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Home / CRUISING THE PAST / San Francisco celebrates the 100th anniversary of the city’s famous cable car and streetcar system.

San Francisco celebrates the 100th anniversary of the city’s famous cable car and streetcar system.

Social and Travel History: The San Francisco Municipal Railway’s first day of operation was December 28, 1912. There were 10 streetcars and one line that ran from Geary and Market out to Golden Gate Park. Read all about it in this excellent story by Carl Nolte and our thanks to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Excellent video of the Muni from 1906 to 1941…

In this undated file photo, a cable car is turned on Powell Street and Market in San Francisco – thanks to the San Francisco Chronicle

Huge crowds gather Dec. 28, 1912, as Municipal Railway begins service, making public transit history.Photo: Chronicle Archive Photo / SF

Read this excellent story from the San Francisco Chronicle:

The San Francisco Municipal Railway is celebrating its 100th birthday today by giving its customers a present – free rides for one and all.

The free rides are a contrast to the Muni’s first day of operation on Dec. 28, 1912, when everyone – even Mayor James Rolph Jr. – paid a fare. Rolph dropped a shiny new nickel in the fare box, made a short speech, and took the controls himself for the first ride on the first car of the first publicly owned big-city transit system in the country.

“It is in reality the people’s road, built by the people and with the people’s money,” he said.

On its first day, the Muni had only 10 streetcars and one line that ran from Geary and Market streets out Geary to 10th Avenue and then to Golden Gate Park. But Rolph was thinking big.

“I want everyone to feel it is but the beginning of a mighty system of streetcar lines which will someday encompass the entire city,” he said.

As it turned out, Rolph was a prophet. The new Municipal Railway became both the engine of progress for the city and San Francisco’s biggest political problem.

Read more by clicking here…

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