San Francisco's F-Line
by Peter Ehrlich
Trafford Publishing

"San Francisco's F-Line—or any trolley line, for that matter—proves the opposite, that a ride on public transportation can be an exciting experience, part of the fun of exploring a city."

In commemoration of San Francisco's Municipal Railway's (Muni's) centennial in 2012, retired transit operator, writer, and photographer Peter Ehrlich authored this exhaustive history of San Francisco's F-Line, a historic streetcar line utilized by tourists, commuters, residents, and short-trip riders. A self-proclaimed "rail-fan," Ehrlich draws upon not only twenty-six years of employment with Muni, but also extensive research and use of archival and his own photographs.

Ehrlich explains that while San Francisco was not a pioneer in utilizing streetcars in contemporary times, the Muni's decision proved to be enormously successful and was modeled by other cities. Although San Francisco's cable cars may be better known to the transportation layman, the F-Line, according to Ehrlich, boasts the highest ridership and frequency of service.

Beginning with the origins of public transportation in San Francisco, Ehrlich traces the development of first the Muni and then the F-Line in the early 1980s, showing the expansion of the latter through the early 2000s. While the lovely photographs could make this tome a coffee table book, Ehrlich's meticulous research offers enough depth for the more serious reader. An homage not just to the F-Line itself, but also to the Muni and the city of San Francisco, San Francisco's F-Line will delight a variety of readers, although perhaps only serious transportation enthusiasts—rail-fans like the author—will ever read the book from cover to cover.

Ehrlich also offers photographs of other cities' streetcars, a full bibliography, glossary, indices (textual and photographs), and a list of points of interest in San Francisco. Ehrlich's thorough, painstaking work is a tour de force, whether the reader chooses to skim, read sections of particular interest, or just look at the pretty pictures.

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