Cable Car Waiting for a Green Light, San Francisco, California
When I was in high school in the mid-1960's, we lived near "The City" of San Francisco, in Pacifica, California, and I fell in love with San Francisco forever. I hadn't visited in many years when in March 2007 I visited Union Square and the Theater District to see a play at the Curran Theater on Geary Street. Before and after the play, I walked around the area of Union Square and just enjoyed the beautiful weather, the "street scene", the cable cars, and the interesting and historic architecture. What a great day in a great city!
Here is a photo of a cable car coming down the street near Union Square.
MORE INFORMATION ON THE CABLE CARS OF SAN FRANCISCO:
The San Francisco cable car system is the world's last permanently operational manually-operated cable car system, and is now an icon of the city of San Francisco in California. The cable car system forms part of the intermodal urban transport network operated by the San Francisco Municipal Railway, or Muni as it is better known. Cable cars operate on two routes from downtown near Union Square to Fisherman's Wharf, and a third route along California Street. While the cable cars are used to a certain extent by commuters, their low speed, small service area, and premium fares for single rides make them primarily a tourist attraction.
The first successful cable-operated street railway was the Clay Street Hill Railroad, which opened on August 2, 1873. The promoter of the line was Andrew Smith Hallidie, and the engineer was William Eppelsheimer. The line involved the use of grip cars, which carried the grip that engaged with the cable, towing trailer cars. The design was the first to use grips.
The line started regular service on September 1, 1873, and it was such a success that it became the model for other cable car transit systems in San Francisco and elsewhere. It was a financial success, and Hallidie's patents were enforced on other cable car promoters, making him a rich man.