Two months ago, five passengers and two workers were injured after the bolt caused their cable car to slam to a sudden stop, tossing them violently inside the vehicle. The conductor had facial and tongue injuries and the driver suffered internal injuries and cracked ribs, transit officials said.
Legal claims are expected, as they always are after a cable car accident.
The city has been settling lawsuits almost since the cable cars began operation in 1893. One woman won a 1970 jury verdict of $50,000 after she claimed that a minor accident on a cable car she was riding turned her into a nymphomaniac.
"The 19th Century technology of the cable cars does pose some challenges," said Paul Rose, a spokesman for the city agency that oversees San Francisco mass transit.
19th century technology also describes what today is known as 'light rail'; the transit technology of choice of self-described progressives!
Rails were put down in city streets to make it easier for the horses to pull the cars. Once balloon tires, diesel engines and modern transmissions were invented that became unnecessary. Leading to the demise of the streetcars that were seen in most large American cities up to the 1930s.
But try telling that to the Great Streetcar Conspiracists. Though CBS News has now seen the light--contrary to an old 60 Minutes piece;
Back in the dawn of the Automobile Age, General Motors began systematically buying streetcar lines and then shutting them down, leaving millions of Americans without viable public transportation options. Its motive? To ensure a market for its still-novel personal transportation technology. Rather than walk, the idea was, people would buy Buicks.
If you've seen "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" you know this story in broad outline. If you have happened to catch one of the airings of a 1996 public television show called "Taken for a Ride," these details are just a few of the ones assembled into a convincing portrait of a high-level, backroom industrial conspiracy to cheat Americans out of cheap, convenient, sustainable transportation. If so, what you know is not what happened.