SFMTA Launches The E Embarcadero Historic Streetcar Line
Single-seat ride from the Caltrain Station to Fisherman’s Wharf, Part of Muni Service Increase Approved Last Year
San Francisco— The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which manages all transportation in the city, including the Municipal Railway (Muni), announces the launch of a new historic streetcar line, the E Embarcadero. The “E Line” offers a single-seat ride from AT&T Park and the Caltrain station to Fisherman’s Wharf and the northeast waterfront.
The E Line represents a component of the 10 percent service increase announced in April 2015 under the Muni Forward program. Muni Forward, approved by the SFMTA Board of Directors in March 2014, is a series of transformative initiatives specifically designed to increase service, reliability and safety. April’s services increases, under Muni Forward, benefited over 165,000 customers daily and another round of increases are planned for fall 2015.
The E Line offers weekend only service starting August 1. Service will operate every 15 minutes between the hours of 10 am – 7 pm.
Specially designated double-ended historic streetcars will transport E Line riders along the same stops as the N Judah and T Third between Caltrain and Folsom Street. Unlike the N and T, which turn at the subway portal, the E Line will continue along The Embarcadero joining the existing F Market stops to Fisherman’s Wharf.
Pilot testing of the E Line occurred during the America’s Cup 34 Event and the results were favorable. During early September 2013, the SFMTA operated historic streetcars every 15 minutes, from the Caltrain station at Fourth and King streets to Jones and Jefferson streets in Fisherman’s Wharf. Passengers were thrilled to both ride historic vehicles and have a one-seat ride along the Embarcadero. Ridership estimates, during that time, show that approximately 1,500 to 2,000 passengers rode the E Line per day.
"We’re pleased to be expanding our historic streetcar service along the Embarcadero from Fisherman’s Wharf to 4th and King,” said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. "The new E-Line creates more capacity and reduces crowding on the enormously popular waterfront of San Francisco. We are proud to work with our longtime historic preservation partners at Market Street Railway to bring this new service to San Franciscans and those who visit the city.”
Market Street Railway, a San Francisco not-for-profit that works to preserve historic transit, advocated for the expansion of the E Line for several years. “It was then Mayor Dianne Feinstein who first supported the possibility of the E Line,” said Rick Laubscher, Market Street Railway President. “And under Ed Reiskin’s leadership, the SFMTA’s staff picked-up the reigns consulting with community leaders, waterfront businesses, residents and our organization to make a 32 year old plan actual service.”
Preserving the very vehicles that are the backbone of both the E and F Lines was made possible, in part, through the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA). The SFCTA allocated more than $19 million in half-cent sales tax funds for historic streetcar rehabilitation, operations and maintenance.
Although the E line shares the same track as the N Judah and T Third along the southern Embarcadero, the streetcars will not stop at the elevated platforms. Instead, new signs will direct customers to board the streetcars at the low-level islands near the accessible ramps. On the northern portion of the route, the E line will share stops with the F line. All E line stops have accessible ramps for customers who use wheelchairs. Please find a detailed view of the E-Embarcadero route and stops attached.
While Boat Car 233 will not normally operate along the E Line, it was unveiled as part of the launch and will run on the F-Market Line. The new Boat Car was acquired with the assistance of Market Street Railway, from Blackpool, England. Originally built in 1934, there were 12 Boat Cars of similar design to 233. Today, only five remain in-service: three in England and two here in San Francisco.
Boat Car 233 is intended to temporarily replace its sister Boat Car 228 which is in need of maintenance.