When you’re asked to promote part of your transit service to visitors
arriving at SFO, what do you choose? The “halfway to the stars” icons?
How about the F-line streetcars? There are several banners up at SFO with photos of Milan tram No. 1893 or San Diego PCC No. 1078, with the theme “Milan [or San Diego] on the outside; San Francisco from the inside.” The tag line: “When you’re in San Francisco, Muni gets you everywhere you want to go.”
It’s yet another example of how Muni uses the F-line to put its best public foot forward in a variety of situations. When you go to SFMTA Headquarters at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, you’ll see a disproportionate percentage of F-line images on the walls. If it’s presentations about SFMTA, reports, other documents, same thing.
And why not? The F is one of Muni’s most popular lines, because it’s fun to ride. And the great variety of liveries on the streetcars brings an extra dollop of color to Market Street and The Embarcadero.
In fact, the F-line streetcars are almost a flashback to the days of the 1906 Market Street film profiled last week on 60 Minutes. You can’t tell in the black and white film, but the cable cars on Market in those days were color coded, with a different bright color for each line (red for Haight, yellow for Valencia, white for Castro, etc.), providing a kaleidoscope of transit color then just as the F-line streetcars do today . (This kind of detail is included in our exclusive narrated version of the 1906 film, available here and at our San Francisco Railway Museum.)
If anyone has spotted different promotional banners like this in the other SFO terminals — or elsewhere — let us know with a comment.