Storm Preparedness: Service Impacts and Safety Tips

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As the operators of San Francisco’s major public transportation system, we are always aware of the weather and the impact it may have on our services. Safety is our first priority.

Stay Updated, Plan Ahead and Expect Delays

When winter weather affects San Francisco, we will provide real-time transit updates as soon as possible.

Get the latest alerts through our website, Twitter feed, by calling 311 or signing up here to automatically receive Muni Alerts to your email inbox or phone. The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management and AlertSF are also great resources for the latest in emergency updates. Local radio and television stations will be updated on the status of transit service during storms.

If conditions are slowing traffic, buses and trains will be delayed, too. Plan ahead and take an earlier trip to make sure you arrive on time. Be assured that your driver is doing everything possible to stay on schedule while maintaining safety.

Transit Service Interruptions

Muni may detour buses on a route-by-route basis if conditions warrant. We'll regularly post route condition updates online, to Muni Alerts, Twitter and 311.

Bus in the rain photo

What to Expect in a Storm

In December 2014, major storms caused power outages, flooding and resulting transit disruptions in San Francisco. We're using these past storms as a guideline to prepare for the upcoming rainy season.

  • Waterfront/Oceanside Street Closures
    • Emergency officials may close The Embarcadero from Pier 39 to Oracle Park due to high waves along the waterfront. Sections along with the Great Highway may also be closed and transit services rerouted.
  • Power Outages
    • Power outages may knock out traffic signals, causing delays in bus service and increased traffic. Please follow the directions of Police Officers, Parking Control Officers, or other city officials directing traffic during such outages.
  • Cable Car Bus Shuttles
    • Cable cars may be taken out of service as a precaution since debris can snarl the cable pulley system. Shuttles will replace cable cars in the event of a disruption.
  • Metro Station Flooding
    • Flood conditions may prompt closure of Muni/BART stations. Bus shuttles will transport commuters between closed stations. In the event of a closure, look for emergency signage in Orange, or ask a Station Agent or Ambassador for assistance.


SF Paratransit will continue to operate during storms but some trips may be delayed. During severe weather, we recommend that all riders call the SF Paratransit office at (415) 351-7000 or visit the SF Paratransit website, for more information regarding any service disruptions. If you have a trip scheduled with SF Access or Shop-a-Round, please call “Where’s My Ride?” at (415) 285-6945 (option 3) to receive up-to-date information regarding the status of your ride.


Use extra caution if you bike during a rainstorm, roads may be slick due to oil residue and blocked gutters may create large and dangerous puddles. Drivers may have a harder time seeing you, so use your head and tail lights, even during day time hours to increase visibility.

Will the green bike lanes become extra slick when it rains?
No. The green bike lanes you see on streets like Market, The Embarcadero and lower Polk use paint specially designed for use on streets. This means it has been designed not only to increase general visibility of the bike lane and provide clear delineation between bike and vehicle traffic, but it also provides bicyclists slip-resistant surface for greater traction. Pedestrians who may need to cross the wet bike lane will also have added traction.

California King Tides

California King Tides are the highest tides of the year. These tides are expected in January, when rainy weather is also likely. During King Tides, possible flooding in the Embarcadero and other low-lying Bayside areas may occur. 

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