Short Film About the 17th Street Plaza

Streetsblog SF has posted a short film about the temporary Castro & 17th Street Plaza which is currently a pilot project to test the feasibility of a permanent closure.
There was plenty of skepticism of the project all around, but just as with the interviews in the film, we’ve heard positive things from the Muni Operators who no longer have to contend with traffic coming at them from every which way.

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News Muni Fares Take Effect Wednesday

fare-increases-2009.pngRemember that both Muni and BART fares will be going up starting July 1.
As of this Wednesday a trip on Muni will become $2.00 ($0.75 for senior, disabled and youth riders) and exact change is required to pay as you board vehicles so be sure you have extra quarters or dollar bills. Monthly Fast Pass prices are also going up, but work out to be a better value for those who ride Muni more than 10 days per month.
Muni fare increase information
Fast Pass sales information and locations
BART fare increase information
Cable Car fares won’t go up further and do not require any additional fare for monthly Fast Pass holders.

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Harvey Milk Remembered

Harvey Milk Dedication onboard Streetcar 1051

Until the Academy Award winning film “Milk” was released, Harvey Milk was not very well known outside San Francisco. For the upwards of 500,000 who have traveled to San Francisco this weekend for the annual Gay Pride Celebration, it was almost certainly “required viewing” and they will find a very familiar looking city since it was filmed entirely on location.

Some may even get to ride one of the film’s props, the green and cream colored streetcar which appeared in a scene were protestors marching to City Hall and can be found nearly every day on the F-Market & Wharves historic streetcar line.

Streetcar No. 1051Streetcar No. 1051 turning at the corner of Noe & Market, one block from Castro. Jamison Wieser Photo.

“Milk” focused on Harvey Milk’s gay rights activism, but if all he had was the gay vote he wouldn’t have likely won a seat on the Board of Supervisors. Harvey was interested in every issue that affected his district, from school closures and child care to dog poop.

He also championed public transit, being the first district Supervisor to ride Muni every day using the then-new monthly FastPass. That is an issue close to our hearts at Market Street Railway and even if it’s not what he’s best known for, we think it’s important we remember him as for that part of his persona as well.

Several years ago, Market Street Railway president Rick Laubscher had put forward the idea of dedicating one of the San Francisco streetcars to Harvey and when the preview trailer for Milk was released last year including the scene with streetcar no. 1051 it was the perfect opportunity. We contacted the Castro’s Supervisor, Bevan Dufty, who loved the idea.

When we made the announcement at our board meeting, a long-time Muni employee in the audience spoke up, sounding choked up as he declared Harvey Milk was the strongest advocate Muni has ever had on the Board of Supervisors. We saw the same sentiment from everyone who Market Street Railway worked with at the SFMTA and City Hall to make this dedication and onboard memorial happen.

For those who’ve only recently come to know about Harvey Milk as a LGBTQ rights pioneer, we hope a ride onboard no. 1051 would be a chance to learn more about this multi-faceted hero.

» About Muni Streetcar No. 1051
» PCC Streetcar Makes a Cameo in Harvey Milk Movie

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Cable Car No. 15 Makes its Debut

Destination SignRibbon CuttingReturning to the Car Barn after its first run

From 1893-1902 the cable cars of the Powell-Mason line were painted in a yellow and red livery of our namesake, the Market Street Railway Company. The original car no. 15 would have been painted in this livery when it entered service in 1894, so its only fitting its replacement be painted in honor of predecessor. Yesterday’s debut was very well attended and you’ll find many more photos in our Flickr photo group of no. 15’s debut.

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New Cable Car Rolls Out Today

The latest addition to the Powell Street “vintage livery” fleet hits the streets for the first time today (Monday, June 22), with a public ceremony at 10:45 a.m. at the Cable Car Barn, Washington and Mason Streets to unveil newly built car No. 15. The Chronicle touts it this morning with lots of detail on its construction. Click on the thumbnail below by Carmen Magana of the SFMTA for a big, glorious view. Rather than repeating the Chronicle’s details, we’ll… — Read More

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Reunifying the Wharf, Extending the F-line to Fort Mason

While National Park lands are a major destination of the planned streetcar extension to Fort Mason, connecting western Fisherman’s Wharf to regional transit and the rest of the waterfront is a big benefit as well. Market Street Railway illustration, Robert Campbell photo. Did the F-line split Fisherman’s Wharf in two? Anecdotal evidence suggests it might have, albeit accidentally, to the detriment of the western part of the Wharf area. But a solution is at hand: an extension of vintage streetcar… — Read More

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Streetcars Get A New Life in San Diego

Three ex-Muni PCC cars are being slowly but steadily readied for a new life down the coast in San Diego. That city’s now-iconic red ‘trolleys’ (actually light rail vehicles) represented the first new American urban surface rail system in decades in 1980. Much expanded, the San Diego Trolley remains one of the great rail success stories. San Diego Vintage Trolley volunteers, including Market Street Railway members Dennis Frazier (second from right) and Dave Slater (right), pose with (left-right) Chuck Bencik,… — Read More

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Sponsored Streetcars?

Should Muni’s vintage streetcars and iconic cable cars be open for sponsorship by corporations or other groups willing to pay for the privilege? One of the agency’s Board members has asked Executive Director Nat Ford to look into it, and he’s in the process of doing that now. Initial press coverage seemed skeptical, but Director Malcolm Heinicke says he’s just talking about discreet identification of a sponsor’s name on the vehicles. Market Street Railway is all for Muni trying to… — Read More

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