Access on Muni Buses

Access on Muni Buses

Muni provides accessible public transit to virtually every corner of San Francisco. Below is detailed information on the accessible features available on Muni buses, information on how to board the bus, and some friendly tips to follow as you ride with Muni.

For comprehensive information on Accessibility of the Muni system please see our Access Guide. 

Download the Access Guide (3.3 MB PDF)

Step-by-step instructions

1Accessible Features

Passenger uses wheelchair lift on a Muni bus | March 11, 2013

Wheelchair Lifts

Most buses are equipped with mechanical lifts that enable passengers with mobility disabilities to board. Lift platforms on most buses are generally 4 1/2 feet long and 3 feet wide. They are solid and sturdy, with handrails on both sides. There is enough turning room inside the bus to accommodate most standard manual and power wheelchairs, including three-wheeled models.


A passenger in a wheelchair uses a low-floor hybrid bus ramp

Wheelchair Ramps

Muni’s fleet of low-floor hybrid coaches is equipped with 58 inch long by 31 inch wide bi-fold ramps, which have two ramp sections and a hinge in the center. The bi-fold allows for a longer ramp, reducing the slope when the ramp is deployed in the street. Because the ramp-equipped vehicles are low-floor, they allow level boarding when the bus is kneeled and the ramp is deployed at curb and island stops.


A Muni Operator secures a wheelchair passenger in a securement area

Securement Areas

Most Muni buses have two wheelchair securement areas equipped with clamps, belts and four-point securements. Some older, smaller vehicles may only have one securement .


Senior Passenger Steps onto Kneeler Bus

Kneelers

Kneelers lower the front steps of accessible buses by several inches, making it easier for customers to board the bus, especially if boarding from the street.


A passenger pushes the Accessible Stop Request button on a Hybrid Bus

Accessible Stop Request

A blue button or a yellow strip located under the flip seat or on the wall adjacent to securement areas can be used to let the driver know when a wheelchair user wants to get off.


A passenger holds onto a stanchion for support during a bus ride

Stanchions

Vertical and horizontal poles for standing customers to hold on to for stability are provided throughout the vehicle. Hanging straps are also provided for additional hand holds on many vehicles.


Destination Sign

Destination Signs

On most vehicles, digital signs on the front, sides and rear display the line name and destination. A recorded voice announces the same information to waiting passengers whenever the doors open.


Interior Destination Sign

Automated Stop Announcements

On most vehicles, a recorded voice automatically announces the upcoming stops prior to arrival, digital signs simultaneously display the same information. Also when a bus pulls into a bus stop and opens its doors a recorded voice announces the route and final destination.


Coach Number in Braille

Tactile Vehicle Number

A metal plate with the coach number in braille and raised characters is installed on a panel behind the Operator’s compartment.


detailed color photograph showing graphic decals on Muni bus. the decals, which are blue and white and green and white show stylized figures moving towards rear of stylized bus and have the words "Priority Seating" showing a wheelchair symbol.

Priority Seating

The first aisle-facing and forward-facing seats are reserved for seniors and people with disabilities and are identified by blue decals on the windows above the seats. On some vehicles the seats are identified by blue seat inserts as well as by the decals. Customers are encouraged to yield these seats to seniors and people with disabilities.


2Boarding the Bus

Passenger uses wheelchair lift on a Muni bus | March 11, 2013

Using the Lift

Be sure to position yourself so that the bus Operator can see you as the bus approaches the stop.  Please inform the operator that you need the lift.  Stay clear of the lift as it is being deployed.

If you are ambulatory, stand facing forward on the lift and grasp the handrails. Be aware that you may need to bend down to avoid hitting your head on the top of the door.  If you use a wheelchair, you may board facing forward or backward, though many customers prefer facing backward. Be sure you are centered on the lift, and lock your wheels before the lift raises or lowers. Tell the bus Operator your destination stop as soon as you board the vehicle, then proceed down the aisle to the securement area. Be sure to warn customers seated along the aisle to watch their feet!

Note: There are some stops where wheelchair lift or ramp deployment is not recommended. These stops are marked by a yellow rectangle with two triangles, painted on the street. 


New Flyer Hybrid Bus with Ramp Down

Using the Ramp

Be sure to position yourself so that the bus Operator can see you as the bus approaches the stop. Please inform the operator that you need the ramp. Stay clear of the lift as it is being deployed.

The ramp may be deployed at a curb or island stop or onto the street. The ramp will be nearly level when deployed for boarding at a curb or island. When deployed in the street the ramp slope will be steeper and you should use extra caution. If you use a manual wheelchair and need help making it up or down the ramp safely, just ask the driver for assistance.

Note: There are some stops where wheelchair lift or ramp deployment is not recommended. These stops are marked by a yellow rectangle with two triangles, painted on the street.


Securement area on a New Flyer Bus

Using the Securement Area

The securement areas are created by lifting up either the first row of forward-facing seats or the second set of aisle-facing seats at the front of the bus. Pull the lever underneath the aisle side seat and raise the bottom part of the seat to ready the securement area.  These areas are equipped with a wheel clamp and a four point securement system.  It is Muni’s policy that customers with wheelchairs that do not fit in the wheel clamp must secure their chair with the four point securements. Inform the bus operator if you need assistance using the belts.

Using the Wheel Clamp

Back the wheelchair into the open wheel clamp to secure the chair. The wheel clamp fits most manual and some older style power chairs, but does not accommodate three-wheelers or other chairs with small back wheels.

Using the Four Point Securement

The securement areas are equipped with four-point securements which are four belts with hooks that can be attached to a wheelchair at each corner of its frame. The bus operator will assist with the securements upon request.


3Customer Tips

Passenger holds a diabetic alert dog while on a Muni Bus | March 12, 2013

Service Animals

Service animals are allowed on all Muni buses.  Service animals must be leashed and under the control of thier owner at all times.

More Information:


Passenger using a lift to enter a bus

Wheelchairs and Other Mobility Devices

Muni is able to accommodate most mobility devices.  As a general reference, we are able to lift up to 600 pounds with our lifts and are able to accommodate most mobility devices measuring no more than 30 inches by 48 inches.  If you are concerned about whether your mobility device can be accommodated, please contact SFMTA Accessible Services (415.701.4485; TTY 415.701.4730). 

Segways

Muni may be able to accommodate a Segway, when used as a mobility device.  You will need a Permit.  For more information on Segway accommodations, please call or contact Matthew West (415) 701-4439, or matthew.west@sfmta.com.


color photo showing rear of muni bus stopped at bus stop with a large number of people crowding towards the rear doors and waiting at the stop and on the sidewalk.

Crowds

Muni is most crowded on weekdays, during the morning and evening commute, which we refer to as our peak periods. Our morning "Peak" is from 6:30am - 9:00am, and our evening "Peak" is from 3:30pm - 7:00pm. Some of our busiest bus lines, such as the 8x, 14, 30, 38, 45, and 49 experience crowds all day long. If you do not want to encounter crowds, try your best to travel between 9am and 3pm, or after 7 at night.

Please Note:

On crowded vehicles, the priority seats may already be occupied by seniors and people with disabilities or by other customers. Upon request, operators can ask passengers to give up their seats, but cannot force them to do so. Be sure to keep grocery carts, parcels, luggage, etc. out of the aisle.


Flag Stop

Flag Stops

In residential areas and other low traffic locations, many stops are “Flag stops” where the bus will stop in the street rather than pull to the curb. At these stops you will need to leave the sidewalk and board directly from the street. Please watch for oncoming traffic when boarding or exiting the coach at these locations. Stay clear of the vehicle after exiting—do not cross the street in front of the bus.


Sawtooth Stop

Non Accessible Stops

At stops on steep inclines and areas with narrow sidewalks we paint a yellow rectangle with two triangles on the street. This "Sawtooth Stop Bar" indicates that this stop is not accessible to people who use a mobility device. If you request to get off here, the operator will do their best to find a safe place to let you off, however this may be an area other than the designated bus stop.

Note:

If the operator is unable to find a safe place to let you off, you may have to get off at the next stop.

Market Street:

On Market Street some stops are located on boarding islands in the middle of the street. Due to their narrowness, some of these stops are not accessible to people who use mobility devices. A map showing the accessible stops on Market Street is available here.


Firetruck

Broken Lifts or Ramps

If the lift or ramp fails while you are on it and SFMTA personnel are not able to quickly repair it, the San Francisco Fire Department will be contacted to assist you.


4Report a Problem

311 Logo

311

Contact 311 to report malfunctioning devices, elevator outages, misconduct, or any complaints you may have. All vehicles are equipped with vehicle numbers at the front and rear and above the board when boarding.  For blind and low vision customers there  is a metal plate, generally on the panel behind the operator at a height of 60 inches, which has the coach number in both Braille and raised letters.  Ask an operator for the bus number if you need assistance

More Information: