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Today in history: 3 amazing photos of cable powerhouses after the 1906 earthquake

muni cable car san francisco earthquake
Photo via SFMTA Photo Shelter by John Henry Mentz

At 5:12 a.m. on April 18, 1906, a powerful earthquake shook San Francisco. Here are three terrible yet amazing photos from the SFMTA photo shelter of the cable car powerhouses after the quake. In the photo above, take at the Washington and Mason powerhouse, a cable car is covered in falling debris from the power and car house smokestack. This photo was taken by John Henry Mentz.

Two more photos from the archive, both taken at the Oak and Broderick powerhouse.
oak and broderick power house san francisco earth quake muni

muni sfmta 1906 earthquake cable car power house

Head over to the SFMTA Photo Shelter to see rest of “United Railroads 1906 | After the Earthquake” gallery.

Score one for the good Muni riders on the 38-L

muni bus by roland t
Photo by Roland

Rider D saw a suspicious man carrying a large empty garment bag boards the 38-L. The whole bus went into action when they realized what he was about to do. Here’s her story.

This past Monday I was on my way home during the evening commute when I noticed a guy who was acting rather suspiciously. For starters he was carrying a Macy’s garment bag and given his appearance it just didn’t match. My observation was confirmed when I saw him open the bag, which was empty, to stuff some paper and other items inside to make it appear full.

When the outbound 38L pulled into the stop, the crowd of people waiting swarmed onto the bus, suspicious guy included. Having been pick-pocketed myself a number of years ago, I knew that thieves use items like that to cover their hands as they reach into open purses and back pockets. The bus was packed and I ended up standing right next to the suspicious guy. I stared at his hands and he saw that I was watching him. When I looked right up into his eyes, he moved away from me. Considering I’m about the size of a Hobbit, how could anyone be afraid of me?

I also noticed that he was using a small blue towel to hang onto the pole in an attempt to not leave any prints. When the bus pulled up to the Van Ness and Geary stop the driver called out, “Everyone watch out for your wallets and purses.” Everyone checked their pockets and as they did so the suspicious guy hopped off rather quickly. Sure enough, someone (I’ll call him “Philly guy”) called out, “God DAMN IT he’s got my wallet!” Several other passengers yelled out, “It’s that guy!”

“Philly guy” got off the bus with his family in pursuit.

Something in me just snapped and I got off with them and stood alongside him. With the entire bus watching “Philly guy” pointed at the suspicious guy and yelled, “HE’S GOT MY WALLET!”

With all those eyes watching, suspicious guy handed it back and said, “You dropped it….”

Suspicious guy backed away and when I whipped out my camera, snapped a pic, he REALLY took off!

At the top of my lungs, I yelled, “I’VE GOT YOUR PICTURE ASSHOLE!”

“Philly guy” checked his wallet and everything was still inside.

The driver came over and asked us if we were all right, and after confirming, he handed “Philly guy” some kind of Muni card to jot down information for the cops. We all got back on and started talking about how we’d all noticed how suspicious guy was acting. Once we got to “Philly guy’s” stop I got off with him and his family to try and find a cop to give a report. As we did, the driver let us know he’d radioed the incident in as well.

We didn’t find a cop straight away but got SFPD’s general phone number from a security guard standing near the bus stop.

I parted ways with “Philly guy” and his family and they were quite happy how things turned out. I’d like to think the positive outcome was a result of practically everyone getting involved. From our fellow passengers to the driver himself, we made a difference at least this once.

What’s YOUR Muni story? Submit it, tweet it, Facebook us with your tales!

Transit News: Outrage at possible fare hike while Sunday meters are free, BART disability protest

new bart train design
Photo via SFAppeal

  • BART passengers with disability to protest new train design (SFWeekly)
  • BART’s new train design opens to jeers and cheers (SFAppeal)
  • SFMTA repeals paid Sunday parking meters, loses $9.8 million (SFBG)
  • SFWeekly’s Joe Eskanazi on the insanity of raising Muni fare by 25 cents while doing away with Sunday parking meters (SFWeekly)

Check Out BART’s New Train Cars at Justin Herman Plaza Today

new bart train
photo by @ashleybsnyder

BART’s new train cars are on display today at Justin Herman Plaza from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can swing by to take a look at the new design, which is slated to go into service in 2017, according to the SF Appeal. Take a virtual tour yourself in this video captured by Oakland Tribune’s @Tyska.

BART says that the new train cars have a couple of new features:

Quieter: “micro-plug” doors will help seal out noise
Cooler: cooling systems will distribute air directly to the ceilings, making it more comfortable for standees on hot days
Comfortable: padded seats will have lumbar support and will be covered with wipeable fabric for ease of cleaning
Easy to use: routes will be color coded like the BART system map, and next stop information will be readily available via automated announcements and digital screens

In another video by @Tyska, people in wheelchair test out the new BART car design.
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