Third Street streetcars
Some of us have heard of the Third Street light-rail project for awhile now, and it seems that MUNI is finally testing the new Muni Metro route with a few streetcars (So now if you see a Metro train down Third Street, you’ll know why). The “T-Third” line would connect Potrero Hill, Bayview, Hunters Point, and Visitacion Valley to downtown. Muni is saying that the official opening for the line will be April 7, though they hope to have a limited weekend service starting in January 2007.
The new light-rail extension runs between Bayshore Boulevard and Sunnydale Avenue in Visitacion Valley at the Daly City border, and 4th and Berry streets near the Giants ballpark in China Basin. At China Basin, the route is integrated into the existing Muni Metro operation — transporting passengers through the Market Street tunnel to Castro Street.
Prior to reading the SF Gate article, I had no idea the Third Street line was supposed to serve as a “gateway” to the city’s poorest neighborhoods, to allow them increased visibility and bring about a “neighborhood renaissance.” I am highly skeptical that a simple streetcar line will affect this kind of change, but perhaps I’m not seeing the bigger picture here. Nevertheless, it’s nice to have extra Muni routes in the city, and now I have little excuse to not visit friends in Potrero Hill.