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San Francisco Public Transportation

Most Popular SF Bus, Train, Cable Car and Light Rail Transit Options

Discover information on San Francisco public transportation. There are many transit options here including cable cars, historic street cars, buses, trains and more.

San Francisco Muni is the main transit system within the city. It’s made up of a few different types of transit options including cable cars, light rail (trains and street cars) and buses.

san francisco public transportation
Many of the buses in the city run off electric lines. You will see
these lines above many streets. It's one of only a few cities throughout
the world with these types of 'green' buses.

Cable Cars

cable carsOne of the most popular San Francisco public transportation options are the cable cars. Even if you aren’t heading to a specific destination, I’d highly recommend taking a cable can while you are here.

Learn More: Cable Cars

Light Rail Trains

san francisco light rail trainsThe next of the San Francisco public transportation options are the Muni light rail trains. There are 6 different train lines that take passengers to and from locations along Market, south of Market to AT&T Park or west of downtown to the Civic Center and the Castro district.

These run mostly underground along the busier, downtown areas of San Francisco. However, they then come above ground once the trains get closer to AT&T Park and on the western side of the city.

Here is a quick recap of each line:

J-Church: This lines goes along Market Street to the Castro. It then continues on to Noe Valley.

KT-Ingleside & Third Street: Two trains run about the same route, so they call this line the KT line. However, on the trains, it will either say K or T. This line runs along Market Street. It's a good option for those heading from Market Street to AT&T or Candlestick. It also services Balboa Park and West Portal.

L-Taraval: This runs along Market Street and heads all the way to the San Francisco Zoo - near the Pacific Ocean.

M-Ocean View: This one heads from Market Street to Balboa Park, West Portal and San Francisco State.

N-Judah: This train takes you to Haight Asbury, Cole Valley and both the Inner and Outer Sunset.

Street Cars

san francisco street carsThe F line is the only street cars in the San Francisco public transportation system. The street cars on this route run along Market Street from the Castro, through Union Square and then down the Embarcadero to Pier 39. This line also stops across from Pier 33, which is where the ferries leave for your trip to visit Alcatraz.

Although it’s just one line, there are several different street cars running. All of the street cars are remodeled, above ground street cars from several different cities around the world. The ride is a little jerky at times, but it is a fun way to see the city as you head to your destination.

Learn More: Street Cars


san francisco muni busThe most used option for San Francisco public transportation is the bus. There are over 50 different bus lines that take people throughout the city. This is a popular option for locals, so some of the buses can get pretty crowded.

However, this is a great option to help you save a little money while you are here. Here are some of the most popular San Francisco public transportation buses for those visiting the popular San Francisco attractions:

1 California: This bus line starts in downtown and heads through Nob Hill. You can use this bus to get you up the steep hill to visit Grace Cathedral, the Fairmont Hotel or some of the other historical sites in Nob Hill. It also heads through Chinatown, so you can stop on your way up or on the way down to visit this fun San Francisco neighborhood.

14 Mission: This transit bus goes along Market Street. It will take you to the Mission District to visit the historic Mission Dolores or for some great food.

30 Stockton: This is a really popular and really busy bus. It runs through Union Square, then through Chinatown, through North Beach, stops just a few blocks away from Pier 39 and Fishermans Wharf and finally ends up in the Marina District.

39 Coit: This bus runs from North Beach up the hill to Coit Tower. This bus line is really short, but is a great option if you don’t want to trek up the large hill to visit Coit Tower San Francisco.

71 Haight: This San Francisco public transportation bus also runs along Market Street and heads to the famed Haight Ashbury district. You will drive through a few neighborhoods along the way, but it’s an easy and safe option to get you over to the SF neighborhood that was a hub of activity during the 60s and 70s.

Costs for SF Public Transportation

The cost to ride all SF Muni transportation options is $2.25 except for the cable cars. You can then ride any SF Muni bus, train or street car for an hour and a half on the same fare. After that hour and a half, you then need to pay another $2.25. Make sure you take a transfer ticket when you board and pay for your first ride.

The cable car lines are a little pricier. It is $7 for a one way ride and you do not get a transfer with the cable cars. They are smaller and more popular, so this allows everyone a chance to ride them around the city.

These are the main San Francisco public transportation options. It is easy to get around the city with any of these options mentioned above.

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