The San Francisco Cable Cars are the only moving historical national monument in the USA. This San Francisco Cable Car Map displays the 3 different lines that cover the area of San Francisco North of Market St and East of Van Ness Ave. Riding the Cable Car is a must do activity when visiting San Francisco.
Cable Car Pricing
MuniMobile: Adult & Youth – $8.00
Clipper®: Adult & Youth (5-18) – $8.00
Cash – $8.00
Senior/ Disabled/ Medicare: 7am-9pm – $8.00
Senior/ Disabled/ Medicare: 9pm-7am – $4.00
Youth 4 and under – Free
History of the San Francisco Cable Cars
The history of the cable cars in San Francisco dates back to the late 1800s. In the 1870s, the city’s hilly terrain made it difficult for horse-drawn streetcars to navigate the steep hills. To solve this problem, Andrew Hallidie, a San Francisco resident, designed and patented the cable car system, which used an underground cable to pull the streetcars up the hills.
The first cable car line, the Clay Street Hill Railroad, opened in 1873 and was an instant success. It was soon followed by other cable car lines, including the Powell-Mason, Powell-Hyde, and California Street lines, which are still in operation today.
During the early 1900s, the cable car system faced competition from electric streetcars, but the cable cars managed to survive due to their popularity with tourists. In the 1940s, the city’s Municipal Railway (Muni) took over the cable car system and made significant improvements to the infrastructure and equipment.
Today, the cable cars are considered a symbol of San Francisco and are a National Historic Landmark. Despite being over 140 years old, they continue to be a popular mode of transportation for locals and tourists alike, offering a unique and exciting way to experience the city.
The most popular line is the Powell & Hyde line which goes between the Downtown San Francisco and Fisherman’s Wharf with stunning views of San Francisco and Alcatraz Island as you come up over the peak of Russian Hill.