This morning the Examiner posted a breakdown of payouts from lawsuits that followed a couple of cable car mishaps. According to the report, the 2008 derailing of a car on the Powell-Mason line just down the hill from the Cable Car Museum will cost the MTA $2.1 million to compensate three of the injured passengers. City Attorney Dennis Herrera's office a has also offered $2.75 million to settle with John Gainor who lost a foot when the trolley he was riding collided with a double-parked vehicle in 2009*.

Over on the Appeal, we learned today that the MTA expects to pull in $5.5 million from Cable Car fares this year - a figure which may or may not have factored in such lawsuit payouts as part of the system's operating costs. The point being: those payouts don't really leave a lot of room in the budget either way.

Speaking of breaking stuff and operating costs: the wait to catch a cable car on the California Street line just went up to 6 months, according to the MTA. The line, which was scheduled to close next week for a $24 million** 6-month-long overhaul, snapped a cable on Christmas Eve. According to the Chronicle, repairs would take too long to make re-opening the line worthwhile. In the meantime, you can catch a bus along the route, but that doesn't quite have the same charm as dangling freely off the side of the only mobile historic landmarks in the country, now does it?

[*This wasn't the first time a Cable Car operator had experienced some frustration with double-parked SUVs.]
[**The Ex quotes $24 million for the overhaul, the Chron says $16 million]