SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — A portion of one of San Francisco’s most popular tourist attractions will be shut down for six months, beginning in January.

San Francisco’s cable car system is over 130 years old and is due for the biggest restoration in 25 years.

The last major retrofit was back in the early 1980’s, when the entire system was shutdown for two years.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

Now, the City is embarking on a $20 million project to replace components of the California Street Line. Municipal Transportation Agency Executive Director Nathaniel Ford said the work will halt service on that line for six months.

“It gets to a certain point that we really need to shut the system down, to do the heavy lifting and hard work that needs to be done to totally overhaul the system,” he said.

Ford said because the system is unique, the parts needed are not readily available.

“You can’t just go down the street and purchase a cable car,” he said. “A great deal of this work is hand-fabricated components that are one-of-a-kind in the world.”

Buses will replace the California Street cable cars during the repair work and the street will be reduced to one lane in each direction during construction.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed)

Comments (8)
  1. John says:

    it would be nice if they put this money into making buses come around more frequently….. this doesn’t do anything for the current residents. It would be nice to see SFMTA put money into better efficiency so 4 buses dont come back to back every hour

    1. sr says:

      actually, a lot of residents use the california line to get to and from work so this does benefit us. i take the cable car to and from work everyday and i’m not the only one. it gets really crowded with commuters. there are usually more commuters than tourists on that line.

  2. Seth Williams says:

    Kudos to SF for doing this. I personally love taking the cable car to work every morning and if it takes some time to fix it, I say do it. Where else in the world can you enjoy such wonderful transportation? Six months will come and go no time at all.

  3. Jia-Lin Braswell says:

    I really would say that MUNI needs to consider lowering the fare one to two dollars down after they retrofit the lines. II really must say that tourists should not have to pay a lot to ride the cable car. I really think that the five dollar fare is sort of pushing it too much. I really at least a buck more or two than the regular bus fare.

  4. sue-sue says:

    Hey, if the tourists don’t mind paying $5 a ride, why should it be lowered?

  5. Ralph Gámez says:

    Lets see. For what we pay the S.F. transit Admin. I say we should out source this work. If the Chinese can build an eleven story apartment in a week, please contract the Chinese to do this repair. I estimate it would take them six weeks MAX cuz then you would have only one supervisor for every twenty working men instead of S.F.’s policy of three supervisors for every worker. Thus, we save twenty weeks of useless: bull, coffe, donuts and pay = better service for City tax payers. We’d also save millions on pension and other city rip-offs.

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