Cable Cars

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January 25, 2017

San Francisco Frequently Asked Questions: Cable Car 101

We get a ton of questions about the cable cars at the Visitor Information Center, so this week Carmina is introducing you to our newest class: Cable Car 101.

Riding the cable cars is one of the top things you can do when you visit San Francisco.

Cable Car Lines

There are three lines you can choose from:

  • California Line - Picks you up at California and Market Streets.
  • Powell-Mason - Picks you up at the Powell Street Cable Car turnaround off of Market Street in Union Square.
  • Powell-Hyde - This line also picks you up at the Powell Street Cable Car turnaround.

Cable Car Ride Prices

A one-way cable car ride costs $7, which you can pay with cash or Clipper Card upon entering the car. Another option is to pay $21 for an all-day cable car pass. You can buy your passes at the Visitor Information Center.

Insider Tips

  • If you want to beat the crowds, get in line before 8 a.m.
  • For the best views, sit on the side facing the bay. That's your right side if you're heading from downtown (the Powell Street Cable Car turnaround).
  • Want to learn more about the cable cars? Go to the Cable Car Museum. It's free.

Cable Car Fun Facts

  • There are more than 2,500 National Historic Landmarks. The cable cars were one of the first ones that move.
  • The average speed of a cable car is 9.5 MPH.
  • Cable cars weigh 15,000 pounds each. That's three times more than a pickup truck.

Stay tuned for next week's SF FAQ.


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