Francisco Unified School District students, and the district is warning students and staff using Muni that they could be late due to an operator shortage.
Thousands of students may be affected by the delays as they head back to class. Muni says it has made changes to try to address the shortage and get students where they need to be on time, but it also says delays are possible.
The Flannigan family picked up back to school supplies Sunday and discussed with their children the possibility they could be delayed while riding back home on Muni this week.
"As long as they’re together is what we were concerned about," John Flannigan said.
A message about the potential Muni delays is posted on the school district website, saying students and staff could be delayed getting to and from school.
At Visitacion Valley Middle School, Principal Joe Truss was notified some may not be on time.
"That gives us a little bit of a heads up, that in case a couple kids show up late that we’re not giving them a hard time," Truss said. "We also know the first day of school families are still figuring out their day."
According to SFMTA, the reason for the possible delays is a shortage of operators, compounded by the Twin Peaks Tunnel construction that now requires operators to drive shuttle buses around the construction.
Agency spokesman Paul Rose said they’ve made new adjustments.
"We know that school is starting this week," Rose said. "We have additional operators to provide additional service. Just Friday, we transferred 72 part-time operators to full time, and that allows us to put more than 700 more daily service hours on the street. That will have an immediate and significant impact on service this week."
The Flannigans say their kids plan to ride but also have a Plan B.
"We talked about it this morning after the news," John Flannigan said. "We also talked about walking instead."