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SF’s Cable Cars Won’t Return Until Vaccine is Ready

SFMTA has no timetable for when cable cars will return, as there’s no safe way to protect operators
By - posted 7/9/2020 No Comment

Thanks to the SF Chronicle for letting us know that San Francisco’s beloved cable cars won’t run again until a coronavirus vaccine is ready.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the system was shut down to protect operators from infection. Although the cable cars are open air, they do not offer a compartment separating operators from passengers and require much more direct interaction with the public than a typical Muni bus.

In a recent interview, SFMTA Chief Jeffrey Tumlin said, “The cable cars require the operator to have the most direct interaction with passengers, and we have no way to protect our operators on cable cars.” 

According to the SF Examiner, there is “no timetable” for when they will return.

Invented here nearly 150 years ago and named a National Historic Landmark in 1964, Cable cars have come to symbolize our great city, and not being able to hop aboard these yellow- burgundy rolling landmarks shows how deeply the pandemic has unsettled city life.

We’ll surely miss the unbeatable views, unforgettable trips and a one of a kind nostalgic experience only a San Francisco cable car ride can give.  But we won’t miss being crammed together with other passengers, holding onto poles that everyone else holds on to, or putting the operators at risk.