Market Street Railway (nonprofit)

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Market Street Railway
Market Street Railway Logo.png
Founded 1985
Type 501(c)(3)
Focus Historic Transit
Members 1,200
Key people Rick Laubscher
Slogan "Without us, it would be a bus"
Website streetcar.org

Market Street Railway is San Francisco Municipal Railway's (Muni) 1,200-member nonprofit preservation partner. It relies on private contributions to help keep San Francisco’s famed historic streetcars of the F Market & Wharves line and the national landmark cable cars running to this day.

Market Street Railway maintains a vintage vehicle restoration facility at 1 Buchanan Street, in the shadow of the 1937 San Francisco Mint. It is here that Market Street Railway volunteers restore historic vehicles before donating them to Muni.

Market Street Railway borrows the name of the Market Street Railway Company, a former commercial streetcar and bus operator in San Francisco.

History[edit]

Founded in 1976, Market Street Railway members created the successful San Francisco Trolley Festivals of the 1980s that resulted in the permanent return of streetcars to Market Street in the form of the F Market & Wharves — the most popular service of its kind in all of North America. The F-line carries more than double the ridership of the bus lines it replaced.

Over the past twenty years, Market Street Railway has helped Muni to acquire and restore more than a dozen historic streetcars and cable cars for service, adding diversity to Muni’s unmatched historic fleet. Market Street Railway's restoration corps has done much of this restoration work themselves. Its volunteers also clean the interiors of the F-line cars at the Castro Street Terminal to improve rider experience.

San Francisco Railway Museum[edit]

Additionally, Market Street Railway developed and operates the San Francisco Railway Museum, a local history museum in the Vitale Hotel on the Embarcadero that showcases historical railway artifacts and tells the story of transportation in San Francisco.

Vision for the future[edit]

Led by President Rick Laubscher, Market Street Railway is working to increase F-line service levels and to expand historic streetcar service through the forthcoming E Embarcadero line. The E-line will directly connect regional transit service—including Caltrain, BART and bay ferries to waterfront businesses and attractions stretching from Mission Bay to Fort Mason (the F and E Line extension is currently being evaluated by Muni).

Market Street Railway is also working to restore and inaugurate the Market Street Railway Teaching Trolley, a 1924 streetcar which will serve to teach schoolchildren how electric railway vehicles work.

Slogan[edit]

  • "Without us, it would be a bus."
  • "Keeping the Past Present in the Future" -- Rick Laubscher, president

External links[edit]