After a spectacular restoration, a 1940s streetcar paying tribute to Philadelphia’s “Red Arrow” lines is again carrying passengers on the streets of San Francisco.
Author: Rick Laubscher
Cable car plea: fix the ficus
Wind and wet felled hundreds of trees in the Bay Area this winter, but one species in particular is dangerous to the cable cars. On March 21, most cable car lines were shut down by blown-down Ficus macrocarpa ‘Nitida’ trees and limbs.
Color cable car flashback
As part of our celebration of 150 Years of Cable Cars, we’re sharing clips and photos we’ve found online that take you back to earlier decades.
Muni Heritage Weekend: Sept. 23-24
Mark your calendars! We’ll be celebrating Muni Heritage Weekend on September 23 and 24 this year, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m or so each day. We’re back to a two-day event for the first time since 2019.
Melvin Van Peebles, Cable Car Gripman
We’ve written before of the many Black barrier breakers in San Francisco transit. These are stories that must be retold every month, not just Black History Month. People such as Mary Ellen Pleasant, Charlotte Brown, Audley Cole, Larry Martin, Welton Flynn, Curtis Green, and Maya Angelou confronted racism and resistance; all moved the needle in our City toward equity and equality, a fight that continues today.
Watch out for the wet
Streetcars and water don’t mix well. Electric motors don’t work when they’re soaked. Water coming down from the heavens – rain – no worries. But water coming up from beneath – flooded streets – not good.
Happy 110th Birthday, Muni
December 28, 1912. Fifty thousand San Franciscans gathered at Market and Geary Streets. Was it a presidential visit? No, it was the transit equivalent of a late visit from Santa. It was a new streetcar line.
Looking back – and forward
In 2023, we will celebrate 150 years of cable cars AND the 40th anniversary of the first Historic Trolley Festival that led to the permanent F-Market & Wharves vintage streetcar line.
You need to be here!
On Black Friday, San Francisco felt, well, BACK! Our Board chair Carmen Clark and I attended the kickoff for Union Square’s “Winter Wanderland”, with a European-style holiday market in Hallidie Plaza featuring live entertainment, with Union Square itself brighter than ever with the big Macy’s tree, the ice rink, and entertainment. Folks were enjoying it, as were the many SFPD officers very evident this holiday season.
It’s Big Game week in the Bay Area. (To those reading this from elsewhere, it’s our biggest college football rivalry: University of California, Berkeley, known to all its fans as simply Cal, vs. Stanford University. ) The first Big Game was in 1892, four years after cable car service started on Powell Street, one year after cable cars started running on Hyde.
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