Cable Car

Jesse Tawil

The cable car is an extremely important part of San Francisco today. Before the cable car, vehicles were pulled along tracks by horses. The animals needed to be fed and cared for. The coming of the cable car, however, made transportation much easier not only for the people of the city, but for the growth of industry of old San Francisco. Despite a catastrophic earthquake and the destruction of the entire railway, the cable system was so efficient it was returned to working order with only some modifications.
Instead of the single electric motor for each of the cable car lines, all of the cables originate from the cable car barn, located at Mason St. and California Sts. Three separate cables are all being turned at a constant speed of 9.5 miles per hour by electrically powered wheels. The cables run out from the barn under the streets along the different routes. The cable cars were often originals, with some changes to make them safer. Handrails were installed where necessary, and proper lighting made evening rides more accessible.
The people benefited from the cable cars because the difficulty of walking up the hills was avoided. Believe me, after a recent trip to San Francisco, I saw for myself how the cable cars make getting up the hilly terrain of San Francisco much easier. Before the animal powered vehicles pulled people up the streets, which at times seem like walls, the people were forced to walk up and down the strenuous inclines; to me this seems like a punishment. The invention of the cable car allowed to easily move around the city with no hills stopping them from traveling.
Cable cars made it easier for businesses that make house visits much easier. People like the iceman, who brought ice blocks to people’s homes for their iceboxes, before modern refrigeration, had a much easier job because of cable cars. Instead of lugging their ice all the way up and down the streets, they could hop on one of the cars. Delivery services also used the cable car system for short distance deliveries. The cable car has affected the lives of all people from the businessman to the factory worker.
The cable car went from an idea of saving innocent animals to a cost efficient and important means of transportation. Today, many people go to San Francisco just to ride on the historic cable cars. I myself have done so and I have included a picture of me and my mother on a cable car in San Francisco. One brief ride on a cable car was a great experience and in my opinion was a great discovery for San Francisco.