Muni’s governing body, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), has issued requests for proposals from outside contractors on a crucial project for historic transit in the city. The SFTMA is seeking proposals from outside vendors to double the current number of operational PCC streetcars, the mainstay of F-line (and future E-line) service. Sixteen rebuilt or renovated PCCs would reach the streets under this plan, matching the sixteen currently operating.
Frank Zepeda photo.
The biggest single operational benefit will come from making the eleven ex-Newark PCC cars (Nos. 1070-1080) completely reliable. These cars had already received interior and exterior renovation and were being placed into service in April 2007 when wiring problems were discovered (despite having had a sample Newark car, now No. 1070, in San Francisco for an extended test period before purchasing the group). As a result, only four of these cars have actually carried paying passengers (Nos. 1075, 1077, 1078, and 1079) and at press time, only No. 1079 is currently in service. Muni maintenance staff has tried a variety of fixes for the wiring problems, with little lasting success. Both Muni leadership and Market Street Railway agree that complete replacement of the original 1946-48 wiring is needed to create reliably operating cars. That rewiring is part of the scope of this new contract, which calls for delivering the rewired cars to Muni by March 2010.
Whole Wheat Toast photo.
The same contract includes the complete rebuilding of the four remaining double-end PCCs on Muni property (Nos. 1006, 1008, 1009, and 1011). These cars, purchased new by Muni in 1948, are today non-operational and in various stages of decrepitude. They would receive essentially the same renovation given to their twins, Nos. 1007, 1010 & 1015, in the original F-line car renovation program, carried out in the early 1990s. As our regular Inside Track readers know, the renovation of the four additional double-enders has been delayed several times for one reason or another, spanning more than a decade now. If all goes as planned with this contract, though, they will be delivered to Muni, rebuilt like new, by the end of February, 2011.
Jim Maurer photo.
As a bonus, this contract also includes the complete renovation of PCC No. 1040, the last of 10,000 cars of this type built in North America, delivered new to Muni in 1952, and now scheduled to be returned like new in August, 2010.
Proposals for this job are due from contractors on September 18. Muni bundled the various PCC rehabilitation jobs together to create a large package, with the hope of attracting multiple bidders, including major multi-national transit firms. A Muni team will review the offered proposals, conduct oral interviews with the proposers, and accept proposals on price, after which the successful contractors will be selected. If there are no protests from unsuccessful proposers, and provided the Board of Supervisors approves the contract, work could begin early in 2009.
We’ll keep you updated here at the Market Street Railway Blog on the progess of this important contract.