"The streetcar will be a rolling classroom where passengers can learn about the life of Harvey Milk," San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority executive director Nathaniel Ford said.
Among those attending today's ceremony were San Francisco Supervisors Tom Ammiano, Bevan Dufty, and Ross Mirkarimi, Assemblyman Mark Leno, San Francisco City Treasurer Jose Cisneros, Harvey Milk's nephew Stuart Milk, president of the Market Street Railway Board of Directors Rich Laubscher, and Milk's former campaign manager Anne Kronenberg.
Kronenberg recalled that Milk, who was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977, used to board Muni trains to give campaign speeches to captive audiences.
"Harvey not only rode Muni, he used it as a campaign office," Kronenberg said.
"Harvey and I both knew the same thing," Ammiano said, "that cruising Market Street was fabulous."
A few speakers said that Milk was the first city official to use a Muni Fast Pass to go to work every day.
Streetcar No. 1051, a restored green and cream San Francisco rail car used in the 1960s and 1970s, displays a placard near the front entrance saying, "This car is dedicated to Harvey Milk: San Francisco Supervisor, Human Rights Advocate, Transit Advocate."
Above the interior windows are displays of Milk's life in photographs, quotations and anecdotes, including his advocacy for improving public transportation.
SFMTA executive director Nathaniel Ford paid a quick tribute to the streetcar itself, noting that it had probably carried tens of thousands of passengers since the 1960s.
"We should be aware of how it too helped improve quality of life in the city," he said.