San Francisco streetcar line opening delayed to Aug. 1

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SAN FRANCISCO – The opening of weekend service on the new E-Embarcadero heritage streetcar line has been rescheduled to Aug. 1, one week later than originally planned.

At a meeting between representatives of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and its nonprofit partner Market Street Railway July 1, it was agreed that the San Francisco Marathon, which will clog the entire Embarcadero on July 26, made it prudent to delay the E-line opening.

The agency had decided to substitute buses for historic streetcars on the F-line on Marathon day already, due to the difficulty of keeping schedules.

“We support the new Aug. 1 opening date,” says Market Street Railway President Rick Laubscher. “The rollout will go smoother for operators, inspectors, and riders if they don’t have to deal with the extreme circumstances caused by the Marathon.”

Besides the start date, the meeting focused on creating clear signage for the cars and stops to explain the difference between the E-line and the F-line to unfamiliar riders. The two lines will run together from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Ferry Building, but while the F-line turns inland and heads out Market Street to Castro, the E-line will continue along The Embarcadero and King Street to AT&T Park and the Caltrain Depot. It will share tracks with the N- and T-line light rail vehicles south of Folsom Street, and has its own low-level boarding platforms and accessibility ramps at one end of each light rail station.

Training is already underway for operators on the new line. Streetcars are cruising along The Embarcadero with “Training Car” or “Not In Service” signs with only an operator and training staff on board.

Market Street Railway will provide volunteer docents to be stationed at key stops along the E-line during its 10 a.m.-7 p.m. operating hours during the first several weekends, starting Aug. 1-2.

Seven-day service on the E-line is still planned for early 2016.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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