By Amelia Cass

This day in Commonwealth Club history: On June 12, 1909, Supervisor J. A. Johnston called for the creation of a municipal streetcar line to prevent United Railroads from monopolizing San Francisco’s transit system, saying, – — “Gentlemen, I think you will agree with me when I say that if we do not run our public utility services, the public utility services will run us."

Starting service in 1912, the publicly owned transit agency would employ operators who had been blacklisted by United Railroads for striking, and Muni has had a strong relationship with labor ever since. That relationship is presently being tested in contentious contract negotiations with the Transport Workers Union. [See… ]