San Diego Vintage Trolley, Inc, headed by Chairman Harry Mathis,
and the San Diego Electric Railway Association
MTS Makes History
In 1936, the San Diego Electric Railway was the first public transit system in the United States to adopt the new streamlined Presidents Conference Committee car in an attempt to combat declining ridership due to the rising popularity of cars and buses. Named after its design committee comprised of presidents from various electric street railway companies, the PCC car offered a vast improvement in style and comfort over previous models.
First used in St. Louis, Missouri, the circa 1946 Streetcar #529 was built originally as car 1716 by the St. Louis Public Service Co., and is one of six 1940s PCC cars that were purchased in varying states of disrepair from collectors across America to be restored and eventually put back into regular service by the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. On January 6, 2011, after a period of nearly six years, thousands of volunteer hours, and $850,000 in associated costs, an elegant, fully restored Streetcar #529 made its triumphant inaugural run on downtown's new Silver Line, a weekend and holiday excursion loop beginning at 12th and Imperial that will be expanded once more of the PCCs are restored.
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