Sadly, the only thing hotter than the San Francisco Giants of late is a Muni 8X bus lit ablaze by rioting revelers late Monday morning.
While SF Weekly was yesterday told the fire was started by a passenger, today Muni spokesman Paul Rose said that roaming bands of rioters waylaid the bus at Third and Market, inducing the driver and passengers to flee prior to its immolation. "The bus is totaled," he confirmed. Video of the incident "has been pulled, and it's gone to the police department for their investigation."
Rose was unsure if any parts of the burned bus could be salvaged. Several sources familiar with Muni maintenance, however, predicted it could be -- but also foresaw more maintenance headaches for Muni due to the acts of rioters.
See Also: Excited Passenger Sets Muni Bus Ablaze
Said one longtime mechanic, "Seeing that it was a rehabbed bus to begin with, perhaps it's not worth trying to bring it back. However, the drive-line, brakes, etc. are all still very usable, so they may cobble together another accident coach to make one whole."
Another longtime maintenance hand noted that the damage appeared to be localized to the front section of the bus. This would mean kissing goodbye the destination signs, wiring, the radio, video equipment, and other components. But a fire in the rear of the bus -- which houses the main computer connections and power train -- would have been worse. The rear engine compartment, incidentally, has a fire-suppression system. The front does not.
"Note that there were also people jumping up and down on top of Muni vehicles all over town," added the longtime maintenance worker. "These vehicles are not designed to have 20 or 30 people jumping around like yahoos on the roof. There are many damaged coaches that may have roof structural repair issues from this."
Rose noted that Muni is undergoing a fleetwide assessment. "We did receive reports that buses were victims of graffiti, body damage, and had their windows broken."
Unfortunately, behaving like a barbarian and wrecking municipal property has become a Giants World Series tradition. Imagine how badly things would have gone had the team lost.