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.

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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.

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Farewell to fabulous photographer Fred Lyon

If there’s a special heaven for photographers, greats like Dorothea Lange, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ansel Adams, O. Winston Link, and many others are welcoming San Francisco’s Fred Lyon, who captured the essence of this city in the mid-20th century in images just as brilliantly as Herb Caen captured it in words.

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Hayes Street: transit since 1860

Muni’s 21-Hayes bus line returned to service on July 9, 2022 after a 27-month pandemic suspension. Early in the pandemic, Muni management hoped that the crisis might give them an opportunity to rationalize the network by permanently shutting down some of the parallel routes that dated back to the 19th century. The 21 was one of several lines, including the 2-Clement and 6-Parnassus, on that list.

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Getting high on the 6-line

The 6-Haight-Parnassus trolley coach line returned to service July 9, 2022, after being shut down since the start of the Covid pandemic in Spring 2020. We recounted the history of this line in our exclusive member magazine, Inside Track, in 2019. We hope readers who enjoy this story will join us or donate, so we can keep telling stories like this.

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The 2, truncated

On Saturday, July 9, Muni restarted service on several routes with long histories that were shut down at the beginning of the Covid pandemic; routes that at least some in Muni hoped would not come back at all. SFMTA’s blog has the whole list of Muni routes resurrected on July 9. We focus here on one of those routes, the 2-line, with a long history and possibly cloudy future. (We’ve also covered two other resurrected historic routes: the 6-line and the 21-line in other posts.)

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Finding room to run

NOTE: In late June 2022, a pandemic-delayed memorial service was held for Art Curtis, retired Muni Chief Inspector, long-time Market Street Railway Secretary and Board Member, and stalwart volunteer for many nonprofit groups. Art, who passed away in 2020 just after reaching his goal of his 80th birthday, was a great storyteller, and he had some good ones! A number of years ago, we asked him to share this one in our member magazine, “Inside Track”.

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Celebrating Muni operators

March 18 is Transit Driver Appreciation Day. Operating transit vehicles is a challenging job, in any environment. The past two years, it has been more challenging than ever in San Francisco, given justified concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus along with all the other issues they encounter every day.  In our member magazine, Inside Track, we gave a shout out in 2020 to three vintage streetcar operators, emblematic of the many who show love for San Francisco’s historic transit vehicles and offer their riders great service.

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Completing a century: Muni 1983-2012

Exterior of Washington Mason Cable Car House and Powerhouse During Reconstruction of Cable Car System | December 29, 1983

Final installment of our six part series on Muni’s birth and first century.

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