Although I pictured cable cars whenever I thought of San Francisco, I’ve found that there are probably more buses, and the “cable cars” actually come in several different varieties. There’s the fully electric (i.e. fake) cable car, the car that runs in the regular tracks, but not connected to the overhead lines and – strangest of all – what appears to be a bus, having normal wheels and tires, but is connected to the overhead electric lines. What’s the point of that?
According to Bob, the buses that are attached to the overhead electric lines are electric buses. (Duh. One would think I might have figured that one out.) Although they don’t have the nasty diesel smell, and don’t contribute to air pollution, they actually predate the ‘green movement’. Instead, they were designed to replace diesel buses that couldn’t make it up the steep hills of San Francisco. Hopefully, a picture of one will be forthcoming.
Unfortunately, I never did get a good shot of the electric buses, and we never did actually ride a cable car. The streetcars really did fill me with nostalgia, however. They are just like the ones we had in Pittsburgh in the 60s, and all the overhead lines made me feel right at home.