150th Cable Car Anniversary

Celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Cable Car

At 4am on August 2nd 150 years ago, Andrew Smith Hallidie tested the first cable car on San Francisco’s Clay Street. After witnessing horses struggling on the wet cobblestones to pull a horsecar up Jackson Street, Hallidie came up with the idea for a steam engine-powered, cable driven rail system. On September 1, 1873, Clay Street Hill Railroad began public service and garnered tremendous success. Today, San Francisco celebrates Hallidie’s iconic invention turning 150 years old!  

Rick Laubscher, President of Market Street Railway highlights “no other city in the world has cable cars. San Francisco was the first city with cable cars, and since 1957, we’ve been the only city to run them. It’s a great year to rediscover San Francisco and the cable cars.” 

To celebrate 150 years, Muni is adopting an affordable all-day pass for 6 months starting in July. Muni will implement $5 all-day “hop-on, hop-off” pass for the California Street cable car line that runs through Nob Hill, Chinatown, Finacial District, and drops you off right in front of the must-see Ferry Building. This exciting offer could be made permanent to increase ridership and encourage riders to explore mid-route businesses in any of the mentioned neighborhoods.  

Muni is also offering opportunities to ride unique cable cars from disappeared lines, tour the shop where cable cars are built, and much more. If you want to dive deeper into the history, check out this page for more special events such as documentary viewings, exhibitions, and anniversary exclusive cable car rides!  

Want to experience both PIER 39 and an iconic cable car trip? Hop on the Hyde St Cable Car that takes you all the way down to Fisherman’s Warf. From there, walk along the water and find yourself at The PIER! Commemorate the anniversary with Cable Car souvenirs and memorabilia found at our gift shops. Check out Trish’s Chocolate for a Cable Car replica stuffed with chocolate or grab a key chain from The Cable Car Store