Muni over­hauling aging historic streetcars

Plans are taking shape to refresh several of the colorful, historic streetcars now running along Market Street and the Embarcadero.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board approved a request for proposals on a project to completely rehabilitate 16 President’s Conference Committee streetcars on Tuesday.

The vehicles will be completely disassembled so that new wiring, lighting, propulsion system, door system and passenger area can be put in the streetcars.

The transit agency said that the 16 PCCs work 21 hours per day, 365 days a year on the F-Line. They have been in service since 1993, and have reached the “end of their useful life.”

Once the rehabilitation is complete, the streetcars are expected to last at least another 10 years.

The $16 million rehabilitation project is funded by federal, state and local funds.

As Muni prepares to take care of its historic streetcars, new Muni buses are set to arrive in the next few months.

Muni has already received one of its new hybrid electric buses from New Flyer New Flyer Industries last week.

The bus is being assessed at Muni’s Woods Division and should be on the road sometime in May, said Muni spokesman Paul Rose.

Last September, the SFMTA approved the purchase of 45 low-floor hybrid buses. The transit agency was able to add 17 more new buses thanks in part to an increase in federal and local funds giving Muni a total of 62 new buses.

It’s been about seven years since Muni purchased new buses, said Ed Redskin, director of transportation.

The new buses will replace some of Muni’s older diesel buses, which require constant maintenance.

The cost of the new buses is $48.7 million. Funding was from a combination of federal grants, local and operating funds.