SF Leader Criticizes Bus Reroutes For Chase Center Events

A San Francisco city leader is calling out Muni for changes in bus routes Tuesday night to accommodate concert fans at Chase Center.

Supervisor Shamann Walton said plan that borrows buses from Bay View routes to keep traffic flowing during big events is “systemically racist.”

Walton also calls the plan “disheartening.” The way he sees it, priority was given to people coming to the city’s fancy new arena over people who need bus service in his district.

As Dave Matthews Band played at Chase Center Tuesday night, there were extra buses bringing concert goers to the music. That meant fewer buses running to the Bayview on the 8 line.

A rider identifying herself as Dorothy sadi she relies on the 8 bus to get downtown from Portola.

“I kinda take it personally because why keep taking things from our area?” she said. “Leave us alone over here. A lot of working people are coming home and need those buses.”

The MTA said the reason they borrowed buses is not just because of the Chase Center event.

Walton also took to Twitter to call out the agency for “prioritizing service for people with means” … at the expense of “low income people of color.”

“We cannot ever again have a situation where we’re rerouting service and taking service away from our communities for the benefit of the Chase Center,” he added. “That is a problem.”

The SFMTA said there were three fewer buses on the 8 line Tuesday night and 10 fewer citywide. But the Chase Center wasn’t the only reason.

“We are dealing with an operator shortage,” agency spokeswoman Erica Kato said.

The SFMTA said its plan to handle the operator shortage last night meant there was no noticeable impact on city commuters.

“Were talking about 10 runs, but that’s across the city, where we see 1,500 runs throughout the day. So thats a very small number,” Kato said.

Walton still said the decrease in bus service to the Bayview is unacceptable. And with nearly 200 events a year at Chase Center, he vows to keep fighting.

“We can never sacrifice service in our communities for events at the Chase Center, and I’m gonna fight that vigorously,” he said.

Walton met with the MTA Wednesday, and the two sides agreed the Chase Center transportation plan is a “work in progress.”

On Wednesday night, Eric Clapton plays at the arena, and the Giants are hosting the Pittsburgh Pirates at Oracle Park just up the street. The SFMTA says the buses that were used Tuesday night would be back Wednesday night.

This post was originally posted at http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Systematically-Racist-SF-Leader-Criticizes-Munis-Altered-Bus-Routes-For-Chase-Center-Events-560088331.html.

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