The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all surface transportation in the city including the Municipal Railway (Muni), announced eight days of special events to serve as a 100th birthday party for Muni — America’s first publicly owned transit system.
“Over the course of the last 100 years, Muni has been an important part of San Francisco’s culture that makes up our great city,” said Tom Nolan, chairman of the SFMTA board of directors. “These special events will continue to highlight the pride we all have in our system and showcase the vitality and vibrancy of San Francisco.”
“Muni has an incredibly rich history that we’re eager to share and celebrate with San Francisco. In honor of Muni’s 100th anniversary, we’re inviting the public to ride a variety of vintage vehicles from our collection, representing many of the decades during which Muni has been serving our great city,” said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA director of Transportation.
The vintage vehicle service is concentrated on two Sundays, Nov. 4 and 11, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The bus and streetcar rides will start at and end near the Ferry Building on Steuart Street and Don Chee Way between Market and Mission streets, the site of the San Francisco Railway Museum operated by Muni’s non-profit preservation partner, Market Street Railway.
Vintage streetcars from Muni’s popular F Line fleet will operate on its oldest surviving streetcar line, the J Church, which opened in 1917, on Nov. 4. The following Sunday, the vintage streetcars will serve a portion of Muni’s newest rail line, the T Third, as far south as Cesar Chavez Street, looping through the Muni Metro East facility to give riders a close view of the future home of Central Subway trains. During the week in between, several vintage Muni streetcars will operate on the F Line as part of its regular service between Castro and Market and Fisherman’s Wharf.
Several vintage Muni buses will be on display including one of Muni’s oldest operating buses, built in 1938 and newly restored. Also newly restored is a 1949 Muni trolley coach that will be in operation. These will be joined by other restored Muni buses from the 1960s and 1970s also on display.
Special Cable Car Dedication and Vintage Service
On the two Sundays, Nov. 4 and 11, Muni’s vintage 1907 cable car from the old O’Farrell, Jones & Hyde Line will make a rare appearance, carrying passengers on the California Street Line.
A very special restored Powell Street cable car will rejoin Muni’s fleet as part of the centennial celebration. Car No. 26, built in 1890 and acquired by Muni in a 1944 merger, has been restored to the paint scheme the Powell cable cars wore in 1947. That was the year Mayor Roger Lapham proposed the replacement of the Powell cables with buses, a move soundly defeated by San Francisco voters after a campaign led by civic activist Friedel Klussmann.
Car No. 26 will be inaugurated with a ceremony at the historic Cable Car Barn at Washington and Mason Streets on Nov. 14 at 11:30 a.m. It will then immediately enter into passenger service and will run every day in regular service for the rest of the week.
Regular Muni fares will be charged on all special services for Centennial Week. Each vintage vehicle will carry a volunteer docent from Market Street Railway to answer riders’ questions about the vehicles and San Francisco transit history. Docents will also staff the display of vintage vehicles not in operation across from the San Francisco Railway Museum, and in the museum itself.