San Francisco Cable Car – A Complete Guide

As a traveler, getting used to your destination’s transportation is important so you will be aware of the local points and stops. In San Francisco, California, there are several means of transportation that passengers can experience. However, if you want to enjoy riding on a classic vehicle, why not try their historic cable cars? Listed below is the complete guide for San Francisco Cable Car. It is best to keep a map or the route of the cable car if you are a first-timer so you would not get lost in the city.

Image Source: TripAdvisor

Cable cars in San Francisco are the oldest means of transportation, but a lot of people are still patronizing it because it never goes out of style and engines are still functioning properly just like the modern-day cars. The cable cars run for about 10 minutes on every route and stops. From 6 a.m up until midnight, you can enjoy riding on cable cars that roam around San Francisco.

Recommended Read: How to Enjoy San Francisco’s Nightlife

San Francisco Cable Car Fares

cable cars San FranciscoImage Source: TripAdvisor

As of August 2017, the standard fare of the cable cars is $7.00 and this is for a one way trip. Meaning, if you plan to get off the car, you need to pay again when hailing one. But if you feel like riding the cars all day, whether it is a nonstop, roundtrip or one way, you can purchase the all-day pass at $17.00 only.

Discounts apply to senior citizens, however, it is only applicable during the non-peak hours. The car operator can only make change up to $20.00. You can also avail the tickets at the cars’ stops or the routes they pass along.

San Francisco Cable Car Routes

There are three cable car routes in San Francisco. The two main lines are Powell Hyde and Powell Mason. If you want to see the main routes of the cable cars, it is advisable that you download the map so you will be familiar with all the places the cable cars pass through.

    • Powell/Hyde – In this route, you can shop,eat and enjoy the scenic view while riding on the cable car. One of the most popular restaurant in this area is Ana Mandara, this is a Vietnamese Restaurant that offers a variety of Asian cuisine. This Powell/Hyde route ends to Ghirardelli Square. The passenger can exit at Lombard Street, which is best known for being the “The World’s Crookedest Street”.
    • Powell/Mason – This line passes to Lombard Street and drops the passengers off in North Beach. As a tourist, if you feel starving, you can dine in at Kennedy’s Irish Pub and Curry House. This is a combination of pub and arcade that offers Indian cuisine. You can get off at Wharf and take a walk along San Francisco to enjoy the view.
    • California/Van Ness – This last route of the cable cars pass through Financial District and Nob Hill where you can find hotels to stay in, as well as clubs where you can have the utmost nightlife. There is no turnaround for cable cars because it only has one grip at both ends.

Tip: if you are planning to take on a longer trip to San Francisco, might as well avail a Clipper Card. This card is a transportation pass which can be used on buses and cable cars passes.

How to Ride the Cable Cars in San Francisco

San Francisco Cable Cars Tips
If you are a first timer, it can be confusing as to where you’re going to ride the cable car or where you’re going to get off. A lot of tourists try riding on the cable cars around San Francisco because aside from being a historical symbol of the city, it actually allows everyone to enjoy the views of the city at an affordable price.

In riding the car, you must wave as soon as you see the grip person so that they will be aware that a passenger will ride on the car. To be safe, make sure that you stay on the curb until it stops. In cases where the cable car is full, it will not stop no matter how many times you wave at the driver. The conductor will be the one responsible in collecting the tickets and the fares of the passengers.

Once you have ridden the car, choose the best seat assignment of your preference. If you want a clearer view of the city, you may sit outside. If you choose on sitting inside the car, the best option is on the window seat, aside from the fresh air, it is more comfortable there.

If your desired stop is approaching, make sure to signal the grip person at least half the block or else, you might not be able to get off on your desired route. You might be curious as to how you can make the cable car stop, the thing here is, you just have to signal the grip person by saying, “Next stop, please!” and that’s it. You can get off at the car once it stopped on the specific route.

Riding cable cars around San Francisco can be fun as long as you have the right knowledge to its whereabouts. This guide serves as your basic aid if you don’t have any idea on how to board on the cable cars. Enjoying the wonders of San Francisco can be done using this guide, so have a safe trip and welcome to the Californian Lifestyle!

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