Cable Cars, San Francisco
You HAVE to ride the cable car atleast once in San Francisco. They are soooo much fun and only cost $3.00 and they bring you from fishermans warf all the way to the shopping district, back and around. They are totally neat, old fashioned and I had a great time on them. The first day I never took one and walked forever (3 hours) around San Fran, so the cable cars definatley are not only time savers, but feet savers.
Make sure you buy a pass for a couple of days as this works out much cheaper and easier than buying a ticket everday.
(The staff on the trams, cable cars etc also don't like you producing a large denomination note! So this saves that embarrassment too!)
Everyone who's travelling to SF gets told to take a cable car. The biggest complaint is that the lines are long and there's usually not much space.
We solved that problem by taking an early morning cable car on a weekend. We caught the Hyde-Mason cable car at 820am. We also caught it at the second stop rather than at the turnaround. We still got great views and we had a seat on the benches in front.
For a local person the cable cars are no longer an efficient mean of transportation. In the last five years I must have taken a cable car at most five times. The reason for this is that it make take a long time to get somewhere. The cars are completely packed during high seasons and at the end stops the lines are very long. It's also more than double the price of the rest of public transportation. Cable cars cost about $3 one-way while taking a bus, a tram or the subway costs $1.25 and you're allowed one transfer (a total of two rides). But if you're a tourist, you should definitely try this one, it's a really nice ride. Plus it connects many of the tourist attractions (like downtown to Fisherman's Wharf by Lombard Street). You can purchase a ticket on board or from booths at the end of the lines, where the turntables are. Like I said, at the end of the tracks there's usually a line, so I prefer to board a few stops from the end of the line. But it's fun to be at the end stops when they turn the cable car around. Presently there's only three lines in operation (Powell-Mason, Powell-Hyde, and California Street). California Street is less crowded (and more spectacular in my opinion).
The cable car system is a great way to see this great city! You are up close and personal with the sights, delivered exactly where you want to be, can hop on and off, stay all day!! I highly recommend at least one "leg" of a trip on a San Francisco Cable Car!
For fares, go to:http://www.sfmuni.com/cms/mms/fares/fareinfo.htm#cable
Take cable car on Powell station in direction of Jefferson station. Don't forget to get off in Lombard Street to see the crookedest street in the world. You can buy ticket on board but I would suggest you to buy weekend (2 days) or week pass (7 days) valid for unlimited number of rides on all means of public transportation (except BART).
Riding the Cable car was fun. We broke into song ,"Rice a Roni the San Francisco Treat".
We had to get off the cable car midway as Bill Clinton was in town and the road were closed. We recommend that you buy an all day pass and get on and off as much as you want all day long.
Muni Passports are good for unlimited rides on Muni, including cable cars. 3-day and 7-day Passports are good for three or seven consecutive days.
1-day Passport $9
3-day Passport $15
7-day Passport $20
Alternatively, if you're getting San Francisco CityPass, you can enjoy unlimited rides for 7 consecutive days. See General Tips for more details.
Some may consider this to be a tourist trap. Others may not want to stand in line for awhile. However, this is part of the San Francisco experience. It is fun indeed. There are two types of cable cars in the city: The ones with wheels and the antique ones that latch on to a cable in order to move. I recommend trying the latter. They do not move very fast, so you get a good look at your surroundings. Tickets are only a couple of dollars, so it will not set you back too much. San Francisco is famous for streets that go straight up hills at a very steep angle. These cable cars can take you right up those streets.
One fo the most popular routes is from Powell Street (where BART has a station) to Fisherman's Wharf. You will go up through Union Station and then climb Nob Hill to the area right above Lombard Street. Then, you descend to the Wharf. Look for views of the Transamerica pyramid, Alcatraz, and the Bay Bridge. Some people prefer to sit while others like to stand. They fill those cars up, so there will be people hanging off the side.
You may have to wait awhile for your turn on a busy day, so be sure to plan some wait time. Yet, I think it is something you should do at least once. Cable cars are popular with both tourists and locals. Perhaps the mode of transportation seems outdated, yet I would not want to imagine San Francisco without its cable cars.
Cable Car - it's not just another boring tourist attraction, it's a lot of fun indeed! :)
When I was there going around with my bike, just couldn't resist and made a little tour with the Cable Car.
Make sure to check the drivers post as well. And see if you are lucky enough, cause our driver was even singing! :)
Cable Car transportation in San Franciso are both fun and inexpensive.The cost is $3.00 per person one way and $6.00 per person return. I paid for our return tickets ahead of time so as not to have to wait in line again on the way back. While I got in line for the tickets, Hans got in line for the cable cars, which were quite long on the day we went. the tickets were on a collector series card telling about the history of the cable car which you can keep as a souvenir. The conducter simply takes the part of the ticket which says $3.00. All in all it was a fun way to get around San Francisco.
Riding the cable cars in SF is a longtime tourist tradition. I have a friend, Chris, who has lived there since the late 90's and he has not once ridden the cable cars. He's an idiot! They are SO much fun. There's just something magical about how the operator pulls some levers and grabs hold of an underground cable that's always moving.
Before you go try out this cable car simulator.
The standard fare is $3.00 each way but you can buy MUNI passes that offer much better rates:
- One Day: $9.00
- Three Days: $15.00
- Seven Days: $20.00
And these passes are also good on streetcars, buses, and the MUNI light-rail system.
It's a must, and it's a great one! You've seen it on TV so many times and it's even better than imagined.
I made the mistake and decided to take a ride in the afternoon, big mistake, I had to queue for an hour! But I got the place on the back platform, and it's an incredible experience to go up and down these steep hills.
For the trip from Ghiradelli Square to Union Square (roughly) I had to pay 3$ - a lot if you take it just for transportation, okay if you see it as an attraction.
When we were in San Francisco we invested in a City Pass which gave admission to certain attractions as well as 7 days use of the MUNI system, including the Cale Cars.
It cost $40.00 per person and as well as the above it also included 9 days admission (once per attraction) to the following: -
Museum of Modern Art
California Academy of Science and Steinhart Aquarium
Asian Art Museum
1 Hour Bay Cruise
Available from the ticket booth at the Powell Street turnaround.
See this picture? It was "our" Cable Car, with the officers turning it to leave again.
Just imagine that when I started waiting, the sun was still shining in the sky...
If you have time to spend, anyway, it is a funny experience to live.
The driver was a LARGE man with noisy voice that seemed Captain Achab to me.
The Car goes very slowly and it is actually more an attraction than a way to move in San Francisco