Getting Around San Francisco

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Most Viewed Transportation in San Francisco

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    F-Line

    by SteveOSF Written Aug 16, 2007

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    Historic Streetcars -- Part Two, The Ride

    Starting where the old rail portal once emerged at Market Street, you travel along and see the Castro District, the Civic Center area, the retail area near Powel Street, and the Financial District. At the end of Market Street, you'll slip through Don Chee Way to The Embarcadero.

    Along The Embarcadero you pass the Ferry Building (which withstood the 1906 earthquake and fire), Harry Bridges Plaza, the Herb Caen Promenade, the historic waterfront, before eventually moving on to Fisherman's Wharf.

    The fare is only $1.50. You can even use a transfer from a prior MUNI ride. Collect a transfer from the driver. On only is it your proof of payment, it is good for your return trip (or other MUNI ride) within about a two hour time frame. Feel free to collect a coupon from a vending machine at BART for a $0.25 discount on the fair. Be sure to have exact change as none will be provided from the driver. Dollar bills are accepted.

    The Market Street Railway, a non-profit organization of rail enthusiasts, is the driving force behind the restoration efforts and return to service of these historic streetcars. Although not original to their original design, the streetcars in services have been modified to be accessible to people with disabilities as part of the restoration process.

    Just Like a Big Metal Banana
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    F-Line

    by SteveOSF Written Aug 16, 2007

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    Historic Streetcars -- Part One, History and Basics

    Nearly as fun as a cable car, but a lot less hassle, the historic streetcars of the F-Line will take you where you will likely want to go. The F-Line is you best transportation link between downtown (or Market Street or BART) and Fisherman's Wharf. The old streetcars have the authentic look and feel of the past. In fact, some of the cars have been operational in San Francisco since the 1940's.

    They cruise the entire stretch of Market Street, travel The Embarcadero, and turn back at Fisherman's Wharf. Along Market Street you can see the commercial heart of the City.

    The workhorses of the historic streetcars are the streamlined PCCs. They are named after the Electric Railway Presidents’ Conference Committee, a group of rail company executives that assembled in the early 1930s hoping to modernize the look and technology of streetcars. Their goal was to compete more effectively with the growing threat from private automobiles. The resulting PCCs were extremely successful. Over 4,500 were built and they operated in 33 North American cities and also served in Europe. PCCs were the primary streetcar used in San Francisco before the fleet was modernized in the 1970s.

    The PCC cars currently in the F-line fleet come from either San Francisco or Philadelphia. They are painted to represent some of the cities that originally ran the PCC car.

    Some Peter Witts cars from Milan are also used and till carry the Milan markings. These cars date back to the late 1920s.

    Hold on and enjoy the ride!

    PCC Light Rail Car
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    Seeing San Francisco by Cable Car

    by VeronicaG Written Aug 5, 2007

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    There are three remaining cable car routes traveling through San Francisco. Two run along Powell Street, but the least busy of these is the California Street route. It's conveniently located near the Hyatt Embarcadero, where we lodged for the week.

    While we had noticed long lines at the other pick up stops, the California route was easily accessed with no waiting. The cost for the ride was $5.00 per person, or $11 per person for the day.

    The street ascends the hills slowly (9 miles per hour), so if you chose to dangle from the side of the cable car, posing for that authentic photo of San Francisco, you can easily do so (picture 2).

    California Street Cable Car Riding the Cable Car
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    High Priced Parking!

    by atufft Written Jun 6, 2007

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    The Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel on the Top of Nob Hill has high hourly and daily rates for parking. Study this list of prices. But, then again, anyone who can afford to stay the night at this hotel probably wouldn't think twice about paying the rates.

    Rates for Parking at Mark Hopkins Hotel
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    CalTrain

    by SteveOSF Written Apr 4, 2007

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    CalTrain operates a train service up and down the San Francisco Peninsula between the City and San Mateo. They are a good way to avoid the rush hour traffic if you happen to be going to or from one of the stops. In San Francisco, you can depart at 4th and Townend Streets where MUNI service is available.

    You are also a short walk from the AT&T Park (formerly known as Pac Bell Park, formerly known as a bunch a warehouses on Berry Street), the Metreon, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Moscone Center.

    CalTrain Station on 4ht Street
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    NCL Spirit Cruise

    by bpwarne Updated Mar 13, 2007

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    We cruised to Baja Mexico on the NCL Spirit in October of 2005. This was a short, 5 night trip with stops in Ensenada, San Diego and Catalina Island. The ship had just come out of dry dock in Oakland for refitting and so was in peak conditon. This is a beautiful ship but it is just a bit on the small side by Western standards, having originally been built for Star Lines (same company owns both) in Singapore for the Asian market. We only paid about $220 total/each for this 5 day cruise, a steal. Before departure we added our daughter as a third passenger in cabin for the rediculous price of $95.

    Embarkation: Lines were long but moved swiftly. Shortly after we boarded there was a glitch with the ships computer that voided entry to cabins. Some were unable to get in their cabins for a couple hours without a Steward but the Captain opened the bars to free drinks and most were quite pleased.

    Cabin: We had booked a inside cabin. It was slightly smaller than anticipated. It was clean and well kept during our entire cruise. Because our daughter came with us, it was a bit on the cramped side, but I suppose any standard cabin on any cruise line nowadays would be similiar. The bath was larger than anticipated.

    Dining: NCL only had freestyle or unassigned dining on this cruise. The main dining room at the very aft of the ship was absolutely amazing, with a huge 2 deck ceiling in the very back 1/2 of it with floor to ceiling windows across the entire width, quite elegant and a must see in itself. The food, presentation and service was very good to excellent. The buffet style food on the Lido deck was the best we've had so far on any cruise with a wide assortment of international foods including many vegetarian Indian dishes.

    Entertainment: Most of the evening shows were good to very good.

    Spa/Gym: The gym was good but too small to be called great. We used the saunas and steam rooms and we all enjoyed them.

    Ports: Please see our sections Catalina Island, Mexico and San Diego.

    We would cruise on NCL again.

    NCL Spirit Main Dining Room (not a good pic, so much glass) Atrium with one of three elevators showing
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  • Ding, ding, ding goes the trolley

    by RblWthACoz Written Aug 4, 2006

    Even if you don't need to go somewhere along their route, wouldn't you say it's worth the $1.50 (and time) to take a ride in one of the 34 painstakingly refurbished historic trolleys in service on the "F" line? When was the last time you rode an authentic trolley that was first built 90 years ago? These trolleys have been brought from all over the world from Vienna to Philadelphia. You can't miss them as they roll down Market Street and through the Castro and it's definitely a ride you won't be getting anywhere else!

    Also keep an eye open for the "E" line that will open in late 2006. It will provide service from Fisherman's Wharf to SBC park and the Caltrain Depot.

    Taking a ride on history's track.

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  • Use public transportation simply with this...

    by RblWthACoz Updated Dec 21, 2005

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    This is the absolute best website to use in order to plan on how to get anywhere using public transportation through the ENTIRE Bay Area. That means from San Francisco to San Jose to Oakland to Santa Rosa. Just enter the address you are leaving from and the address of where you are going to. You can also modify your search to tell you how to get to a place by a specific time. This is a very useful site and has made my life much easier and saved me money since I was able to take public transportation instead of a cab.

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    Scootcar's -Great Way to See the City

    by travelingbunny Written Jul 6, 2005

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    We were considering renting mopeds to do some sightseeing around the city and stopped by a rental place located near Fisherman’s Wharf on Beach Street. While there we discovered the adorable “scootcar.” The scootcars are little mini-cars, sort of a car/moped hybrid. Although they top out at about 25mph, and therefore cannot be taken on any major roads or across the bridge, they are a great, enjoyable way to get to all the city’s various neighborhoods.. Although we often felt like people were laughing at us as we “scooted” by, it was loads of fun. NOTE: they do not have very powerful engines so avoid any of the really steep hills –at one point my boyfriend had to get out and push (V. embarrassing!) However, the rental place does give you a town map that clearly marks what streets to avoid –something we missed, obviously.

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    Cruise the Bay

    by Agraichen Written Sep 16, 2004

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    Hornblower Cruises have been around for over 20 years. Starting small, they have expanded to a number of small ships that cruise SF bay and now are in other parts of CA (San Diego, Marina Del Ray, Newport Beach, Berkeley)

    Dinner cruises at sunset, "gambling" (only for fun) with Kareokee, corporate events, or just a 3 hour relaxing cruise on the bay.

    They now have it all.

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    By foot

    by Carmela71 Written Sep 9, 2004

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    Personally the best way to know a city is by foot, the best way to discover new places when getting lost LOL. At the beginning I though we may not needed the muni passes, but some areas are really easy by foot, others not so accessible and there are so many bus lines, that a muni pass is the best…

    So try to walk from Union station through Chinatown till Fisherman’s Wharf, but you can come back by bus ;-)

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    Do you want to visit Alcatraz?

    by Carmela71 Written Sep 9, 2004

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    Ok there is only one way with the Blue & Gold Fleet, they also have other trips to Sausalito or bay cruises.

    We tried the one of Alcatraz but it was too late, nothing available for the next 5 days (too many European tourists lol) and we decided to do the bay one, but the queues were so long that we left it for the next day, and the next day was a foggy one, so we missed it….

    So recommendations… book in advance and if the day is nice (in summer) try to do it in that moment, alter will be too late lol

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    Try a City Tour First

    by Goner Updated Aug 23, 2004

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    Although San Francisco isn't a huge city like LA or New York, it has some tendon streatching hills. Even though I had been to this beautiful city before I was amazed at the advantage point the bus tour gave us. Be first in line and ride in the glass domed front seat - in this case upstairs. Several of the pictures I took were out the window of the bus. The tour also helps you get your bearings for visiting on your own via public transportation which is very good in SF. There are many tours to take and these are all being advertised at Pier 39. We opted for the San Francisco Gray Line tour for 3 1/2 hours which cost $38. Not bad considering it's $3 just to cross the Golden Gate Bridge and another if you return. We stopped at Twin Peaks high above the city for some super pictures - it was "a clear day".

    There are various other tours offered by this compay from a Deluxe City Tour to tours to the Wine Country.

    Map of SF
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    Important phone numbers for transit information

    by elcbw Written Aug 5, 2004

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    While San Francisco is best known for its cable cars (which cost $2 per ride), there are a number of other modes of public transportation as well. Here is a description of each with phone numbers to call for more information:

    AC Transit (buses to Berkeley, Oakland and other East Bay communities; buses depart from the Transbay Terminal and the Financial District): 510-839-2882
    BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit - underground San Francisco train system that also links San Francisco with the East Bay and Daly City): 992-2278
    Blue & Gold Fleet (ferries to Oakland and Vallejo): 705-5444
    CalTrain (train service to San Jose): 800-660-4287
    Golden Gate Ferries (to Sausalito and Larkspur): 332-6600
    Golden Gate Transit (buses to Marin and Sonoma counties): 923-2000
    MUNI (city buses, which cost $1 and offer transfers): 673-6864
    Red & White Fleet (ferries to Alcatraz, Angel Island, Muir Woods, Sausalito, Tiburon and the Wine Country): 800-229-2784
    SamTrans (buses to San Mateo County, including the SF International Airport): 800-660-4287
    If you expect to travel around quite a bit, consider purchasing a MuniPass, which provides unlimited transportation on buses and cable cars, plus discounts to a number of local museums. The cost is $6 for one day; $7 for 2 days; and $10 for three days. For more information, call (415) 673-MUNI.

    Source: insider.com

    Stuck in traffic on the way from Marin County

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    "Bubble Cars" aka Scooter Cars

    by SUSAMY Written Sep 21, 2003

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    If you want to LAUGH - I mean, really, seriously LAUGH until you cry, rent one of these Bubble Cars and cruise around town.

    Dangerous? Oh man, yes. You have to sign a waiver saying you won't sue. But, just look at the thing - it's a RIOT!

    * beep beep *
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San Francisco Transportation

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BART, CalTrain, SF Bay Ferry, and MUNI  combined provide one of the nation's best region transit systems entering and exiting San Francisco.  Why?  Because it has great variety of...

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