Cable Cars, San Francisco
San Francisco is a great place to visit. It is a very tourist friendly place.
The transportation system BART can take you from the SFO International airport to the City of San Francisco, to the Bay Area and all over.
Fondest memory: Definitely take the Cable car, it's what his place is known for. Definitely go to Fisherman's Wharf, see the Dungenous crabs and try their Boudini famous sourdough breads with their famous clam chowder.
The inspiration for a cable car in San Francisco first came from an Englishman by the name of Andrew Smith Hallidie , who had realized the dangerous effects of an horse-drawn overloaded street car. Son of a wire rope manufacturer, Hallidie put this technology to efficient use when he first built the cable car. Finally on August 2, 1873, Hallidie tested the first cable car system in San Francisco near the top of Nob Hill at Clay and Jones Streets. However the Great Earthquake of 1906, which was responsible for transforming much of the city into a heap of ruins had also damaged the Cable car system operating in the city.
Basically three car routes currently operate in San Francisco. At Powell and Market Streets, there is a cable car turntable from where passengers can board the cable car for any of the 2 routes called the Powell-Mason line and the Powell-Hyde line. In addition to these two lines there is also a third line in operation called the California Street Line.This California Street Line runs east to west covering the areas of the whole of the Financial District including Chinatown and Nob Hill and finally reaches the destination of Van Ness Avenue. Since all the lines have converging routes, signs are painted straight at the sides of the cars.
Fondest memory: The historic landmark of the cable car Barn and Powerhouse allows visitors a view of the actual cable winding machinery and also a view of the path of the cable entering and leaving the building. Cable car tickets can be purchased from the conductors after actually boarding the car or at the different turntables operating at various street corners. A ride on the car is allowed to visitors provided they hold a valid passport and the charges of tickets for them and the locals are the same. The cable car offers services on all seven days of the week with special schedules on weekends. It is fantastic to take a view of the city riding around in a cable car.
Tickets: can be purchased at turnarounds or from the conductor as you board.
Adult & Youth (ages 5-17): $3.00 each way.
Senior (ages 65+) & Disabled: $3.00 each way ($1.00 9pm-7am).
Passes: Passports: are perfect for visitors to the city, and allow riding on streetcars, buses, and cable cars.
One Day: $9.00.
Three Days: $15.00.
Seven Days: $20.00.
FastPasses: allow monthly unlimited riding for cable cars, streetcars, buses, and BART (within SF).
Adult (ages 18-64): $45.00.
Youth (ages 5-17): $10.00.
Senior (ages 65+) and Disabled: $10.00.
Do NOT refer to them, under any circumstance, as "trolley" cars. The basic fare is $5.00 for adults, and there are NO transfers. Cable car tickets and one-day Muni passes ($10) are sold by the conductors on the cable cars. The conductors can make change for up to $20. Monthly passes and Passports are valid on cable cars. The Powell-Hyde and Powell-Mason cars are heavily touristed, while the California/Drumm/Van Ness cable car is used mostly by the locals. Hours of operation are generally 5:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Also, do NOT ring the bell to indicate your stop. The bell is for use of the conductors only; one bell means "stop" and two means "go" or, is it the other way around?!
This photo, taken by Hans, shows people literally HANGING OUT of the cable car. Though I preferred to have a seat, many (including Hans) wanted to stand on the platform to get better views, plus Hans wanted to take movies.
This photo gives you an idea how steep "the streets of San Francisco" really are.
Who has not heard about them or seen a film where all cars smash in a police persecution?
We used them a few times but the queues are amazing so finally we used more time the other lines as the F that takes you around so watch all center and sea line if you are tired after all day walking
But cable cars are dangerous LOL, the cars drive along the sides nearly touching the people standing on the sides and when you leave the cable car you have to watch that no car is coming. Ok drivers are pretty god over there and careful. But I was suffering for the kind standing on the lines hehehe (I guess my friends would laugh as they always call me mum, as I always worry about this things hehehe)
You will save a lot of time if you pick up one of the 3 or 7 day MUNI passes. You can ride the MUNI subway, F-Line street cars, buses and all the Cable cars.
The 7-day pass is a particulary good bargin. Get a pass and avoid waiting in line for tickets or digging for change.
Most tourists want to ride a cable car, and they should: cable cars are a lot of fun. However, most tourists catch the cable cars that go to Fisherman's Wharf on Powell Street. The line for these cars can wrap around the block and take an hour. It can take just as long to come back downtown, too.
As an alternative, catch the California Street Cable Car line at Market and California Streets (just above the Embarcadero BART station). These cable cars are almost never full, and there is seldom any line at all. They don't go to the Wharf, but they do go to Chinatown, Nob Hill, Polk Gulch and end at Van Ness Avenue. To see some grand old Victorians, cross Van Ness and walk a few blocks up California Street. These mansions are among the few in the area that survived the great earthquake and fire of 1906.
If you want to go to the Wharf, you can always catch the F streetcars on Market. They don't go up any hills, but the are charming in their own way and the ride along the Embarcadero is beautiful.
A few days in Frisco before hitting the road down to LA.
These are all MUST-DOs: the Powell-Hyde Cable Car ride from the base of Powell Street through Union Square, Nob and Russian Hills.
By car queuing for 20 minutes before going down Lombard Street: the crookedest street in the world.
Fondest memory: There are usually pretty long lines with people waiting to ride the cable car. The wait is worth it, I think. This picture shows a cable car climbing a steep hill on Hyde Street. To get from the waterfront to Chinatown, you can ride the cable car and don't have to climb the hills yourselves because it can be a pretty exhausting exercise.
Fondest memory: Unique to San Francisco, cable cars are fun to ride because you get to hang from the side of the cars. The hilly terrain makes the ride even more interesting. These old fashioned cable cars have the power to climb the hills and descend with good brake power. I don't think they are powered by gasoline or anything; you have to find out at the Cable Car Museum where you can learn how cable cars work.
Favorite thing: The cable cars are one of the things that come to mind when one thinks of SF. Created by Andrew Smith Hallidie in 1873 to prevent accidents from happening on these extremely hilly streets, the cable car was originally intended for use in the mining towns to pull ore cars out of underground mines. Obviously, Hallidie adapted it for use on the streets of SF.
Hopping on a cable car and traveling up and down the hills of San Francisco.
Fondest memory: Riding the cable car at 11:30 pm from Nob Hill to Fisherman's Wharf to Union Square with all of the city lights and the bay as a back drop.
Favorite thing: The cable car was born in San Francisco at four o'clock in the morning on August 2, 1873, when Andrew Smith Hallidie successfully tested the world's first cable car. Operated by the nonprofit "Friends of the Cable Car Museum" the Cable Car Museum provides not only an historical perspective of the importance of the cable car to San Francisco, but an insight into the daily operations of today's system.
Favorite thing: The fare (for one direction) is $2. Exact change is preferred, but operators will make change. There are self-service ticket machines (which do make change) at a few major stops and at all the terminals. The one exception is the busy cable car terminal at Powell and Market streets; purchase tickets at the kiosk there.
Ride cable car, but stand in back( not inside of car) and look back as the car is going up the hill! Very invigorating! and very San Fransisco...
Fondest memory: Getting on the local bus and going downtown with no real destination in mind, got off at a stop near downtown and just explored area, ended up walking through Chinatown and miles ( up hills, I had to stop a few times because it is very tiring)!, but it was enjoyable, finished by having dinner at a local Italian restaurant where the staff was very courteous, the atmosphere was very comforting, and the food was out of this world and the price tag was very reasonable....