San Francisco’s iconic cable car bells are ringing once again Monday after a 10-day hiatus to allow for much needed maintenance work. 

Cable Car bell-ringing championship
Garrick Wong/SFBay Leonard Oats, champion of 2016, performs at the 54th cable car bell ringing contest at Union Square in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, July 13, 2017.

Mechanics rehabilitated the gearbox that powers the system and propels cars up The City’s steep hills. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency completed the gearbox rehabilitation on the Powell-Hyde line, which required closure of all cable car lines beginning Sept. 13.

To the dismay of some tourists, the transit agency offered bus shuttles as an alternative during the system shutdown. According to the SFMTA, the 10-day period is necessary to complete the overhaul of a gearbox, including adequate time to test the system.

Cable Car bell-ringing championship
Garrick Wong/SFBay An iconic symbol of San Francisco — a cable car — slowly rolls toward Powell and Market in the early morning in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, July 13, 2017.

The Powell-Hyde line gearbox is the last to be completed as part of a $7 million project that set out to rehabilitate the four gearboxes operating in the Cable Car Barn and a spare gearbox kept in a storage facility, all of which have been in service since 1984, according to transit officials.  

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay. A San Francisco native, he has spent a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Send tips to jerold@sfbay.ca or at Twitter @Jerold_Chinn.

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