Finally, a Roof Over their Heads?

After more than ten years of advocacy, protection for the most vulnerable streetcars in Muni’s historic fleet seems to be at hand.

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Steve Ferrario photo.

The Board of Directors of Muni’s parent agency, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), has approved an agreement with Shimmick Construction Co. of Hayward to erect simple but effective canopies over four tracks at Geneva Division, where the F-line cars are housed. The design will be similar to the traditional car sheds that stood at the location for 80 years until the facility was overhauled.

The canopies will shield 25 streetcars from rain and sun that significantly accelerates rot and rust in the fleet. It is anticipated that the canvas-roofed cars (the vintage cars and Milan trams) will have first priority for protection. The SFMTA is working to blend the City’s in-house professional talent and expertise with the contractor’s forces to produce a successful product.

The final step in the process is Civil Service Commission review, slated for August. If approved, Muni will immediately issue a Notice to Proceed to the contractor, with construction completion slated for the summer of 2010. Market Street Railway has expressed its thanks to SFMTA CEO Nat Ford and Transportation Planning & Development Senior Director Carter Rohan for their leadership in taking a stalled project they inherited and moving it aggressively to this contract award stage, despite challenges related to rapidly rising construction costs.