San Francisco is a compact city with an extensive public transportation network that makes getting around without a car the preferred method of seeing the City. Trip planning is available online anytime, and visitors can call 511 from any phone in the Bay Area and receive trip planning and other transit information. Within San Francisco, visitors can call 311 at any time from any phone and speak with a live operator for information on Muni and other City services.
San Francisco Municipal Railway
Muni is the primary transit operator within San Francisco. Its extensive network of bus, trolleybus, streetcar, and cable car lines serve every tourist destination, shopping district, and residential neighborhood located within the City limits.
Cable Cars - The unique cable cars are the only ones of their kind still operating in the world.
There are 3 cable car lines: Powell-Mason, Powell-Hyde, and California. The Powell-Hyde line traverses the steepest hill of the system just north of the famous crooked stretch of Lombard Street, but each line has unique offerings. The two Powell lines are wildly popular with tourists, and it is not uncommon to find long lines at the Powell, Hyde, and Mason terminals. For better luck avoiding the long lines, try boarding either Powell line en route, or catch the California line. Also, cable cars are not as busy during the early morning and late evening hours.
Streetcars - The City has an extensive light rail network consisting of 7 modern Muni Metro lines and two historic streetcar lines.
The popular historic streetcar lines operate along the Embarcadero between Fisherman's Wharf and the Ferry Building. The F-Market & Wharves line continues from the Ferry Building along Market Street to the Castro, passing by all cable car terminals and near Union Square en route. The new E-Embarcadero line continues south on the Embarcadero and serves AT&T Park (Giants baseball stadium) and the Caltrain Station.
Buses and Trolleybuses - Muni's buses (often diesel-electric hybrids) and trolleybuses (buses that operate on electrified overhead lines) operate everywhere the streetcars and cable cars don't. There are local, rapid, and express lines. Local lines generally stop every 1-2 blocks while rapid lines usually stop every 3-4 blocks. Express lines operate during rush hour only and primarily serve commuters traveling to/from the Financial District.
Bay Area Rapid Transit - BART is the primary regional transit operator in the Bay Area. Its extensive train network connects San Francisco with Peninsula and East Bay cities and both area airports (SFO and OAK).
Within the City, BART provides fast, convenient service between downtown San Francisco and the Mission District, a popular neighborhood with countless restaurants, bars, and live music venues. Within the East Bay, BART serves popular destinations including the Oakland Coliseum (Raiders football and A's baseball), Oracle Arena (Golden State Warriors basketball), and UC Berkeley campus.
Caltrain- Caltrain provides regular train service between San Francisco, the Peninsula, and San Jose. Caltrain operates local, limited-stop, and Baby Bullet trains. If possible, travel on the much faster Baby Bullet trains, which reach San Jose in just 60 minutes. Baby Bullet and limited-stop trains operate during weekday peak periods only, plus 2 Baby Bullet trains in each direction (4 total) on weekends. Local trains operate all day (including later evenings, see schedule).
Ferries - San Francisco is well situated for ferry service, and several lines offer a scenic, practical way to venture out from the City. The most popular tourist destinations are Alcatraz and Sausalito. Additional ferries are available to Alameda, Oakland, Angel Island, Tiburon, Larkspur, and Vallejo.