75 years ago: Cable car war

In 1947, San Francisco almost lost its Powell cable cars forever. A women-led campaign overcame male-dominated government and business interests to save them. That is a great story in itself. But there’s more to it, including lessons for today and tomorrow.

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Chronicle, 1947: cable cars ‘surely dead’

In February 2021, controversy around the future of San Francisco’s iconic cable cars swirled again, after a Chronicle column by Heather Knight that seemed to imply the three cable lines could be junked in 2023 unless San Francisco voters pony up lots more bucks for SFMTA/Muni to keep running them. (For the record, SFMTA denies the cable cars would be junked. We have covered this controversy in Inside Track, our exclusive member magazine.

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Cable car on display at Powell & Market

There’s a familiar sound at the Powell and Market cable car turntable, at least some of the time. Thanks to the initiative of the Union Square Business Improvement District and the support of SFMTA chief Jeffrey Tumlin, a Powell cable car will be on the ‘table every Tuesday , Thursday, and Saturday for at least several weeks, probably through the holiday season.

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1 Comment on Clarifying the 1947 Threat to the Cable Cars
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1 Comment on First Videos of “White Front” Powell Cable Car 12
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