How to Ride a Cable Car in San Francisco

The city of San Fransisco is highly famed for its popular cable cars. it is hard to spend time in the city without boarding the cable cars, either as a tourist or as a means of transportation, it is a thing of joy for tourists when they get to ride in one of these iconic cars. Riding a cablecar in the city of San Fransisco might be a tough exercise for newbies, as the cablecars, most times don’t stop mid-route, and chasing them down is not a better option. Let’s take a guide on how to smoothly board these amazing cable cars in San Fransisco.


Firstly, you need to know the routes that the cable cars pass through, so as to be sure that they are going your way. There are 3 cable car in San Francisco

  • Powel-Hyde route; this route starts from the corner of Powell and Market streets and stops at the end of Hyde streets in the Fisherman’s wharf
  • Powell-Mason route; this route also starts from the Powell and Market streets and stops at the end of Bay and Taylor streets, few blocks away from the fisherman’s wharf.
  • California route; this route runs from California and Market street and stops at Van Ness avenue

The Powell-Hyde route is the mos busiest route, with the California route being the least busy of all 3 routes.

Purchasing Tickets

Everyone that is above the age of 4 must get a ticket before boarding the cable car. There are various ways to purchase a ticket for the cable cars;

Through the MUNI app;

This is the most convenient way to purchase the tickets as you don’t et to stand in long lines. Tickets through the means can be purchased using the MUNI app installed in your smartphone. Simply buy the ticket on the app, then show the driver the ticket image on your smartphone as you are about to board, super cool!

Ticket Booths;

You can also get your tickets from the ticket booths located at the boarding areas, though this is always a tough exercise as there are always long lines there.

Pay by cash:

You can also choose to pay cash to the cable car conductor. $7 for adults and children,$3 for seniors and disabled, this is only valid for a single ride, though you have to come with small dollar bills, at most $20.

Other means include using your clipper card or using your visitor’s pass, which guarantees you unlimited rides.

How to ride a cable car:

Riding a cable car is easy, just like your normal bus. There are two ways to ride on the cable car;

You can choose to enjoy your ride whilst sitting down on the wooden benches provided in the cable car, which is the most preferred.

You can also choose to stand up, but you have to hold on to the poles provided. make sure that you are fully inside the cable car and non of your belongings are dangling outside.

Tips on How to Ride a cable car

  • Always notify the grip person when you want to drop, at least half a block before your stop, as the cable car takes time to come to a halt.
  • Bicycles are not allowed on the cable car.
  • Make sure to hold on tight and enjoy your ride.
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