California Street Cable Car Extension?

californiastreet-1-sfmta.jpg

San Francisco Municipal Railway photo.

We’ve had a number of recent comments on the blog about possible cable car extensions. Ever since 1954, when the cable car system was cut in half, there has been talk now and again of “making it right,” most specifically restoring the outer portion of the California line, which used to run through Pacific Heights all the way to Presidio Avenue, instead of ending at Van Ness as it has since.

There’s no question that the California line is underused as it is, but what to do about it? Here, briefly, are options that have been discussed in the past. What they all have in common is the goal of ending the line at some kind of current or potential attraction or trip generator.

California-Hyde

This almost happened in 1954: combine the inner end of the Cal line to the outer (northern) end of the old O’Farrell, Jones & Hyde line, taking riders from the Ferry to Aquatic Park via the Financial District, Chinatown, Nob Hill, and Russian Hill. (The Washington-Jackson line would have kept running west to Steiner, so we would not have gotten a Powell-Hyde line.) This could still be done, though tricky technically, giving us both Powell-Hyde and Cal-Hyde lines. There was some talk of enabling this during the 1983-84 cable car system reconstruction, but it would have required environmental studies that would have delayed the whole replacement project, so it was held in abeyance.

Extension to Japantown

This idea has come up a few times: extend the Cal cable west to either Buchanan or Webster, then south to Japantown. As Japantown has evolved and, many say, lost its special flavor, talk of this option has waned. A variation on this idea would terminate the line near FIllmore and Geary in the Fillmore Jazz District.

Extension to Civic Center

Mayor WIllie Brown proposed this early in his term: turning the Cal cars south on Polk to Civic Center, terminating somewhere near City Hall to serve the Asian Art Museum, Library, and other public institutions.

Extensions terminating farther west on California

Given the attractiveness of the portion of Fillmore Street near California as a shopping area, some have proposed terminating the line at Fillmore, or at Steiner where it could connect to the 1-California trolley bus. Others advocate taking it even farther west, running side-by-side with the 1-line to the Cal cable’s original terminal at Presidio Avenue.

What do you think?

Here’s your chance to tell us what you think about Cal cable extensions. But a serious caveat: this is not the place for dreamers who like to spin out their fantasies completely out of touch with reality. We’d like to see comments that put some thought into how to deal with the very real constraints that apply. For example:

  • ADA: the current cable car system is exempt by Act of Congress from compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The only other transit line I know of that shares this exemption is the St. Charles streetcar line in New Orleans, because of the combination of the established history of the lines and the historic fabric of the vehicles themselves. New lines, even those using historic vehicles (such as Muni’s F and future E lines) must provide disabled access. How would you address this issue?
  • Labor costs and fares: cable cars require two-person crews, doubling the labor cost over bus or streetcar service. The longer the extension, the higher the cost with little likely extra fare revenue, since visitors generally ride the lines end-to-end.
  • Duplication of service: Muni is trying to rationalize its service grid through its Transit Effectiveness Project. Any westward extension of the Cal cable would be parallel service with the 1-California bus which runs one block north on Sacramento Street as far west as Steiner, then on California Street itself. The 1-line is proposed as part of the “rapid network,” the highest priority type of route. How would you justify the cost of a parallel service?
  • Capital cost: Cable car extensions are very costly because of the depth of excavations needed for the trackway and cable vault, requiring extensive utility relocation. In addition, the current California cable is very close to its maximum feasible length, meaning another cable would be needed to power the extension, which in turn would require an additional set of winding machinery in a new location somewhere along the extension. How would you finance this extension? A general-obligation bond or new tax requiring two-thirds voter approval? Allowing a significant new development of some kind (like higher densities in Japantown) in exchange for developer financing of all or part of the extension?
  • Not in my back yard: I’ve heard people dismiss the idea of NIMBYs opposing a restoration westward on California since, “Cable cars used to run there.” Yeah, 54 years ago. What arguments would you use to overcome NIMBY resistance?
  • Alliance-building: Remember that the City Charter specifies the routes and levels of operation of cable car service, a measure put in to protect the existing system from any further cutbacks. Any change to the current system requires a vote of the people. What kinds of groups and interests could advocates of your extension convince to join them to mount a successful ballot measure for the extension. (For example, the F-line coalition included the Chamber of Commerce, SPUR, Castro Merchants, Market Street Merchants, Market Street Railway, and others.)

Other constraints, such as the number of cars allowed for the cable system as part of its National Historic Landmark status, are real and potentially serious, but probably too technical for this discussion. Assume that Muni craftsworkers could build the additional cars needed for your extension, just as they build replacement cars for the current system today. But also assume that your proposal would have to be strong enough to enlist the city’s “heavy hitters” in Washington (specifically, Pelosi and Feinstein) to overcome any federal bureaucratic resistance to extensions made to a landmarked system.

Keeping these caveats in mind, let’s hear your ideas. Those who think there’s grassroots support for such an extension are encouraged to forward this entry to other SF blogs and encourage their readers to chime in as well.

Comments: 30

  1. Extend California line north on Van Ness
    Here’s an idea, if they ever fix Van Ness, put in cable car track in the busway. The cable cars would share the lanes with the buses, using the same stops. I figure it probably isn’t going to delay the buses, since at $5, not a lot of people will be getting on or off the cable cars. At the end of Van Ness, the cable cars would split from the busway into a terminal like the Hyde line has. Bonus extension would be to go over or around the hill to Fort Mason and the Marina.

  2. Here are some initial thoughts. I will post more later.
    ADA: Why would this be technically considered a new route if the existing route and technology is just expanded? That way, the cable car system could continue to be ADA-exempt. Granted, this isn’t a solution for disabled Americans but it would help get the project going faster.
    Labor Costs and Fares: This is a tough nut to crack specifically because cable car fares are already very high ($5 one way) but I think the answer lies in finding revenue outside of the cable car system aka. the historic street fleet (F-Market & Wharves and E-Embarcadero when launched). These two historic fleets could also charge $5/person much like the cable cars to recoup money for the entire historic transit system in general. We already know F Market is too busy and this could help stemy some demand while adding quite a bit new revenue for more gripman and crew that the extended cable car line would demand. Having some sort of uniform fee system for the historic vehicles I think would help draw in more money for expansion, renovation of new cars, etc.
    Duplication of service: SF tourists do not frequent city buses nearly as much as historic vehicles. This could help take a lot of activity off the 1-California line that accesses a lot of places that tourists have a hard time getting to.
    Capital costs: I think the only solution that would not bring the NIMBYs out in full force is have a bond measure or 2/3 voted-tax hike. How do we start this process? Creating new density would be ideal, but I think that would have a lot of resistance from the communities in question.
    Having said that, developer financing makes a lot of sense, if the community would tolerate it.
    NIMBYism: This is going to be a huge problem but it will only get worse in my view. We have to tackle it head on and make a firm alliance of businesses that want the project. I think our best best is the merchants on Fillmore, who I think would benefit quite a deal from better access for tourists and visitors who refrain taking 1-California.
    To tackle NIMBYism we will have to convey to the local people that a new transit/rail line enhances their property values and invests in the local businesses of theri community. I think that is the only way people would sign on, if they think it will attract tourism and spending to help local businesses.
    Getting the heavy hitters in Washington on board depends solely on building a firm alliance for the project. Pelosi and Feinstein will sign on provided the community demonstrates that it wants it. That is step one. Targeting the Merchants on Fillmore and maybe even the Japantown community would be a good first step. Additionally, I am going to raise this issue to the candidates running for District 3 supervisor. Since Aaron Peskin is term-limited, this is a good opportunity to hear some bold views on transit in the city.
    On routes:
    I think Cal-Hyde would probably be most feasible, technically because as you say, some of the O’Farrell, Jones, and Hyde tracks are still up and running. Would this be a little overkill though if the E-Embarcadero goes to Ft. Mason/Aquatic Park vicinity? I think this line has the best chance and is probably cheapest to get up. However, I think it would be hard to find a firm alliance for this route because this area already has some nearby historic transit routes (F Market & PH & PM)
    I do think, optimally, we should try to get this line to Presidio Avenue (and I think that has the best chance of getting a firm merchant alliance). Having said that, that is the hardest route by far.
    The trick is to find and build a firm business alliance for the project. I think Fillmore Street area is our best bet. I’ll post more on this later, but these are just some initial thoughts.

  3. @thamsenman – quick answer to your question above: any route extensions are subject to ADA unless the law is amended in Congress.

  4. @Rick
    When we talk about ADA are we basically saying the vehicles need to be wheelchair accessible? Has there ever been attempt to do this with the cable cars? How would that work exactly?

  5. For a “study in depth” of cable cars in general and the SF survivors in particular, I recommend “The Cable Car in America” by George W. Hilton. It explains the development and disappearance of cable-hauled street railways, and enumerates some of their limitations. There was mention of having to build another powerhouse for an extension of Cal Cable–until the great rearrangement of the mid-50’s their powerhouse was at California & Hyde, which later became the site of a supermarket. Not sure what’s there now, but if the property were available, that would be the place; at least we know that a cable from that location to Presidio Ave. would work.

  6. @thamsenman – Yes, vehicles have to be able to accommodate a wheelchair under ADA. I myself have no idea how it could be done, if it’s possible at all with cable cars because of their small size and the need for clear spaces for gripmen and conductors to work. Someone else might. As far as I know, a formal ADA program for the cable cars has never been studied by Muni, probably because of the Congressional exemption.

  7. @Rick
    Wow, that’s a big obstacle. I’m not sure how that could work or even if it would be safe for people in wheelchairs to ride the cable car. That could make difficult a local ballot initiative, because, if approved it would immediately clash with federal ADA law and then MUNI and the federal government would be in some sort of quagmire to figure it out.
    One way to do it would be to get a federal bill or earmark inserted in some sort of transportation bill by one of the “big Washington guns” as you noted like Nancy Pelosi or Dianne Feinstein that would 1) fund the project and/or 2) allow the cable car extension to be ADA-exempt in congruence with the existing ADA exemption for the cable-car.
    The speaker of the house is our representative so I think that would certainly aid us in getting large, bold, transit projects funded. With firm community backing, Pelosi easily secured the money.
    Getting the route west to Presidio Avenue, I think, could have a lot of popular backing among the Pacific Heights merchants who have more difficulty competing with the touristy neighborhoods like Chinatown, North Beach, Castro, Russian Hill, and Financial District basically parts of the city that are closer to the major transit arteries of San Francisco (i.e. near Muni metro, F Market, PH, PM, existing california line, bart). A business alliance of the Fillmore Street merchants, I think would be ideal for this project.
    Rick, I assume you think Cal-Hyde is most feasible because the old O’Farrell, Jones, and Hyde tracks are there?

  8. @thamsenman-Well, I haven’t heard what the point of Presidio Avenue is. It directly duplicates the 1-line bus west of Steiner and I don’t see what’s there that’s any more of a destination than Van Ness. Fillmore, maybe, but again, there’s the question of paying for it. There is a real shortage of money for transit projects right now, and lots of other projects “in line” with powerful backers already lined up.
    Perhaps someone (or ones) will take something like this on. Yes, the Cal-Hyde line would be simpler, but still very difficult in today’s environment, in my opinion anyway.

  9. I don’t get the point of the Cal-Hyde line since you’d have to find a way to reverse the cable car back downtown, and you’d be duplicating the PH line. I think it’s fine the way it is, except that it could use a little bit worth its buck, and I thought the cable cars were ADA-exempt!
    Also I still think the cal cable cars should still be in service when they pull in/pull out just like the F. I actually remember this scene where this lady and possibly his employee (rich, btw) attempting to get on a cable car. They argued with the conductor until the conductor agreed to let them on. After the conductor charged them 5$, they said it was some kind of an outrage, because they were somewhat old, rich, and obnoxious.

  10. I don’t know that an extended California line would truly be a duplication of service parallel to the 1 California. Here’s why: Riding the 1 California line can really suck if you’re relying on it as a resident. I house-sat for a few months at Washington and Taylor, and would use the California line for grocery shopping as its climbing capabilities were way better than a trolley bus.
    Right now the California Cable Car line doesn’t really do much for either commuters OR tourists, and I remember riding it and seeing it empty out once it hit Grace Cathedral. If it at least went back to where it used to, maybe to Fillmore at the very least, it would connect a downtown touristy area through some awesome historical spots and end up at Fillmore or a little past there.
    As for ADA, I dunno, but if we can’t get Our Speaker and Our Senators on the case to shut down the litigious lawyers and their nonsense, then the project is DOA anyway.
    As for getting it passed, via the voters, I’d simply run it on a campaign of “let’s get it right this time.” That’s a raw concept, it’d need some polish, but I’d make the case that SF more or less frakked up bigtime when they voted to “save” the system and got hoodwinked into gutting it, and this would be a way to restore a living landmark.
    Put it another way – if Philadelphia accidentally voted to demolish 1/2 of Independence Hall and had a chance to vote to fix that mistake, dontcha think they’d do it?

  11. Rebuild the Hyde-Jones line and have a Market-Aquatic Park line that intersects with the California line at the site of the old barn, now Cala. Mid-Market needs a shot in the arm, and this would be it. Don’t think of now, think of ten years out. The old Hibernia Bank at Jones/Market would be the terminus.
    I also like the extension to Fillmore on California.
    For ADA, seriously, I’d look to design a new car, to be distributed equally on all lines, that would be accessible. Not all cars, but a small number of new cars to be interspersed with the existing service that would allow people to experience the cable car while accommodating their access. No clue what it would look like, maybe a low center, but imagine a worldwide competition for designs. Respect the old design, don’t copy it, but update it.

  12. ADA: Michael Kiesling’s idea is a non-starter: ADA says that access has to be equivalent for disabled and non-disabled – having to wait 20 minutes vs. 10 minutes would not fly. Exemption is the only option IMHO.
    Routes:
    – surely the Cal-Hyde option is the only low-cost solution (all the tracks and cables exist already). Maybe someone can tell why this was not done in 1954? Rick – why do you say it’s difficult? It’s used every day to shuttle the Cal cars back home.
    – I’d also suggest nixing Powell-Hyde at the same time.
    – Michael: Hyde-Cal-Jones-Market is a non-starter as Jones is one-way, right? Likewise everything between Polk and Powell. Or would you run one-way on Jones and back up on Taylor or Leavenworth perhaps?
    – Go Willie!: Polk, south of Cal is a much better bet than Jones: lots of new building happening on Polk and Van Ness, especially down near Market (and the 19-Polk is overloaded down there whilst almost empty north of Cal).
    – Van Ness is out of the question (do CCs count as “rapid transit”?)
    [Disclaimer: I manage properties at both Pine/Polk and Hyde/Bay so have a vested interest in having both locations well-served by downtown routes.]

  13. @ Transit First — the trackwork used for Cal cable car movements to and from the barn at Washington and Mason isn’t set up for through running on Hyde. So for starters, you’d have to rework all that track: feasible but expensive.
    More expensive/less feasible is trying to keep the current California line to Van Ness and add a Cal-Hyde line too. To try to run both lines, you’d need to lay “gauntlet track” (side by side tracks, each with its own cable) running eastbound (uphill) on California from Hyde to the top of the Hill at Jones. And you’d need a separate winder for that second cable.
    The only way to get around that would be to actually combine the two lines into one: From Market, the car would run west on California, north on Hyde to the terminal (and to the other poster, note: in the 1984 rebuilding, Muni put crossover tracks at the outer Powell terminals to allow the Cal cars — too long for the turntables — to be used there). The line would then return via Hyde to California but then “detour” WEST on on California from Hyde (using the existing pull-out track) up to Van Ness, then reverse ends and head back EAST on California to Market to complete the trip.
    This arrangement would mean six extra blocks of running, but most riders wouldn’t mind if the turnaround at Van Ness was quick, and it would still cover all of the current California Street trackage, which might POSSIBLY allow for an exemption from ADA since no new blocks of track are actually constructed, and might also avoid a vote of the people, since by keeping all the current California Street trackage, you’d still be in compliance with the City Charter.

  14. This may have already been said, but, regarding ADA compliance, if the existing line is exempt from ADA regulations, it makes little sense to force any extension of that line to conform to ADA requirements. Given that the historic cars would still be used, those with compromised mobility would, at best, only have use of the extension, and, at worst, be left stranded on the car once on the existing route.

  15. Are amusement park rides subject to ADA? Roller-coasters? Ski-lifts and gondolas?
    Maybe there is a way to re-classify the cable car system as something other than public transit?
    Regarding the destination – Fillmore st. is the obvious choice.

  16. An extension to Fillmore along California sounds like the most promising idea, since Fillmore has a lot of foot traffic and the area is also interesting for tourists who currently usually don’t make it there.
    To extend the line along California shouldn’t be a problem since the road is wide enough, and actually had a cable car line until fifty years ago… as far as the ADA and congressional approval is concerned, since it is just an extension to an existing line along a prior historic route, I doubt that there is a large hurdle for such an extension in congress.
    The only issue I can’t figure out is where to put the probably necessary cable wheel house. Is there a city-owned parking lot or something like that near California and Fillmore?

  17. This may actually be the opposite of “extending the Cal line”, but the most intriguing of the ideas put forth so far in my mind is the Cal-Hyde line … more specifically, merging the Powell-Hyde and California Street lines into a single Cal-Hyde line, and consolidating the system yet again down to two simple cable car lines: the Powell-Mason and the California-Hyde.
    There are several possible advantages to such a system that immediately come to mind, not the least of which would be improved distribution of ridership between the lines (and probably improved service as well), as the California line would instantly become much more popular, with a greater ability to swallow crowds (at $5 a pop).
    Other than the “loss” of another cable car line, what would the major negatives of that two-line system really be?

  18. under NO circumstance should the reduction of cable car lines be explored!!! Adding a Cal-Hyde line sounds like a promising idea and extending the Cal line to Fillmore/Japan town is an excellent idea, only if Muni obtains an ADA exemption for the extension (I am against altering rolling pieces of art).

  19. David makes a really good point: two cable cars lines along really good routes would better serve riders than the current three where one goes nowhere and the other two share much of their route and end up in relatively the same place.
    The previous commenter responded with an all caps no, but didn’t give a reason why not? Going to Japantown/Fillmore would certainly make it worth keeping the California line, but that doesn’t seem realistic considering, not just ADA requirements, but also the political reality that San Franciscans always seem to turn out in force to oppose any new construction or additional Muni service on their streets and neighborhoods. Usually this seems to follow them demanding Muni improve service on their streets and neighborhoods.
    So if there as a California-Hyde line, only the double ended California cars would be able to use it since it would only have a turntable at the Aquatic Park end. Would it be feasible (or even a good idea to being with) to add a turntable at Ferry Plaza end so both types of cars could be used on the California-Hyde line?

  20. @David
    That idea makes a lot of sense. It is sort of silly to have two lines going the same place. A Cal-Hyde and Powell-Mason line would really make a lot of sense and probably be feasible as well.

  21. One other thing:
    There is a Muni Community Meeting at City Hall on September 16th at 4:00 PM.
    Everyone who supports an extension or change of the Cal line should attend this meeting and make your views known. Also if you support getting the E-line on quicker please come.
    I’m going to be there and in addition to this, I’m going to bring up
    1. Central Subway Extension
    2. Getting the E-line going

  22. I would like to hear input about why MUNI should eliminate the Powell and Hyde line in lieu of a Cal-Hyde line. Both lines can serve the Hyde portion of the route very easily. And it would be great to have two different styles of train (double end and single end) running on the Hyde portion. Also it would give riders an additional routing option heading downtown (Embarcadero or Powell).
    One thing that has not been brought up is the fact that there are only a handful of California cars (double enders) and definately not enough trains to properly support all of the California and Hyde portions. Therefore MUNI would have to build more double end trains and find a place to store all of the unused single end trains.

  23. @C.D.: They will usually store unused trains at Pier 80 or probably Woods Division.
    This might not really be feasible because, yes, more double-ended cars will be needed. But one thing I don’t know is why not link two single-ended trains back to back like this:
    Yes they will need to be de-linked when they turn around on both switchbacks, so that will be an issue

  24. More double ended cars really wouldn’t be an issue, since Muni now builds replacement Cal cars from scratch, mostly. Like the rest of any extension plan, it’s really about the money and overcoming ADA objections, etc.

  25. Hmmm … this is interesting. I am a member of Market St Railway, although I live in Wellington, New Zealand. I visited SF on a study tour of rail transit in 2003 (and several times since) and lived in Cable Car Courts on California St. The line was my daily commute for 2 weeks – not an experience many NZers have had. I also produce Tramway Topics, NZ’s tramway journal which often carries San Francisco news.
    We have cable cars in Wellington, too – although a funicular system on private ROW – and trolleybuses. They have level boarding because old-looking but actually modern cars replaced the 1902 stock in 1979.
    I sympathise re the ADA issue. Level-boarding – stepless access – is a given for new light rail (and other rail) transit and if mandated for a California St extension has to be engineered in to the system. Given that new cars will be required anyway, is it not possible to design the cars for level boarding from low street platforms (like the Superstops now taking over the Melbourne, Australia, tram system) and dispatch, say, every 3rd car as a new level boarding car?
    Many trolley enthusiasts are a bit head-in-the-sand over ADA (or equivalent) issues, but I believe that with a bit of ingenuity a solution can be found that looks good historically but meets 21st century access expectations.

  26. There should never be any operable cable cars or historic trolleys sitting idle and stored they should all be on the rails in revenue service for the public to enjoy!

  27. I used to live on California and I could never understand why the Cable Car rails just end on Van Ness. It really doesn’t make any sense. There is always a couple of tourist standing there wondering what they are doing in this nowhere place protecting themselves from the winds blowing on Van Ness. I think that Railway is loosing money by operating this portion of the California line that doesn’t take the tourists really anywhere. There is such a great potential in extending the line to Filmore/Japan Town area! Japan Town plaza is just asking for something like this. There isn’t really any attractive way to get to that part of the city. Whatever the obstacles are I see that it could be such an attractive ride that it’s really worth to extend the line. Even more so if the line would make a loop somehow to run alongside Broadway. There are some incredible views from Broadway down Filmore (looking north) and other intersecting streets onto the north part of the city and the bay. It would make a great rote!

  28. Japantown & Fillmore would be a great idea, though the area also needs light rail service on Geary. Cable Cars can only bring in so many people, the $5 one-way ticket is discouraging and God help the tourist who is willing to brave the run down and overpacked 38 busses.
    Something obvious being overlooked though is to improve California at Market to make it a place worth visiting. Polk has improved quite a bit in the last few years and Van Ness is going to be a lot better once the busway goes in. If the city threw the same kind of resources behind it they’ve put into China Basin, Rincon Hill, Octavia, etc… they could really make something of the area. Get rid of the car dealerships and put something worthwhile in.

  29. I live on the Hyde Line and the joy in tourists faces is clear whether coming from the Wharf or going to the Wharf. Hyde Street has a dramatic ending with Lombard Streets winding road and the sweeping views of the Bay from the East Bay to the Golden Gate. Riding back to Union Square lets the riders know they have arrived in the vital hub of The City. THIS LINE IS WORTH $6.00!
    The Mason line back to Union Square is a good deal. But going to the Wharf, the Mason ends with no flair. Still it parks you right there in the Wharf and tourists can live with that.
    The one that baffles the tourists is the Cal Line. Leaving Van Ness and riding to the financial district is an impressive ride. Climbing up to Nob Hill is great with Grace Cathedral, Huntington Park and the grand old hotels. The view past Powell Street and thrilling ride past the Ritz with a key stop at Grant Street for Chinatown strolling sparkles all the way to its terminus in the financial district.
    But going to Van Ness on the Cal Line starts out great but is by far the worse ending for the rider. Once past Jones Street there is not much more. Maybe it should have ended at Polk and we could send the tourists down that street for shopping, wine bars, restaurants, a walk to the Wharf and etc. Polk is not a strong enough ending.
    When they land at Van Ness, the tourists look around shocked that $6.00 dumped them on a major commuter expressway with no destination to speak of. Then they wait for the 49 bus or walk to the wharf. $8.00 each with bus fare. For large families that not worth it.
    Budget and politics are the only parts of the Cal Line extension that is holding back my imagination. In the world we live in, there is only one extension that could happen if there was an extension to happen.
    I cannot imagine the process and red tape to get a budget approved before breaking ground. Then it will take so long that the costs will have soared so the project will be cut/scaled back and etc.
    The only move to be made would be to extend further on California over one more hill to a NEW TERMINUS AT FILMORE. Cable Cars are for Hills, not to ride down the dirty side of Polk. Turn a Market Street Trolly Up Polk and have the G Line to go with the F. One ends in Castro and one in the Wharf at Polk.
    For the Cable Car: the Presidio Street Terminus sounds great but what all is there for tourists to see when they land except a nice strip mall and the JCC? That much more track would cost that much more money and would never get approved.
    Filmore has upscale and casual boutiques, top rated restaurants all along the street (Dosa and Elite Cafe and etc.), Kabuki movie theaters, music venues down the block aka the Fillmore, Yoshi’s, Boom Boom Room, JAPANTOWN 4 BLOCKS AWAY AT POST STREET and etc. The Cable Cars run late enough for people to enjoy a show and ride back to the downtown hotels.
    That kind of tourist pamphlet with a map of the street and business locations would be easily produced and quickly distributed to every hotel in SF and every shop on Filmore. If tourists walk to Broadway there is a killer view of the bay.
    I believe that going to Filmore would steal away many 1 California bus locals from Filmore to its terminus downtown during commuter hours for those who load the fast pass on their Clipper Card and ride cable cars for free.
    The straight extension to Filmore would be the easiest to put through financially. It would give a great street a major weekday economic lift and I believe that tourists and locals would enjoy the many things that Filmore has to offer and it would be worthy of the $14 ride from downtown (estimated cost by the time the expansion is completed). Also many busses run on Filmore and tourists will be able to easily explore the city from that point on the map.
    UNREALISTIC: If I could dream, I would turn the Cal line right on Filmore and go down to Chestnut Street and turn left and end at the Palace of Fine Arts on Lyon Street and the Exploratorium. Passing lots of great shops/food/nightlife at Union Street, Chestnut and ending someplace people actually want to be.

Comments are closed.