Muni rolls out waterfront streetcar


For the first time since the old 32-Embarcadero rattled along The City’s waterfront, a Muni line is making a direct run along the Embarcadero from Fisherman’s Wharf to Caltrain.

Last weekend for the America’s Cup World Series, Muni flipped the switch on its long-anticipated E-Embarcadero route. This time though, instead of wheezy, soot-spewing diesel buses, snazzy historic streetcars shuttled tourists and locals along the palm-lined boulevard.

For now, temporary service during America’s Cup races is giving residents a taste of what an E-line could bring to San Francisco’s waterfront. But many who gave the line a whirl last weekend gave the idea of a permanent E-line a hearty thumbs-up.

Nellie Tran wrote in a piece on LiveSoma:

“I think it’d be great to have the E Line connecting this part of town to Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, and beyond. …  It would be a great service to have that direct connection to the northern waterfront.”

Indeed, a permanent Muni line directly connecting popular areas of San Francisco’s northeast edges seems to make a ton of sense. Especially when you throw in possible extensions at both ends, which could stretch the line from the Marina Green all the way to the burgeoning Mission Bay and Dogpatch neighborhoods.

Currently, the jaunt from Pier 39 to AT&T Park can’t be completed without changing trains, either at Market Street’s Embarcadero station or after a long three-block walk from Mission to Folsom.

And a bus ride from the Marina Green to the ballpark today would require an indirect (and optimistically estimated) 55-minute ride on the 22-Fillmore and the KT-Ingleside/Third subway line.

Of course, there are no shortage of corridors in The City that need transit attention, and arguments could be made that working-class neighborhoods need transit upgrades more desperately than wealthier areas.

But until that debate is settled, the next temporary run for the E-Embarcadero will be from Oct. 4 -8, when America’s Cup sailors return to the Bay for more racing.

Jesse Garnier
Jesse Garnier is the editor and founder of SFBay. A Mission District native, he also teaches journalism as associate professor at San Francisco State University.

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