PCC Streetcar Restoration Contract Has One More Step


Octoferret photo.

The SFMTA Board of Directors has approved an $18 million contract to restore 16 additional PCC streetcars, but it still faces one more step before it can be awarded: the Board of Supervisors.

The Budget and Finance Committee of the Supervisors will consider the item on Wednesday, August 12 at 11 a.m. in Room 250, City Hall. Those who agree with Market Street Railway that this is a critical project for historic transit should consider sharing their views with the Supervisors at the meeting.

These 16 PCCs include:

  • 11 Ex-Newark streetcars (Nos. 1070-1080), purchased by Muni in 2004, which would be completely rewired to improve their reliability.

  • 4 double-end PCCs (Nos. 1006, 1008 – pictured above, 1009, 1011) which would be completely rebuilt to join their fellow 1948 Muni double-enders (Nos. 1007, 1010, 1015) in the F-line fleet. These are the highest-capacity vehicles in Muni’s vintage streetcar fleet.

  • Single-ended PCC No. 1040, the last of almost 5,000 of this streetcar type built in the U.S., delivered to Muni in 1952.

These streetcars are desperately needed because the success of the F-line has overwhelmed the existing streetcars on the line, which are overdue for overhauls but can’t be spared from service unless the 16 cars covered by this contract are renovated.

These additional streetcars will meet rider demands on the F-line, serving thousands of additional housing units under construction or planned along Market Street as well major new family attractions such as the Exploratorium that are moving to The Embarcadero. They will also allow the opening of the E-Embarcadero line between Caltrain and Fisherman’s Wharf, and would provide the rolling stock for the planned extension from the Wharf past Aquatic Park and Ghirardelli Square to Fort Mason.

This renovation project is very cost-effective, delivering like-new streetcars for less than one-third the cost of manufacturing new streetcars. And these renovated streetcars, with their simple technology and proven durability, are expected to last even longer than new ones before requiring another renovation. Remanufacturing these streetcars saves energy and emissions over manufacturing new ones. And since these streetcars run on our own Hetch Hetchy-generated hydroelectricity, they are true zero emission vehicles.

After the Board of Supervisors commitee vote, the matter would be considered by the full board, most probably at its August 18 meeting.


Comments: 8

  1. Let’s hope the Board of Supervisors and the Budget and Finance Committee will approve this contract. As the article states, these cars are desperately needed to help the current over crowding conditions, on the F line, future rider demands and to get the E line up and running. This is a “Green” contract becuase streetcars are “zero emissions vehicles.” Since I don’t live in the San Francisco area, is there a phone number, or an e-mail address, so I could contact the Board to suggect they vote for this needed contract? Please advise. Good luck!!

  2. Thank you Jamison Wieser!!
    The board.of.supervisors@sfgov.gov was a good address. I sent them an e-mail, suggesting they vote FOR the PCC Contract, and it was not returned to me as undeliverable. So, may I suggest all who read this blog entry, e-mail the board and suggest they vote FOR this contract. Maybe that will help get it approved. Hope so!!

  3. I have just sent an email to the board, emphasizing how important the F-Line is to visitors, as many of them have
    never ridden on a streetcar before, and how to many of them, the streetcars are a very important part of their
    San Francisco experience.

  4. How about painting one of the double-ended PCC’s in Market Street “White Front” colors? Our namesake company actually considered buying double end PCC cars; maybe the “tribute car” could be dedicated to Charles Smallwood, who literally “wrote the book” on The White Front Cars.
    It might be appropriate to keep 1008 in its present paint job, but eliminate the “Muni Repair Car” label. The color scheme is rather garish (perhaps too “loud” for a regular service car) but even the most cell-phone or text-message impaired motorist could see it coming from a long way off.

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