San Francisco Cable Cars

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1201 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA, USA
San Francisco Cable Cars - Cable Car Museum

San Francisco Cable Cars Reviews

mkarinaa mkarinaa
48 reviews
Cable Cars May 28, 2010
Well...its a trolley, and its bright red. Because of some law changes people are not allowed to hang off the sides when riding, so that naturally take some fun out of it. They are also pretty run down for a popular tourist attraction, it kinda feels like its going to fall apart with you in it.

One more very important thing is that they're expensive! A bus costs around 1-2 dollars, a ride on the trolley costs $5, its an experience you should do but its really not worth as much as you're paying for it.
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sdbleve sdbleve
21 reviews
Mar 31, 2007
This morning we all went on a 2 1/2 tour on a "motorized trolley". It started at the famous Pier 39 tourist site, and wound thru the city. The first stop was at the Palace of Fine Arts/Exploratorium. It was really only a 10 minute (or so) photo stop. The site is what is left of the Pan-Pacific Expo of 1915. It now features a classical Roman rotunda with curved colonnades. It is really pretty cool looking. When we were getting of the bus, the driver had asked if my neice (8 yrs old) would like to ring the bell when we got back (to tell everybody is was time to return. She was very excited, and keep reminding us we needed to return "because she got to ring the bell" :)

The next stop was the Fort that is under the Golden Gate Bridge. Another 10 minute photo stop. I took some neat picutres, and my eldest son was enthralled by the large collection of canons in the fort. After that quick stop, we headed up to the bridge itself. Here we had a 30 minute stop. My mother had originally wanted to do a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, but the couch potatoe kids did not want to do the 3.2 mile round trip walk. So this thirty minute layover gave us an opportunity to walk out onto the bridge. Then it was back on the bus for the rest of the drive. We traversed our way back thru the city until we were finally back at pier 39. It was a nice drive, and the bus driver gave some interesting background on the city. He was informative, but I have been on tours where the driver was funny. Those tours are a bit more fun.
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Eric Eric
408 reviews
Apr 05, 2006
In addtion to being a decent form of transportation, riding the cable cars through the hilly streets of San Francisco is a fun and inexpensive way to get a good overview of the city. The cable car drivers are usually pretty talkative and amicable, and although every passenger is a tourist and the whole affair seems kind of gimimicky, there is a shared sense of fun. The only thing I don't like about cable cars is that it always freaks me out when I see them running along the same streets I am driving on.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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spocklogic says:
This aspect is disconcerting to pedestrians too. Avoiding trolleys and cars is quite a challenge.
Posted on: Dec 08, 2011
joeytuan joeytuan
8 reviews
Apr 06, 2006
While I was working in the Embarcadero Center, I took the cable car back from work every day. Hanging off the side of the car with the wind blowing in your face is an excellent reminder than you are now officially out of the office. The California street cable car goes from Davis all the way down California to Van Ness. If you want to take it in the morning, it's light years more comfortable than the 1-California bus (which takes an average of 28,000smelly people back and forth from work each day), with the only catch being the unpredictable wait time. I can't remember how many times I was late to work because I was too stubborn to take the bus, waited upwards of 15 min for the cable car, and ended up taking the bus anyway. Between the 1-California and the Powell-Mason/Powell-Hyde lines, the latter are more touristy and offer a wider gamut of scenery, if you're into that kinda stuff. Iprefer to look at monolithic greybuildings in theFinancial District twice a day.

The best tip I can offer is to get the muni monthly pass. It costs $45, so with 9 trips a month on the cable car,it's covered andwithadditional trip,you can spend a guiltless $5on somethingelse!!Thank me later.
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willahu says:
And if you look young, you can get the monthly youth pass for $10...not that I do that
Posted on: Apr 06, 2006
X_Drive X_Drive
836 reviews
Sep 10, 2000
If you have been on this planet for a few years you are aware that a giant, very steep hill is right in the middle of San Francisco. To tackle the public transportation problems involved with this hill San Francisco in it's early days decided to build a cable car system that would pull the trolley cars to the top and hold them from losing control on the way down the other side. It was a major undertaking. Many horses died trying to pull trolleys up those hills. In its hayday many routes ran. Today, only three routes are in operation. One runs California Street East and West from the Financial District, through China Town, over Nob Hill and stops at Van Ness Avenue. The other two run from a turntable at Market and Powell Streets up and over Nob Hill and end near Fisherman's Wharf, but at different areas. Make sure you know which you are taking. Getting on and off a cable car has certain etiquette. Look for the "Cable Car Stop" signs. Tickets can be purchased for a single ride, daily pass, 3 day pass, or 7 day passes. You can also use a FastPass which is a monthly pass for all cable cars, streetcars, buses, and BART (within SF). San Francisco has one of the best public transportation systems in the world.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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Andy99 Andy99
579 reviews
Jun 27, 1987
Cable cars and San Francisco are inseparable. Is there any other mode of transportation that so immediately conjures up the image and feel of a particular city? The cable cars have been ferrying passenger over San Francisco’s hilly streets since 1873. Today, they provide both a picturesque and practical means of getting around the city. You can't visit San Franciso and not ride the cable cars.

There are three lines: Powell and Mason, Powell and Hyde, and California Street. The two Powell lines will take you from downtown at Market Street to the Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghiradelli Square areas. The lesser known California Street cars cross the two Powell lines and run from the Financial District through Chinatown to Van Ness.

Cable cars operation is very physical. The operator, called a Grip, pulls down on the grip lever to manually engage the cable running under the street. By gripping the cable, the car is pulled along. (The cars are not self-powered.) It’s almost as if the Grip was pulling the entire car. The Powell and Mason and Powell and Hyde cars have to manually turned around at the end of each run. This always draws a crowd of observers.

The Cable Car Museum is located at the Mason Street Cable Car Barn and Powerhouse. Here, you can learn the history of the cable cars and their relationship to San Francisco, see historic cars, and actually see the cable in operation.
Cable Car Museum
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milltownmeadow says:
Very good I remember it all so well after reading your review,I did go in the cable car museum thought it was very good.
Posted on: Dec 05, 2007

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