The San Francisco Municipal Railway, known around the Bay Area as MUNI, has had quite the transit history. Trust me, I know. I was raised by a whole tribe of Bay Area transit historians, my father and grandfather at the controls for most of their adult lives. Once you’ve heard streetcar, cable car, trolley, and, last but not least, trolleybus stories told repeatedly to you as a child, you don’t forget.
I’m not complaining, mind you. It is nice to be able to stand on Market Street and watch the constant parade MUNI puts on and know what makes one piece of equipment different from the other. It also never grows old when I get to explain to folks who have mixed their MUNI machines up that, no, a cable car is not a trolley. And vice- versa. A little snobbish? Yes. But so what. If I knew the difference as a small child, they should be able to figure it out as well.
So check it out, the link below will bring you to a story about sfmta.org and their online photo archives of the past 50 years of MUNI history. You’ll be able to tell your kids what the different types of rolling stock are, just like dad and gramps did when I was running around the City with them.