Living on Jones Street, I have a few ways I can get downtown. However, there’s no way to get directly to Market and Jones. Had I lived in this neighborhood prior to 1954, that would have been different: I would have had the now-dismantled Jones Street Shuttle cable car. The Shuttle ran from 1891 to 1954 (or 1951, according to some sources) and was part of the extinct O’Farrell-Jones-Hyde line. The Shuttle ran straight up (and down) Jones Street from Market. At Jones and O’Farrell, you would transfer to other cable cars that would take you east on O’Farrell to downtown, or over Nob Hill to a terminus in North Beach.

The Jones Street Shuttle, now that I think about it, sounds like a pain in a neck: who the heck builds a five-block cable car line? Why not just run the cars straight from Jones all the way to North Beach? Why the transfer at O’Farrell? Seems like though times may change, mass transit administrators decision-making skills remain obtuse. Pics below… of the cable cars, not the administrators.

Shuttle at the transfer point. Tracks to the right continue down O’Farrell to Market. Tracks heading toward left of frame go down Jones to Market Street terminus.

Jones Street Shuttle crossing in 1950s, vs. today. Note parking garage is still the same.

Workers tearing up the Jones Street cable car tracks in 1955

Photo credits: San Francisco’s California Street Cable Cars, San Francisco Public Library historical photo archives, Google Maps.