San Francisco cable cars clang to a halt for repairs

The quaint sight of a cable car rumbling its way over this city's steep hills will be absent for the next two years.

The transit system was shut down for a $58.2 million repair job, while hundreds of fans waited for hours to catch a ride on the two lines' final runs. ''It's not over now, it's just beginning,'' said Richard Sklar, general manager of the Public Utilities Commission. Tuesday the city gave the 109-year-old system a festive send-off with a Mardi Gras-style parade of 34 gaily decorated cable cars.

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