F,J,K,L,M,N - What were other lettered MUNI lines?

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The current major MUNI lines are lettered: J,K,L,M,N (and sometimes S) for the MUNI Metro, and F for the aboveground Market Street historical streetcar line.

Were there other lines to fill in the missing letter sequence at one time? I assume so, since I've been told the letter designations are from old streetcar days (before the onslaught of automobiles). Did lines A,B,C,D,E,G,H,I,O,P,Q,R exist - and where did they go? Any old maps would be appreciated....

-- JoSH Lehan (krellan@krellan.com), September 28, 2004


A -- Geary-Park, muni's first line, to 10th and Fulton B -- Geary-Ocean, to Cabrillo loop beside Playland C -- Geary-California, to 33rd and Lincoln Park D -- Geary-Van Ness, Geary, Van Ness, Union, Greenwich, private right of way into the Presidio E -- Union Street, duplicates the route of the Presidio & Ferries Railway line ruined by the 1906 earthquake F -- Stockton Street, from Market and Stockton via Stockton, Columbus, North Point, Van Ness, Chestnut to Scott G, I, J -- Exposition Service H -- Potrero, from Army (Caesar Chavez) (later extended over San Bruno Arleta) via Potrero, Division, 11th, Market, Van Ness to Bay, and through Fort Mason to a terminal at Laguna J, K, L, M, N running today O -- ran for 6 weeks over part of the Union Street line at the instigation of the State Railroad Commission

All data from "Inside Muni" by John McKane and Anthony Perles.

-- robert bardell (bbardell@pacbell.net), October 12, 2004.

Why is the new Market St line the F? Feinstein?

-- Cliff Lundberg (cliff_lundberg@inreach.com), October 18, 2004.

"F" was a designation Muni gave to the line when it was first proposed in 1980. The previous year, Muni had proposed an "E-Embarcadero" historic streetcar line from Fort Mason to Caltrain. "F" was simply the next letter in the alphabet, the same system originally used to number Muni lines. Because the F-line was proven as a concept through a series of summer-only "Trolley Festivals" on Market Street in the 1980s, supported by then-Mayor Feinstein, some thought the "F" stood for either "Festival" or Feinstein. As the volunteer project manager of the Festivals, I can tell you it stood for neither.

To answer an additional question, Muni numbered its first trolley coach route "R." It ran on Howard Street, and was later combined with the route of the E-Union streetcar to create the 41 Union-Howard trolley coach. Why there was no P or Q route of any kind is speculative. My own speculation is that Muni was reserving those designations for later streetcar routes, and would've identified subsequent trolley buses as "S, T, U., etc." Never came to that, though. In 1944, Muni took over Market Street Railway, which numbered all its routes, and in the rationalization process kept letters for streetcars only, with all buses (motor and electric) receiving numbered route designations.

-- Rick Laubscher (rlaubscher@streetcar.org), November 02, 2004.

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