J Church

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This article is about the San Francisco railway line. For the band, see J Church (band).
J Church
J Church logo.svg
San Francisco-J Church right of way.jpg
Looking south along the private right-of-way near 20th Street
Overview
Type Light rail/Streetcar
System Muni Metro
Locale San Francisco, California
Termini Embarcadero Station
Balboa Park Station
Stations 25
Daily ridership 14,787 (2013)[1]
Operation
Opening 1917
Owner San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency
Operator(s) San Francisco Municipal Railway
Character At grade & Underground
Rolling stock 151 Breda light rail vehicles
(high floor)
F Market historic streetcars
(pull-out and pull-in runs only)
Technical
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
(standard gauge)
Electrification Overhead lines, 600 V DC
Route map

The J Church is a Muni Metro light rail line in San Francisco, California, mainly serving the Noe Valley and Balboa Park neighborhoods, connecting them to downtown. It began as one of San Francisco's streetcar lines in 1917, and was partially converted to modern light-rail operation in 1981,[2] as part of the creation of the Muni Metro system in the late 1970s. While many streetcar lines were converted to bus lines after World War II, the J Church remained a streetcar line due to the private right-of-way it uses to avoid the steepest grades on Church Street, between 18th Street and 22nd Street. Buses cannot negotiate the grades, and the right-of-way is too narrow to accommodate anything wider than the streetcar tracks.

Route description[edit]

The line runs from Embarcadero Station in the Financial District to Balboa Park Station and the Balboa Park neighborhood near City College of San Francisco. The downtown portion of the line uses the Market Street Subway, along with four other Muni Metro lines (K/T, L, M and N lines). The J exits the tunnel at Duboce Avenue along with the N Judah and turns onto Church Street. Between 18th and 20th Street, the line cuts through Dolores Park on a private right-of-way. After crossing 20th Street, it cuts across the blocks east of Church, around a steep hill and returns to Church Street at 22nd Street in Noe Valley. The J then follows Church to 30th Street, then to San Jose Avenue and Geneva. Between Randall and Cotter Streets, there is a right-of-way in the middle of San Jose Avenue. At the end of the line, the J loops around the Metro yard at San Jose and Geneva, alongside Balboa Park Station.

The J Church line stops at large stations for the downtown section of the route and at smaller stops on the rest of the line. Most of the smaller stops are designated by a sign on the sidewalk, while a few have concrete "islands" in the middle of the street next to the tracks that provide access for wheelchairs.

While most other lines in the rail system can be run in two-car configurations, the J line is always run with a single car in order to accommodate the stops in the right-of-way, which are not long enough to have two light rail cars with open doors simultaneously.

Operation[edit]

The J Church begins service at 5 a.m. weekdays, 6 a.m. Saturdays and 8 a.m. Sundays and continues until 12:15 a.m. every night. Headways range from 7 to 15 minutes during the day, and 15 to 20 minutes at night. There is no late night service along the entire J line. Some of the route is covered by the L-Owl and N-Owl service provided by diesel buses run on Market Street between Church Street and Steuart Street. Owl service on the 24 Divisadero line runs near the portion of the J line north of 30th Street, and 14 Mission owl service runs near the portion of the line south of 30th.

Extension to Balboa Park Station[edit]

The outer end of the line was originally at Church and 30th Streets, where streetcars used a wye to turn around. In 1991, the tracks were extended to the Balboa Park BART station and the Metro Center (Muni light-rail maintenance and operations base), giving J-line cars a much shorter connection to the caryard than previously. However, the 2.3-mile (3.7 km) new section was initially used only by light rail cars starting or ending their runs;[3] all-day J-line service was not extended along the new tracks until March 1992. This extension of the J-line to the Metro Center now also provides vintage F Market cars a connection to the adjacent Geneva Yard, where they are stored when not in service. Occasionally J-Church streetcars use the wye at 30th and Church as a terminus during rush hours, or during irregular operations.

Station and stop listing[edit]

inbound to outbound

Station Neighborhood Other Muni
Metro lines
Notes
Handicapped/disabled access Embarcadero Financial District K Ingleside logo.svg L Taraval logo.svg M Ocean View logo.svg N Judah logo.svg T Third Street logo.svg S Shuttle logo.svg Inbound terminus
Connects to F Market & Wharves and BART
Serves Ferry Building
Handicapped/disabled access Montgomery Street Financial District K Ingleside logo.svg L Taraval logo.svg M Ocean View logo.svg N Judah logo.svg T Third Street logo.svg S Shuttle logo.svg Connects to F Market & Wharves and BART
Handicapped/disabled access Powell Street Financial District K Ingleside logo.svg L Taraval logo.svg M Ocean View logo.svg N Judah logo.svg T Third Street logo.svg S Shuttle logo.svg Connects to F Market & Wharves and BART
Handicapped/disabled access Civic Center/UN Plaza Civic Center K Ingleside logo.svg L Taraval logo.svg M Ocean View logo.svg N Judah logo.svg T Third Street logo.svg S Shuttle logo.svg Connects to F Market & Wharves and BART
Handicapped/disabled access Van Ness Civic Center and Tenderloin K Ingleside logo.svg L Taraval logo.svg M Ocean View logo.svg N Judah logo.svg T Third Street logo.svg S Shuttle logo.svg Connects to F Market & Wharves
Handicapped/disabled access Duboce and Church (inbound only) Duboce Triangle N Judah logo.svg No stops at this station outbound
Meets N Judah via a separate platform
Church and 14th (outbound)
Church and Market (inbound)
Duboce Triangle K Ingleside logo.svg L Taraval logo.svg M Ocean View logo.svg T Third Street logo.svg S Shuttle logo.svg* *Connects with K, L, M, T and S at the Church Street Station in the Market Street Subway
Connects with F Market & Wharves streetcar
Church and 16th Street Castro Connects with 22-Fillmore
Handicapped/disabled access Church and 18th Street Castro Connects with 33-Stanyan
20th Street Mission District Located on its own right-of-way in Dolores Park
Liberty Mission District Right-of-way
21st Street Noe Valley Right-of-way
Church and 22nd Street Noe Valley
Handicapped/disabled access Church and 24th Street Noe Valley Connects with 48-Quintara
Church and Clipper Noe Valley
Church and 27th Street Noe Valley
Church and 29th Street (inbound)
Church and Day (outbound)
Noe Valley
Handicapped/disabled access Church and 30th Street Noe Valley Connects with 24-Divisadero
30th Street and Dolores Bernal Heights Connects with 24-Divisadero
Handicapped/disabled access San Jose and Randall Bernal Heights Connects with 14-Mission, 49-Van Ness
San Jose and Bosworth (or San Jose/Glen Park) Glen Park Located across the street from the Glen Park BART station.
San Jose and Santa Rosa Mission Terrace
San Jose and Santa Ynez Mission Terrace
San Jose and Ocean Mission Terrace
San Jose and Santa Rosa Mission Terrace
Handicapped/disabled access Balboa Park Mission Terrace K Ingleside logo.svg M Ocean View logo.svg* Outbound terminus
Connects with BART via Muni Metro's mezzanine level
*Utilizes turn around shared with K Ingleside; within walking distance of M Ocean View

References[edit]

  1. ^ "TEP Route Data & Proposed Changes". San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-15. 
  2. ^ McKane, John; Perles, Anthony (1982). Inside Muni: The Properties and Operations of the Municipal Railway of San Francisco. Glendale, CA (US): Interurban Press. pp. 189–190. ISBN 0-916374-49-1. 
  3. ^ Modern Tramway (UK: Ian Allan Publishing): 430. December 1991. 

External links[edit]