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Peter Witt was a Cleveland Railway commissioner, who designed a model of streetcar, which is known by his name, and was used in many North American cities, most notably in Torontomarker and Clevelandmarker. Peter Witt cars were also built in Italymarker and used in several Italian cities, including Milanmarker, where 200 Ventotto (‘twenty-eight’) vehicles (introduced in 1928) are still in use up to this day. Additionally eleven ex-Milan cars can be seen today on the streets of San Franciscomarker, where they operate on the F Market & Wharves streetcar line.

This design was distinguished from other streetcars of the era by its use of the center door as an exit only, with a conductor stationed inside just in front of the door. Passengers could board through the front doors without waiting; they could pay the conductor immediately and sit in the rear of the car, or wait in front and pay just before they exit. This had the effect of reducing the car's dwell time at stops, improving schedule times and increasing capacity. Many vehicles were later converted to pay-as-you-enter operation in order to reduce the number of staff needed, but they continued to be known as ‘Peter Witt cars’.

Besides their continued use in day to day service in Milan and San Francisco, Peter Witt cars have been preserved in several locations. Gomaco Trolley Company, a US streetcar renovation specialist, has bought 70 ex-Milan cars which it is offering to museums and heritage streetcar operators.


This ex-Milan car, now operating in San Francisco, carries the two-tone green color scheme used by Milan from the 1930s to the 1970s.
This ex-Milan car in San Francisco car carries its original 1928 yellow and white color scheme.

Operators that used Peter Witt streetcars included:

Operator City Country
Ottawa Transportation Commission Ottawamarker, Ontariomarker Canadamarker
Toronto Transit Commission Torontomarker, Ontariomarker
Azienda municipalizzata Trasporti, ora G.T.T.

(Gruppo Torinese Trasporti)
Turinmarker Italymarker
Azienda Napoletana per la Mobilità Naplesmarker
Azienda Trasporti Milanesi Milanmarker
Servicio de Transportes Eléctricos Mexico Citymarker Mexicomarker
Porto Rico Railway, Light & Power Co. San Juanmarker Puerto Rico
Empresa Municipal de Transportes (EMT) Madridmarker Spainmarker
Brooklyn and Queens Transit New York, New Yorkmarker United Statesmarker
Chicago Surface Lines Chicago, Illinoismarker
Cleveland Railway Cleveland, Ohiomarker
Dallas Railway and Terminal Dallas, Texasmarker
Detroit Department of Street Railways Detroit, Michiganmarker
International Railway Co. Buffalo, New Yorkmarker
Los Angeles Railway Los Angeles, Californiamarker
Louisville Street Railway Louisville, Kentuckymarker
New York State Railways Rochester, New Yorkmarker
New York State Railways Syracuse, New Yorkmarker
Philadelphia Rapid Transit

Philadelphia Transportation Company
Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniamarker
Rochestrial and Rapid Transit Railway

(Rochester Subway)
Rochester, New Yorkmarker
San Francisco Municipal Railway

(F Market & Wharves historic streetcar line)
San Francisco, Californiamarker
St. Louis Public Service Co/United Railways St. Louismarker, Missourimarker
The United Railways and Electric Company

Baltimore Transit Company
Baltimore, Marylandmarker


In North America:

In Italy:

See also


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