E Embarcadero – Wikipedia

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San Francisco heritage streetcar line

The E Embarcadero is a historic streetcar line that is the San Francisco Municipal Railway’s second heritage streetcar line in San Francisco, California. Trial service first ran during the Sunday Streets events on The Embarcadero in 2008.[2] The line initially ran on weekends only,[3][4] but expanded to weeklong service in late April 2016.[5]

In March 2020, the line was suspended indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and as of 2023, the line is still not operating.[1][6]

The initial routing of the line is nearly identical to the defunct 32 Embarcadero bus line, which was discontinued after the F Market & Wharves line began operating along the Embarcadero in 2000.[7]
It runs the length of the Embarcadero and San Francisco’s segment of the Bay Trail, along pre-existing track used by the F Market & Wharves historic streetcar as well as the N Judah and T Third Street Muni Metro lines and previously unused track bypassing Market Street subway’s Embarcadero portal. Service runs from Jones Street and Jefferson Street in Fisherman’s Wharf to near the N Judah’s platform at Caltrain’s King Street and 4th Street Station in the Mission Bay neighborhood – the last trains of the day run to near the adjacent T Third platform at 4th and Berry. Since there is no loop at the Caltrain station, only double-ended streetcars are able to operate on the line until a loop track is built.[8]

Proposed extension[edit]

The disused Fort Mason Tunnel in 2017

An extension of the E Embarcadero to Aquatic Park is planned but is currently not fully funded.[9] The extension would relocate the terminus from Jones and Beach station to a new station on Beach street adjacent to Aquatic Park.

The line could be extended past Aquatic Park in the future by the National Park Service’s proposal to extend the route through the existing Fort Mason Tunnel and into Fort Mason Center. As of 2018, the SFMTA was attempting to secure funding for engineering studies in order to advance the project.[10][9] The extension would serve Fort Mason Center and the Marina district, identified by the NPS as areas with “inadequate regional transit access” and “limited transportation options for transit-dependent residents,”[11] and providing those areas with a rail connection to regional transportation networks via the Market Street subway and the 4th and King Caltrain Station.

History[edit]

Muni’s original E streetcar line was the E Union line, running north from the Ferry Building via The Embarcadero to Washington/Jackson streets, where it turned west to eventually reach the Presidio. This line was discontinued in 1947.[12]

Streetcar demonstration[edit]

Proposals for historic streetcar service along The Embarcadero were first put forward in 1974, and the first mention of separate E Embarcadero and F Market lines was in 1981.[13] In 1987, a temporary, demonstration streetcar service was operated along part of the Embarcadero as part of the 1987 San Francisco Historic Trolley Festival, to gauge public interest in, and the practicality of, a regular streetcar service. It ran along then-existing, but disused, San Francisco Belt Railroad tracks and operated two days a week for a little over five weeks, using two streetcars powered by electricity from portable diesel generators.[14]

Previous E Embarcadero service[edit]

Light rail service on the section of The Embarcadero south of Folsom Street and on King Street to the Caltrain Depot began on January 10, 1998,[15] using a Muni Metro shuttle line between Embarcadero Station and the Caltrain station. This temporary line was designated E Embarcadero, and it was discontinued when it was replaced in August 1998 by an extension of the N Judah line.[16][17][18] In 2007 the new T Third Street line also began operating on this extension.

Historic streetcar service[edit]

Historic streetcar service on The Embarcadero north of Don Chee Way began in March 2000 when the F Market & Wharves line was extended to Fisherman’s Wharf.[19] That extension and the 1998 light rail extension to the Caltrain Depot make up almost the entirety of the E line route; they were connected by unused tracks on The Embarcadero between Don Chee Way and Folsom Street.

Later changes[edit]

The new E Embarcadero line operated on a temporary basis during the 2013 America’s Cup yacht races.

On March 28, 2014, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) officially approved plans for weekend-only service of the E Embarcadero heritage streetcar line starting in summer 2015, with weeklong service starting the next year.[3][4] Weekend operation officially began on August 1, 2015,[20] and weeklong service began on April 23, 2016.[5]

Service was suspended on March 17, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic,[1][6] and as of January 2023 still has yet to resume.[21]

Station/Stop listing[edit]

Though the right-of-way is shared with the two Muni Metro lines on the South of Market (SoMa) segment, the stations themselves are not shared with Muni Metro because historic cars cannot access elevated median boarding platforms. For this reason, existing sidewalk-level stops adjacent to each raised light-rail stop are utilized for the E line. For stops north of Market, the line uses those of the existing F Market & Wharves line. All stations on the line are accessible.

Station/Stop Neighborhood Connections and Notes
Inbound Outbound
Jones and Beach Fisherman’s Wharf
Jefferson and Taylor Beach and Mason
Jefferson and Powell
The Embarcadero and Stockton Beach and Stockton
Inbound splits from The Embarcadero towards Jefferson Street; outbound joins The Embarcadero from Beach Street
The Embarcadero and Bay
The Embarcadero and Sansome Heritage streetcar F Market & Wharves Market & Wharves
The Embarcadero and Greenwich
The Embarcadero and Green
The Embarcadero and Broadway Heritage streetcar F Market & Wharves Market & Wharves
The Embarcadero and Washington
Ferry Building Financial District
  • Bay Area Rapid Transit Bay Area Rapid Transit
  • BSicon LOGO SFmuni.svg J Church K Ingleside M Ocean View N Judah S Shuttle at Embarcadero station
  • Heritage streetcar F Market & Wharves Market & Wharves
  • ⛴ Golden Gate Ferry, San Francisco Bay Ferry, Treasure Island Ferry (at Ferry Building)
  • Bus transport Muni: 6, 7X, 9, 14, 14X, 21, 31
  • Bus interchange Regional bus services: Golden Gate Transit, Presidio Go Shuttle, SamTrans
The Embarcadero and Folsom SoMa
  • BSicon LOGO SFmuni.svg N Judah
The Embarcadero and Brannan
2nd and King
4th and King

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d “COVID-19-related Service Changes”. San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. May 20, 2021. Retrieved January 19, 2023.
  2. ^ a b “E-Embarcadero Line Service for Sunday Streets”. streetcar.org. Market Street Railway. August 28, 2008. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Bowen, Douglas John (March 31, 2014). “MUNI eyes new E train route”. Railway Age. Simmons-Boardman Publishing Inc. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  4. ^ a b “E-Line Finally Budgeted…For 2016!”. streetcar.org. Market Street Railway. March 30, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Hyden, Rachel (April 13, 2016). “Better, more frequent service coming April 23!”. San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Brinklow, Adam (March 23, 2020). “Bay Area public transit agencies cut hours and routes amid coronavirus outbreak”. Curbed. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  7. ^ Epstein, Edward (September 8, 1999). “Muni Gets OK to Extend Streetcar Line to Wharf / Expanded service expected to be popular”. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  8. ^ Market Street Railway (June 16, 2015). “E-Line Startup Looks Set for July 25”. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Rodriguez, Joe Fitzgerald (July 30, 2018). “Transit renaissance en route for northern waterfront”. San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  10. ^ Rodriguez, Joe Fitzgerald (May 28, 2017). “Federal funding could drive forward tunnel’s future”. San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  11. ^ “Final Environmental Impact Statement for Extension of F-Line Streetcar Service to Fort Mason Center” (PDF). Golden Gate National Recreation Area San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. February 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  12. ^ “San Francisco Transit Routes”. Chicago Transit & Railfan Website. 2009. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  13. ^ “Historic Streetcars”. San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  14. ^ Jewell, Don (December 1987). “Muni [regular news column]”. Pacific RailNews. pp. 38–39. ISSN 8750-8486. Archived from the original on June 8, 2019.
  15. ^ Epstein, Edward (January 9, 1998). “Embarcadero Line On Track Tomorrow”. San Francisco Chronicle. p. A-17. Retrieved March 20, 2009.
  16. ^ Taylor, Michael (April 6, 1998). “PAGE ONE – Muni’s New E-Line No Beeline / Trains more tardy, irregular than buses – SFGate”. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  17. ^ Epstein, Edward (August 26, 1998). “Brown Tries To Soothe Muni Riders / Service on N-Judah line has been abysmal all week – SFGate”. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  18. ^ Epstein, Edward (January 9, 1998). “Muni’s Embarcadero Streetcar Line Set to Make First Runs / First of improvements promised for this year”. San Francisco Chronicle. Hearst Communications, Inc. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  19. ^ Epstein, Edward (March 2, 2000). “New way to the wharf; Merchants hope F–Market line will draw locals to tourist attractions”. The San Francisco Chronicle. p. A20. Archived from the original on February 25, 2019. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  20. ^ Cestone, Vince (July 31, 2015). “New Muni E-Embarcadero Line to begin service this weekend”. KRON-TV. Young Broadcasting. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  21. ^ “E Embarcadero (Suspended)”. San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. July 30, 2015. Retrieved January 19, 2023.

External links[edit]