San Francisco has awarded just about its highest civic honor to a beloved honorary son, the late Tony Bennett. As morning fog chilled the air on Valentine’s Day, Mayor London Breed was joined high on a hill – Nob Hill – by Bennett’s wife Susan Benedetto, SFMTA/Muni leaders and workers, VIPs, and friends of the cable cars – to dedicate California Street Cable Car 53 to the singer who drew untold millions of visitors to the City and its cable cars with his rendition of “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”.
UPDATE, July 9 — Today and tomorrow (July 9 & 10), a Milan tram will be the vintage vehicle on the waterfront. Pull out from Cameron Beach Yard at 9:20 a.m. It will shuttle between the Ferry Building and Pier 39. It’s not supposed to linger at Pier 39 or go all the way to the Wharf, so it can cover the heaviest part of the line more efficiently. Please send us an email (email@example.com) if you see something different.
On June 23, 1983, Mayor Dianne Feinstein joined a mix of dignitaries, neighborhood folks and railfans at Castro and 17th Streets to inaugurate the first San Francisco Historic Trolley Festival.
The Mayor was there. Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, too. News media were there. And, thanks to “Stanford scientists”, cable car inventor Andrew Hallidie was there. Plus other civic luminaries, coming together on June 13 at California and Market Streets to kick off the celebration of 150 Years of Cable Cars, organized by our nonprofit and the little cars’ owner-operator, SFMTA/Muni, supported by partners from the historic preservation, business, and education communities.
As we’ve mentioned, the civic celebration of 150 Years of Cable Cars kicks off at 11 a.m., Tuesday, June 13 at California and Market Streets as Mayor London Breed is joined by Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, Cable Car Inventor “Andrew Hallidie” (or a reasonable facsimile) and the oldest and largest cable car in the fleet, Sacramento-Clay Car “Big 19”, which will carry the dignitaries up through Chinatown and over Nob Hill to Polk Gulch and Van Ness Avenue, parallel to Hallidie’s original Clay Street line two blocks north. Here’s “Big 19” taking a spin on the cable car barn turntable, getting ready for its closeup.
As the photo makes plain, that was one wild first ride on Muni. Emblematic, we think, of the past 20 months, with constant adjustments made to Muni’s network during the pandemic to meet unprecedented challenges.
The Blackpool Boat Tram and the Melbourne tram both cruised The Embarcadero to the delight of riders and onlookers on their initial day of Fleet Week service, Thursday, October 8. They’ll be out every day through Monday, October 11, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. between our San Francisco Railway Museum (across from the Ferry Building) and Pier 39.
Transit workers are our nation’s frontline warriors for urban mobility. And their workplace can be dangerous, with maintenance workers handling heavy machinery and large moving vehicles and operators facing traffic and, increasingly, unhinged and sometimes violent passengers.
Smiles are breaking out along the city’s waterfront and along Market Street, as Muni’s vintage streetcars are out in force for the first time in more than a year. The F-line is running a full test schedule, including pull-outs and pull-ins along the J-Church line, in advance of the official reopening of the line for passenger service on May 15. Initial service will run seven days a week, but just eight hours a day (11 am-7 pm) initially, running the whole route from Castro to Fisherman’s Wharf.
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.
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