Muni’s parent, The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), with support from Market Street Railway, is inviting the public to get a taste of the city’s public transit past by offering rides on vintage motor buses and trolley buses from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 2 and Sunday, November 3. Also operating those days will be a special cable car and historic streetcars rarely seen in regular service.
Three of the vintage Muni vehicles that will carry passengers November 2-3 for Muni Heritage Weekend. From left, 1950 Marmon-Herrington trolley coach No. 776, 1912 streetcar No. 1, and 1938 White motor coach No. 042. Click to enlarge.
“Muni is America’s first publicly owned transit system, now into its second century of service,” said Edward D. Reiskin, Director of Transportation for SFMTA. “This heritage weekend gives our customers the chance to experience a full taste of Muni’s past, while demonstrating the unmatched diversity of vehicles that have carried San Franciscans to work, learn, shop and play over the decades.”
The vintage buses will leave from our San Francisco Railway Museum on Steuart Street between Market and Mission streets, across from the Ferry Building. They will supplement regular Muni bus service, following this circle route that loops around the Union Square area: outbound via Market, Sutter and Mason back to Market, returning inbound via Market, Spear, Mission to Steuart. The buses will pick up and drop off passengers at the terminal and at Market and Powell streets only. Regular Muni fares will apply.
Here are the buses currently scheduled on the Union Square route during the Muni Heritage Weekend.
Bus No. 042: One of the small gasoline coaches built by White Motor Company in 1938 that served Coit Tower on the 39-line for almost 40 years. Overhauled by Muni’s shops and restored to its original orange and black paint scheme and its original fleet number as part of Muni’s centennial.
Bus No. 776: A 1950 Marmon-Herrington trolley coach, which served virtually all of Muni’s trolley bus lines during its quarter-century of service. It is painted in its original green and cream “Wings” livery.
Bus No. 3287: Built by General Motors, purchased by Muni in 1969, and restored to its original maroon and yellow livery inspired by the cable cars.
Bus No. 5300: A 1975 Flyer trolley coach painted in the white and two-tone orange paint scheme created for Muni by famed San Francisco industrial designer Walter Landor, who also created Muni’s current logo, known to many as “the worm” for the twisting lines that spell “Muni.”
Bus No. 506: For display only on Steuart Street, this trolley bus built in 1941 was one of Muni’s first ten trolley coaches that operated on what was then called the “R-Howard” route. It is currently awaiting mechanical restoration following a successful cosmetic restoration into its original yellow and blue livery.
Muni’s F-Market & Wharves historic streetcar line will also have some special additions as part of the weekend celebration. Some of the vehicles that will be out on the line that operates between the Castro and Fisherman’s Wharf are listed below.
Streetcar No. 1: Muni’s very first streetcar, which inaugurated Muni service on December 28, 1912, running out Geary Street from Market to 10th Avenue, with Mayor “Sunny Jim” Rolph at the controls. It wears Muni’s first paint scheme of gray and red, with gold trim.
Streetcar No. 1040: The very last streamliner PCC streetcar built in North America. These famous streetcars, the core of today’s F-line, once operated in 33 different cities across the continent. Muni’s No. 1040, built in 1952, was recently restored to its original green and cream livery as part of a complete rebuilding.
Streetcar No. 578: The oldest streetcar operated by a North American transit agency, built in 1896 for a Muni predecessor. Converted to a work car after the 1906 earthquake, No. 578 was restored by Muni crafts workers to its passenger configuration and original yellow livery in 1956 as part of the city’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the earthquake. No. 578 will operate between the San Francisco Railway Museum and Pier 39 along The Embarcadero.
Other vintage streetcars that spent their first careers on Muni tracks are expected to operate as part of regular F-line service, including at least one of the two double-end “torpedo” PCCs, Nos. 1006 and 1008.
The iconic cable cars are an important part of the heritage of both Muni and San Francisco. The California Line, which runs on California Street between Market Street and Van Ness Avenue will have a special addition during the Muni Heritage Weekend.
1906 O’Farrell Jones & Hyde Streets cable car No. 42 will run on the California Street line from Market Street to Van Ness on November 2-3 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Click to enlarge.
Cable Car No. 42 is the last cable car bearing the markings of the O’Farrell, Jones & Hyde line, which was closed in 1954. Reacquired from a private party in the 1990s and subsequently restored to its 1906 appearance by Muni’s cable car maintenance team with assistance on cosmetic work by volunteers from Market Street Railway. This double-ended car will operate from Market Street to Van Ness Avenue on the California Street cable car line from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Regular cable car fares will apply.
At Our Museum
At the San Francisco Railway Museum, at the Steuart Street F Line stop, the terminal point for the historic bus trips, and one block from the California Street cable car terminal, there will be a special sale of transit books and memorabilia both days to benefit Market Street Railway. Talks on San Francisco’s transit history will be given at the museum at 2 p.m. both days. Visitors to the free museum can also see an exhibit on the Historic Trolley Festivals of the 1980s that gave birth to the F Line.
“San Francisco has been a great transit city for 150 years,” said Rick Laubscher, president of Market Street Railway. “We’re proud to support Muni Heritage Weekend to give the public a rare chance to actually ride the full array of our city’s historic transit vehicles, buses as well as streetcars and cable cars, all of them truly museums in motion.”