3rd street rail mapSF MUNI (Municipal Railway) opened the “T-Third,” its new Third Street light rail line (on weekends only for now, with full service beginning in April) on January 13. (The new service is about a year behind schedule and $120 million over budget.)

In the early 20th century this was a busy streetcar route, so the new line restores a historic aspect of San Francisco. The route runs down the eastern side of the city, past the ballpark and along Third Street through the Bayshore Corridor. The northern end of this route is one of the up-and-coming areas of the city today, with a good mix of funky old buildings and new gentrification that has not yet killed the old flavor.

The 5.6-mile line also runs through some of the city’s poorest (and most isolated) neighborhoods, and it is hoped that improving public transit connections may bring a little help to these areas. As part of the project, Third Street was repaved, and new streetlights were added. Nineteen stations — high platforms similar to those along the Embarcadero along the N-Judah line — were also constructed.