San Francisco cable car

Mass transit

  • subway, underground
  • above-ground, streetcars, trolley, commuter rail, tramway
  • cable cars

Here are some mass transit solutions – old and so new that they haven’t been built yet.

  • Cable cars – San Francisco is famous for its steep streets and cable cars that carry thousands of people up and down the hills every day. Mechanical engineer Andrew Smith Hallidie, “father” of San Francisco’s cable cars, built a reputation for his wire-rope tramways. In 1871, he got financial backing to build a wire cable system to propel streetcars up the hills of the city, replacing the horse-drawn streetcars that were in use throughout the 1800s. – mechanical details
  • Land Airbus (video) – interesting concept for a future transportation system to accommodate transit passengers as well as cars on busy city roads.

What do you think?

  • Have you ridden on a subway or a tram? Are there buses near your house?
  • In cities with lots of traffic, what are some ways to move lots of people other than by car?
  • Why do people drive cars for just one person?
  • How can cars and people movers share the roads?

Engineering ideas

  • wheel hub engines,