A Ride to Remember

Fun and Tradition Unite In SF Cable Cars

Image+courtesy+of+Davidyuweb%2FFlikr
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A Ride to Remember

Image courtesy of Davidyuweb/Flikr

Image courtesy of Davidyuweb/Flikr

Image courtesy of Davidyuweb/Flikr

Image courtesy of Davidyuweb/Flikr

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Photo by Danny Packer

Even in the 21st century, visitors are able to experience the feeling of riding on one of the San Francisco’s traditional transportation methods: the cable car, a wooden, box-shaped vehicle that uses an underground cable to transport passengers. This unique method of travel has been available for over 150 years; Andrew Smith Halladie first presented the idea of the cable car in 1873 in an effort to address the massive amounts of horse manure on the streets. The cable car then went on to survive fires, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and even an effort to remove the system altogether.

Currently, there are three different routes that visitors can take, a reduction from the eight historical lines. During the ride, passengers are able to stand on the outside platforms while tightly gripping the handles of the car or sit inside to view the beautiful and authentic scenery that the San Francisco has to offer. An underground cable moves at a constant 9.5 miles per hour, pulling the cable car to its destination. While riding, the passengers can observe as the conductor uses the lever to control the speed of the car. When the lever is pulled back, a plier-like mechanism grasps the underground wire to stop and start the car. The cable cars occasionally turn around using a round wooden platform that can revolve to place the car on the right track. Visitors can also go to the Cable Car Museum, where they learn about the history as well as how this method of transportation works through a beautiful display that shows off various cable car parts and an example of the underground wire system. The cable car has been a San Francisco staple that any visitor exploring the city would never want to miss!

Photo by Danny Packer