Harvey Milk Day Volunteers Needed

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Were he still alive, Harvey Milk would turn 80 this coming Saturday. This year California will honor it as the first Harvey Milk Day and locally the Castro District will be celebrating one of our greatest local heroes with a full day of activities.
Market Street Railway is hosting an open house–or perhaps, open trolley is more appropriate–in no. 1051. The streetcar which is painted in Muni’s green and cream scheme of Harvey’s era made a brief appearance in the film Milk and was dedicated in 2008 to honor his transit advocacy. Muni has donated use of the trolley for the day and it will be parked at the corner of Market & Castro next to the F-line stop from 10am-5pm.

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We need volunteers to serve as docents onboard, selling merchandise and answering questions at our booth. Times are flexible, but 2-hour shifts start at 9:30 and those who volunteer for 4-hours or longer will receive one our brand new “F-line: ride me to the Castro” t-shirts.
We’ll have the t-shirts as well as other neighborhood related merchandise on sale at our booth on Saturday. Send an e-mail jamison@streetcar.org if you are interested in volunteering or would like to know more. Or drop by to learn more about Market Street Railway.

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Coming to Grips

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The Bold Italic is a site which shares local San Francisco knowledge, but it’s nothing like the star ratings and reviews found at Yelp. In Coming to Grips, Tara Ramroop shares the story of how she got hooked on cable cars.
Many of our readers will probably notice some factual mistakes — there are only three cable car lines, not four, and calling a cable car a trolley is a sin that ranks up there with using the word “Frisco.” But the important thing is her personal story of how she came to discover something that had been there the entire time.

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Bike to Work Day

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His Imperial Majesty Emperor Norton, traveled through his kingdom by bike.

In America today bicycles are often marginalized as just something used on the weekends for fun or sport, or for the kids to use until they are old enough to get their drivers license. Look at just about any street in America today and you’ll find the car is king with cyclists–if considered at all–are relegated to a dangerous and narrow strip between moving traffic and parked cars which can be deadly if a driver suddenly opens the door or pulls out without looking.
But before the cars was king, and before electric streetcars had their heyday, if you wanted to get around a city fast you used a bicycle. As safer and cheaper bicycles evolved they brought mobility to the masses; so much so that by 1896, Susan B. Anthony wrote that the bicycles, “…has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.”
As we begin to see the real impact of rebuilding our cities for the private automobile has on the environment, our commutes and schedules, our safety and our wallets, we’re also rediscovering the benefits of transit and cycling. Tomorrow, Bike to Work Day offers a good opportunity to anyone who’s considered biking to work, but been held back for one reason or another to give it a try.
Each year the San Francisco Bike Coalition organizes a day of activities, fueling stations, and valet parking to entice would be cyclists. For those who don’t know the bike routes–even through somewhat hilly parts of San Francisco there’s often a relatively flat route using quieter and safer side street–and prefer safety in numbers there will be organized convoys. For those who drive, remember many of the cyclists out there will be riding to work for the first time, so be extra careful as you share the road.

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10% Less Muni Service Starts Tomorrow

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Beginning tomorrow, Saturday, May 8th, Muni service will be significantly reduced. All routes will be effected with reduced frequency. Most of the community service routes such as the 35-Eureka and 37-Corbett will have reduced hours, ending at 9:30 and on weekends starting later.
Frequency guides are available onboard Muni vehicles (look for a blue and black pamphlet) and more information is available at SFMTA.com.

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More PCC Streetcars Leave for Restoration

Streetcar no. 1006 being readied to travel cross-country. Charles Darke photo. Still wearing the faded green and cream “wings” livery it had when it arrived new in 1948, streetcar no. 1006 left San Francisco last week to travel across the country to Pennsylvania for restoration. Late last week San Diego no. 1078 followed and so far four of the 16 PCC streetcars have made it to Pennsylvania’s Brookville Equipment Corporation for restoration with these two now on their way as… — Read More

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Photo of the Month: Heading in Opposite Directions

As Milan tram no. 1811 passes San Diego streetcar no. 1078 on Market Street. Telstar Logistics photo. Streetcars aren’t supposed to be on the surface of Market Street anymore. Those grates in the photo provide ventilation to the subway that opened in the 1970s for BART with Muni’s streetcar lines soon following on their own level as they converted from PCC streetcars to larger light-rail vehicles which could be coupled into trains. Only busses were supposed to continue running on… — Read More

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10% Muni Service Cuts Take Effect on May 8, 2010

Cable car tracks never to be used again. Walt Vielbaum photo. Public transit in San Francisco will be reduced dramatically on Saturday, May 8, 2010, when Muni service cuts take effect. Unlike the changes made last December — which included rerouting some lines and increases in service — these cuts only reduce frequency and shortened hours, but will not change routings. All lines will have some reduction in service. Overall it’s about a 10% cut in service which at peak… — Read More

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Last Call for 2011 Calendar Photo Submissions

For those of you interested in submitting photos for our 2011 Museums in Motion Calendar, the deadline to submit photos for the 2011 Museums in Motion calendar will be May 31, 2010. Please be sure you have posted any photos you’d like considered to Flickr and tagged them msrcalendarsubmission so we won’t miss them. We like to feature the newest members of the historic fleet each year, so we’re especially interested in photos of D.C. Transit streetcar 1076, Melbourne tram… — Read More

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Sunday Streets Returns to the Waterfront this Sunday

San Francisco’s popular street closure program returns for it’s third year this coming Sunday, March 14, on the Embarcadero between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. A large group of pedestrians and cyclists gathered during Sunday Streets when it expanded into the Mission District last year. Jamison Wieser photo. Sunday Streets is a smaller version of Bogata, Columbia’s wildly popular Ciclovía program which closes over 70 miles of roadway every Sunday and holiday to allow the public to walk, run, bike,… — Read More

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Photo of the Month: Ten Years of Wharf Service

The F-Market line extension from lower Market Street to Fisherman’s Wharf opened in March 2000. In the 10 years since, the vintage streetcars have been a boon to Wharf businesses, including Pier 39, the entertainment complex at the eastern edge of the Wharf area popular with tourists. Almost every hour is ‘rush hour’ on the F-line. After the sun goes down, when most other Muni routes draw sparse ridership, F-line streetcars are usually still packed, even late into the evening.… — Read More

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SFMTA Board Votes for 10% Muni Service Cut, Increased Fares

Yesterday, the SFMTA Board of Directors voted on a range of measures to begin close the year end deficit currently figured to be $12.1 million. The meeting ran over and will be continued until Tuesday, but some decisions were made on Friday including a 10% cut in Muni service. Unlike the changes made in December, no routes or segments of routes will be eliminated as happened with Decembers cuts and there will be no new or increased service to offset… — Read More

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SFMTA Board to Vote on Muni Service Cuts and Fare Hikes this Friday

At a meeting this Friday, February 26, the SFMTA Board of Directors will vote on a number of measures to cut Muni service and increase fares in order to fill a $16.9 million year-end deficit. Under the proposal posted online, Muni riders will be the hardest hit with a second round of service cuts and fare increases in less than a year. Monthly Senior/Disabled and Youth Fast Passes will increase by $10. This will be in addition to the 5… — Read More

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Calling for 2011 Calendar Submissions

Market Street Railway produces a calendar each year featuring San Francisco’s historic streetcars and cable cars. The Museums in Motion calendar is an important project to us as both a thank you to members (included with membership of $100 or more) to raise funds for our non-profit work preserving historic transit. We need your help to make the 2011 Museums in Motion calendar showcase both the streetcars and cable cars as part of the vibrant fabric of life in the… — Read More

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Bettering San Francisco’s Market Street

Last fall, San Francisco kicked off a year long improvement program for Market Street including art, music, greenery and running trial programs to improve traffic flow. While Muni busses and streetcars carry the most passengers, bikes account for well over half the total number of vehicles on Market Street. In 2013, Market Street is scheduled to be repaved and more than just laying asphalt, it’s an opportunity to make structural improvements such as widening or narrowing the sidewalks, relocate boarding… — Read More

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