What's the deal with Cable Cars of San Francisco and why this is one of the top recommended experiences in California?

What's the deal with Cable Cars of San Francisco and why this is one of the top recommended experiences in California?

Travellingcamera loves those experiences from a place, which stand out very clearly and local ecosystem tries to do the best to preserve those cultural aspects. These can be in various forms, shapes & types. Cable cars from San Francisco are in that category which has so many interesting aspects associated, and are a historic symbol recognised across the globe.  Above photograph shows one of the cable cars at the starting point near Union Square in San Francisco city. This is the place where these cable cars are rotated to change the position of the face of the cable car. San Francisco is a hilly city so these cable cars look amazing on those slopes of San Francisco downtown. 


What's the deal with Cable Cars of San Francisco and why this is one of the top recommended experiences in California?

Above photograph of San Francisco cable car is clicked close to Lombard Street. It was ok experience being there in the month of Feb and during the middle of the day. Probably I had visited it earlier, so it was not very exciting for me and story would have been different if I would have got some cool shots here. Anyways, it makes sense to visit Lombard Street at least once, when you are in San Francisco. and probably a perfect place to go to in Cable car. It stops close to Lombard street, to drop tourists and then you can walk down the curvy roads of the famous Lombard street of San Francisco. 

Related Blogpost - Lombard Street - One of the must visit places in San Francisco (USA)

What are the timings of Cables Cars in San Francisco? 

The cable cars begin their runs at 6 am and continue until midnight. These popular cable cars run at the frequency of 10 mins, so there is always one or two cable cars running around you in San Francisco city. 

Added tip : Go to official website of Cable cars of San Francisco and download the map to plan well. 


San Francisco has various modes of Transportation. Deciding location of your hotel can also be dependent of kind of transportation you would be using in the city. E.g. - Union Square is very well connected through most of the transportation modes in San Francisco Downtown.  


What is the fare for Cable Car ride in San Francisco :

Adults - $6 per ride (one way)
Senior Citizens or people with disabilities - $3 per ride (one way)


There was multi-ride passes available if you plan to roam around a lot and these places are close to Cable car route in San Francisco :

1-Day Visitor Passport - $14
3-Day Visitor Passport - $22
7-Day Visitor Passport - $28

All day passes are sold by conductors on the train. 

There are ticket counters for single ride tickets at main stations. 


San Francisco also has a Cable Car Museum :

There is a Cable car museum in San Francisco and it's located at 1201 Mason Street at Washington Street in San Francisco. San Francisco is home to the only cable car system in the world and as an Indian I wonder how Kolkata's tram is different. I am sure there must be lot of things technically, which differentiate these 2 systems. This museum has massive engines and wheels as they operate the cables. 

Entry to Cable Car Museum is free in San Francisco. 

Cable Car Museum opens at 10am and closes at 6pm. Please do check official website to ensure you plan to visit it on a day when it's open. 


Different routes of Cable cars in San Francisco :

- California Cable Car
- Powell/Hyde Cable Car
- Powell/Mason Cable Car

You would see these names written on Cable cars. So if you haven't yet sat, you would know which route you are on and refer to the route on run-time as well. 

There are three different cable car routes as listed above. The two main lines, Powell/Hyde and Powell/Mason, start off at the busy intersection of Powell and Market and make their way towards the popular destination of San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf

What's the deal with Cable Cars of San Francisco and why this is one of the top recommended experiences in California?

A ride on San Francisco’s cable cars may be the most iconic and memorable of your entire trip to San Francisco city in California state of USA. For a long time, I liked seeing them running in the city and avoided queueing up by paying good amount for a ride. Just so that you know there is always a queue at the starting point near Union Square although the waiting time is not huge. 


Some commonly asked questions or Tips around Cable cars in San Francisco :

1. Since these cable cars run on steep hills of San Francisco, you are recommended to hold on to the poles and don't lean outside. It's tempting to be on open sides of the cable car, but be careful. 

2. When you have to exit the cable car, wait until it's stopped completely. Be sure you check the street nearby as you step out. 


3. Stop, look and listen carefully before crossing cable car intersections. 

4. Bicycles and folding bikes are not permitted aboard cable cars. So if you are exploring the city on bikes, you may want to chose other modes to lug your bikes along. 


5. I have seen pets traveling in the cable car but not sure if there is ticket for pets, so please check online before making that decision. When you take your pet along, please be careful in choosing the place you want to sit and make sure you keep your pet on your laps. 

6. You also chose Cable car ride for best views around you, so make sure that you are on the side that faces the bay. That’s the eastern side of the Powell cars, meaning the right hand side for cars leaving from downtown and the left side for cars leaving from the Fisherman’s Wharf area.


7. Cable cars are sometimes late if it’s raining (reminds me of all transportation systems of India :) ). It takes them longer to slow down when the tracks are wet. So be more patient. 

8. Even on warm days it can get chilly on the cable car as it gets moving up and down those hills. So be prepared well when you start the ride. During winters if you are exposed to the wind, make sure you have covered your hands, head etc.


I used to compare commute on a cable car with other modes of commute between 2 points and cable car would sound expensive, but you don't take a ride for commute but for an experience of cable car. So I would highly recommend a ride on cable car when in San Francisco. 



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