In What Have We Learned? we discussed what we have learned since the first Trolley Festival 25 years ago about the pluses and minuses of various vintage streetcar types in F-line service. Now, we discuss what we’ve learned about operations over that period.
Looking back at the first Trolley Festival, it’s easy to forget how much the streetcars’ surroundings have changed in the last quarter-century. After all, Market Street is still Market Street. But automobile traffic on our main drag has gotten far heavier. So has the ridership on the cars themselves. And of course the F-line itself is twice as long as in Trolley Festival days. Have F-line operations adapted to these changes?
Not so much. Despite sporadic efforts by Muni to improve service in the past, longtime bottlenecks remain, delaying service and contributing to bunching. Market Street Railway and the current leadership of Muni have had productive discussions on how to make things better. The problems — and solutions — fall into a few specific categories.