San Francisco is throwing around the idea of selling the naming rights of the cable cars to aid SFMTA. Naturally, people do not like the money-making scheme of re-naming the iconic cars -- cars that, over the last ten years, operate more for tourists' whimsy than any need to get to anywhere -- because it degrades the cable cars' lore. Or whatever. According to SF Examiner, Muni Director Malcolm A. Heinicke "envisions that groups could raise funds to name one of the 40 cable cars or the nearly 90 streetcars after a similarly iconic San Franciscan or local institution. The revenue from selling the naming rights could be used to fix and restore those vehicles." However, chances are that this idea will fail because whenever you try explaining to most San Franciscans that they do not, in fact, live in the merry ol' land of Oz, their heads explode.
Anyway, Heinicke went on to say, “We are blessed in this city to have these beautiful historic streetcars ... But the maintenance costs [for the streetcars] are significant.” But as Judson True points out, "some cable cars already have plaques on them that list the major contributors who helped restore the antique vehicles nearly 25 years ago."