What is the cost of riding a cable car in San Francisco?

Travel Destinations

By Kristy Tolley

Cable Car System in San Francisco

San Francisco is famous for its iconic cable car system, which has been in operation since the late 1800s. The cable cars provide a unique way to explore the city’s hilly terrain and offer stunning views of San Francisco Bay and its surrounding areas. The cable car system is operated by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and is a popular mode of transportation for locals and tourists alike.

Cable Car Routes and Fares

There are three cable car routes in San Francisco: Powell-Hyde, Powell-Mason, and California Street. Each route has its own unique stops and sights, such as Fisherman’s Wharf and Lombard Street. The fares for riding a cable car depend on several factors, including the type of fare, the route, and the time of day.

Standard Adult Fare for a One-Way Trip

The standard adult fare for a one-way trip on a San Francisco cable car is $8.00. This fare is valid for a single ride on any of the three cable car routes. Riders can pay the fare with cash, credit card, or mobile payment. Children under 5 years old can ride for free, while children 5-18 years old and seniors aged 65 or older can receive a discounted fare.

Discounted Fares for Seniors and Disabled Persons

Seniors aged 65 or older and people with disabilities can receive a discounted fare of $4.00 for a one-way trip on a San Francisco cable car. To be eligible for the discounted fare, riders must show proof of age or disability, such as a valid ID card or a Medicare card.

Cable Car Passes for Tourists and Locals

For frequent cable car riders, SFMTA offers a range of passes that provide unlimited rides on cable cars and other modes of transportation, such as buses and light rail trains. The passes are available for tourists and locals and can be purchased for different durations, from one day to seven days.

Cost of a 1-Day, 3-Day, or 7-Day Pass

The cost of a 1-day cable car pass is $14.00, while a 3-day pass costs $29.00, and a 7-day pass costs $49.00. The passes can be used on any of the three cable car routes and are valid for unlimited rides during the specified duration.

How to Purchase Cable Car Fares and Passes

Cable car fares and passes can be purchased from several locations throughout the city, including cable car turnarounds, SFMTA ticket machines, and retail locations such as Walgreens and 7-Eleven. Tourists can also purchase passes online or through their travel agents.

Payment Options: Cash, Credit Cards, and Mobile Payments

Riders can pay for their cable car fares and passes using cash, credit cards, or mobile payments such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet. Cash payments must be exact, as drivers do not provide change.

Additional Costs: Transfers and Late-Night Service

If riders need to transfer between cable cars or other modes of transportation, they must pay an additional fare. The cost of a transfer fare depends on the type of fare and the time of day. Late-night cable car service, which operates after midnight, also requires an additional fare.

Tips for Saving Money on Cable Car Rides

To save money on cable car rides, riders can purchase passes rather than paying for each ride individually. They can also take advantage of discounted fares for seniors and people with disabilities. Additionally, riders can avoid peak hours when fares are higher and consider walking or using other modes of transportation for shorter distances.

Conclusion: Is Riding a Cable Car Worth the Cost?

Riding a cable car in San Francisco is a unique and memorable experience that offers stunning views of the city. While the cost of riding a cable car can be higher than other modes of transportation, the experience is worth the cost for many visitors. With a range of fares and passes available, riders can choose the option that best fits their needs and budget.

References: Official SFMTA Cable Car Information

For more information on San Francisco cable cars, including fares, routes, and passes, visit the official SFMTA website at .

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Kristy Tolley

Kristy Tolley, an accomplished editor at TravelAsker, boasts a rich background in travel content creation. Before TravelAsker, she led editorial efforts at Red Ventures Puerto Rico, shaping content for Platea English. Kristy's extensive two-decade career spans writing and editing travel topics, from destinations to road trips. Her passion for travel and storytelling inspire readers to embark on their own journeys.

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