This car is painted to honor Mexico City, which ran PCC streetcars from 1947 until 1984. Shortly after taking over a privately owned tramway company in 1945, the Mexican government agency Servicio de Transportes Electricos del Distritio Federal (STE) began a fleet rehabilitation program that included the order of Mexico’s first PCC from St. Louis Car Company — the only PCC ever bought new in Latin America.
Numbered 2000 and dubbed ‘La Bella Rosa’, it was placed into premium fare service on the route to the famed floating gardens at Xochimilco in 1947. No more PCCs joined the Mexico City fleet until 1954, when 91 PCCs, identical to No. 1072, arrived secondhand from Twin City Rapid Transit in Minneapolis-St. Paul. The following year, 183 more used PCCs arrived from Detroit.
Left-side doors were installed on all these cars to serve platforms on several routes. By 1957, the entire Mexico City streetcar system was PCC-operated, but tracks and cars gradually deteriorated, while new subway lines offered faster service.
STE tried to spice up the PCC fleet in different ways, installing new bodies on a few cars and exchanging the handsome but restrained cream livery for a flashy red-orange on many cars.
In the 1980s, Mexico City’s last PCCs were replaced by home-built trams which themselves used some PCC parts. Mexico’s port city of Tampico also ran PCCs from 1958 to 1974.
Today, San Francisco has many reminders of its own Mexican past — and present, with a vibrant Mexican-American community playing a central role in the community. And now it has another tribute to Mexico — PCC No. 1072.
Originally built for
Twin City Rapid Transit Co., Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, 1946 (as car No. 339)
Public Service Coordinated Transport, Newark, NJ, 1953 (as car No. 20)
Acquired by Muni from
New Jersey Transit, Newark, NJ, 2004
St. Louis Car Co.
Brookville Equipment Company, PA, 2004-2011
4 General Electric 1220