The number of fatal MUNI accidents has remained consistent for two years, according to a recent report by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). Fatal bus and rail accidents peaked in 2007-2008, but have remained relatively unchanged since then.
San Francisco's Municipal Railway is part of the nation's seventh-largest transit system. MUNI connects commuters and tourists to the Greater Bay Area and serves more than 200 million customers annually.
Anyone boarding a MUNI bus or train expects to have a safe ride. As a "common carrier," MUNI has a legal requirement to provide the highest degree of care to ensure that its drivers and vehicles do not cause injuries.
The vast majority of MUNI trips are safe, but the organization does not always achieve its safety goals. SFMTA statistics indicate that MUNI accidents injured 934 people between 2006 and 2011. The SFMTA says that 25 of these accidents were fatal. Almost all of the fatal MUNI bus and rail collisions involved pedestrians, with five of the fatalities occurring during the past two years.
MUNI accidents have a variety of causes, including driver negligence, defective equipment and traffic signal errors. Anyone injured in a MUNI accident should seek legal representation right away because claims involving California public transit agencies have a six-month statute of limitations. This is a significantly shorter time limit than most personal injury claims and may cause injured MUNI accident victims' rights to lapse.