My comment about the Boeing cars being notorious evoked this e-mail response from a long-time MUNI rider:

You mention in your article "A new fleet of high-tech Italian-built light rail cars is just now arriving to displace the NOTORIOUS Boeing cars.".. Who told you the BOEINGs are notorious? They're worn out, which is why they need a lot of maintenance. Notorious, no way. We like them, as do the drivers. The Italian BREDAs are notorious. We don't like them and don't want them because-

a) noise- they emit a high pitched, piercing sond which has cost a lot of money to try to get rid of (this disturbs everyone who lives near a streetcar line). It's not completely gone yet.
b) heavy- they cause the earth to shake. This is very upsetting, living in an earthquake area. Houses near the lines quiver when they pass.
c) slower
d) they're larger- problems with passing through tunnels at speed
e) aesthetically, they're ugly, like gigantic boxes
f) had problems with their electronics
g) a lot of irritating, whining warning noises inside, ie when raising/lowering steps, other situations (they hurt my ears as well as my brothers, others have also complained). The Boeings use bells= much better, but this can't be changed, they say.
h) many would rather buy American LRVs than give the jobs to foreigners.

So you see, we San Franciscans are not happy about the Bredas. Of course, it depends on who you talk to. City Hall has really tried hard to get us to embrace the BREDAs. Expect to see a preservation drive for the Boeing cars to crop up as they're phased out. I've ridden in both types, but I prefer the Boeings. Those I've talked to can't understand why City Hall insists on the Bredas. Some have even suggested kickbacks as the reason. Well, this has been a bit long, but I think you understand why I reacted on your statement concerning the Boeing cars.

Sincerely yours,

Michael Fahlman


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