A powerful storm put the brakes on one of San Francisco’s most iconic attractions: The famed cable cars simply couldn’t handle the amount of water falling from the skies.
Visitors to the cable car turnaround at Hyde Street saw it completely deserted, with the cars tucked into the barn on Mason.
The Municipal Transportation Agency decided the cable cars’ antique braking system couldn’t be counted on. Shuttle buses were running instead on the lines as a precaution because the brake systems are around 100 years old, Muni spokesman Paul Rose said.
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Disappointed riders arriving early in the day were told “sorry” and very little else. A Muni spokesman later explained that once the storm passed and the system had a chance to dry out the cable cars would be back on track.
A couple of tourists from Finland were disappointed to find the cars weren’t running. “We were going to go down to the City Lights book shop,” Anna Gran said, “but of course now we have to walk.”
By late afternoon, the Powell, Powell Hyde, and California lines were resuming regular service. Crews cleared the Powell Mason line by about 3 p.m.
Bay City News contributed to this report.