Take a Ride on the Cable Cars, San Francisco Overview

San Francisco’s Cable Cars, named as a National Historic Landmark, have earned the status of the last manually operated cable car system in the world. Managed and operated by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the San Francisco Cable Cars are believed to have emerged in 1873 as a more high-tech form of transit than the horse-drawn carriage.

Developed under the craftsmanship of the engineer William Eppelsheimer, the cable car system in San Francisco evolved and saw similar rail operations including Sutter Street Railway, California Street Cable Railroad, Market Street Cable Railway, Ferries and Cliff House Railway and Omnibus Railroad and Cable Company. The existing cable cars— the Powell-Hyde, Powell-Mason and California lines, are used for both local transportation and tourist tours. These cable cars trundle through the avenues of Chinatown, Financial District, Fisherman’s Wharf, Nob Hill, Russian Hill, and Union Square, give a pleasant glimpse of San Francisco.

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