Riding a cable car in San Francisco
I visited San Francisco for the first time this year and at the top of my list of things to do was to ride a cable car. Of course I picked up a few tips that I would like to pass on to future San Francisco visitors:
-Riding a cable car in San Francisco means waiting in line for at least an hour! So wear comfortable shoes. The long wait is if you get on at the end of the cable line.
– A single one-way ride on a cable car costs $6.00 (as of August 2013) and you can buy tickets at the turn-table/end of the lines or from conductors on board. Note that if you ride the cable car before 7am or after 9pm the ticket price is $3.00 one-way! And a one-day cable car pass is $14.00
– I advise that you board at the beginning or end of the cable line and ride the entire route. Plus if you get on at the turn-table areas you have all that time to watch the cars come in to the turn-table, get turned around, and pushed into place for the next load of passengers – all very entertaining!
-Once passengers can board at the turn-table area, I suggest you really try to get a seat as holding on can be at bit hair-raising when going up and down the steep San Francisco hills.
-The drivers operate the cars and will give you information along the way and warn passengers of bumps or speedy down hill portions.
– Passengers can board cable cars at different stops but you must wave to alert the driver you want to get on and wait for the car to stop completely before you board.
-The cable car ride is like a rollercoaster through a city and so much fun! So don’t miss out and make sure to hold on!
San Francisco CABLE CAR MUSEUM
If you are in San Francisco you should not only ride a cable car but visit the Cable Car Museum!
Admission to the Cable Car Museum is free and open every day from 10am to 6pm (closes at 5pm from October to March).
The Cable Car Museum not only tells you about the history of the cars, it has old models, historical photos, and it is also the main powerhouse from which all four lines run! You can see the cable lines and how they are run, hearing the origin of the noise that runs through the streets of San Francisco.
The cable cars run on tracks that enclose the cable, which is always moving, and the cable car’s grip grabs the moving cable below.
READ about the history of the San Francisco cable car on the official Cable Car Museum website by clicking here.If you’re just looking for a brief summary, keep reading…
The story goes that Andrew Smith Hallidie created San Francisco cable cars in 1873 after seeing horses struggling to pull carriages up the steep hills. Hallidie’s father was the inventor of the strong wire cables. There was a time when San Francisco thought the cable cars should be retired but thanks to a public campaign started by Friedel Klussmann, the cars were saved!
You can READ about how the cable cars work, which is fascinating, by clicking here for the official Cable Car Museum website section on “How Cable Cars Work” and make sure to click on each section for more in-depth information.