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Caltrain San Francisco delays continue after man-on-pole incident ends

Trains wait on tracks 5 and 6 for passengers at the Caltrain Station in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, July 18, 2019. Business leaders and transportation officials are putting together a sales tax ballot measure for next year that would generate billions for transportation infrastructure in the Bay Area. Top on their wish list is the downtown extension of Caltrain, with a tunnel running from the Mission Bay Area to the Transbay Terminal.
Police and fire were responding to a report of a man on a pole outside the Caltrain station at Fourth and King streets in San Francisco, delaying service Thursday for thousands of commuters. | Source: Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Caltrain delays will continue after a man climbed on top of a pole near power lines at San Francisco’s Fourth and King streets station on Thursday morning. The individual has since climbed down from the pole and is receiving medical treatment.

Caltrain commuters are asked to use alternate routes and a “bus bridge” from the affected station to 22nd Street station to work around the incident.

Shortly after 6 a.m., police responded to the incident. Officers requested a ladder truck to assist them in getting the person down from the pole just after 7 a.m.

San Francisco firefighters also responded, staging an ambulance and standing by as requested, spokesperson Justin Schorr told The Standard.

Caltrain confirmed that the power lines had been turned off during the incident.

In a social media post, Caltrain said that all trains could expect delays from 10 to 60 minutes. SamTrans and BART will honor Caltrain tickets.

a silhouette of a man sat on a pole is seen against an early morning sky
A person sits atop a pole near the Caltrain Fourth and King streets station in San Francisco on Thursday morning. | Source: Courtesy Josh Jacobson

Schorr later shared that police had requested a department ladder truck also “be on standby for a person atop a pole.”

“There’s police activity as they’re trying to get somebody who’s having some sort of psychological episode down from the wires at the Caltrain Fourth Street station,” Caltrain commuter and San Francisco resident Josh Jacobson said.

A Caltrain social media account shared word of the disruption, saying trains were departing southbound from its 22nd Street station. When a commenter asked if those trains were on schedule, the account replied, “It’s messy. Apologies.”

Shortly after 9 a.m., the man apparently climbed down from the pole and was given medical care in police custody at the scene, according to a KCBS radio reporter’s social media post.

The disruption to Bay Area commuters comes only hours after a report of a person in a trackway at a San Francisco BART station forced the closure of the Transbay Tube, cutting off trains between San Francisco and the East Bay for more than an hour Wednesday evening.

This is a developing story.

George Kelly can be reached at