Monday, December 27, 2010

Tips for Riding San Francisco's Cable Cars

The California Street Cable Car will be closed for repairs until July 2011.  This marks the first time any of the three cable car lines will be closed for an extended period since the entire system was overhauled from 1982 to 1984.  As a result of the closure, I foresee more tourists flocking to the already overcrowded Powell-Hyde and Powell-Mason lines.

(Photo courtesy of SFCVB.)

During the height of the tourist season, one can wait up to one hour to board the Powell Street cable cars.  Here are three tips to help you avoid the wait:
  1. Ride early in the morning or late at night.  If you try to ride the cars before 9:00 a.m. or after 8:00 p.m., you are less likely to find long lines at the cable car turnarounds at Powell and Market Streets, Aquatic Park, and Taylor and Bay Streets.  Cable car service starts at around 6:00 a.m. and concludes shortly after midnight.
  2. Don't board the cars at the turnarounds.  Sometimes you can squeeze onto the cars if you try to board a few blocks from the end of the cable car lines.  Better yet, board the cars at stops where many folks get off.  These stops include the Cable Car Museum at Washington and Mason Streets, the Nob Hill/Chinatown stop at California and Powell Streets, and the Lombard Street (Crookedest Street in the World) stop at Hyde and Lombard Streets.
  3. Take the Powell-Mason Street Line from Fisherman's Wharf.  If you want to take the cable car to leave Fisherman's Wharf, the line is frequently shorter at the end of the Powell-Mason line at Taylor and Bay Streets than at the end of the Powell-Hyde line at Aquatic Park.
Of course, there's no guarantee that you won't have to wait.  If you are waiting at the turnaround at Powell and Market Streets or at Aquatic Park, you're likely to see some only-in-San Francisco characters.  Enjoy them!

1 comment:

Voyager Inde said...

Thanks for the information