The number one thing everyone suggested we do while in San Francisco was to take a
ride on the cable cars. As transit enthusiasts we had to give it a shot and report back.
It came highly recommended that we wait until the evening to take the cable cars,
partially because it’s pretty at night with the setting sun, but also because the line’s aren’t
We arrived at the Powell Street/ Fisherman’s Wharf cable car around 6pm and were faced
with a long line that the cable car guys said would take about 40 minutes before we were
at the front. Luckily we had a Starbucks nearby to get warm drinks and steal internet
It did take longer than the 40 minute wait we were told to expect. We took comfort in the
fact that cable cars were sent away empty, just like our buses. It’s nice to know transit
can frustrate us everywhere and it’s these little things that make anywhere feel like home.
Cable cars allow you to sit down or stand on the edge of the car. When we got to the front
of the line we ran to the car to try and get our standing spots. Lauren’s dreams of standing
were thwarted when a family of 5 pushed her aside to get the spot she was eyeing. Yep,
cable car riders can be just as vicious as Translink riders.
So Lauren sat down while I stood on the edge, holding on for dear life. Or not. It’s not
a fast moving vehicle but it’s quite a cool look at the city as you’re rushing through it
at a speedy 9 miles per hour. The hills may have sped us up a little bit, enough to entice
numerous riders to go “wooooaaaaaaahhhhhh” like they were on some kind of Disney
To be honest, we almost skipped the cable car. We ended up going on what was one
of the coldest days we were there and we were already pretty tired from a big day of
sightseeing. Waiting in line and paying $6 wasn’t at the top of our list, but we figured we
should do it because cable cars and Alcatraz are all anyone talked about us visiting when
we asked for recommendations of things to do (didn’t do Alcatraz, tours were sold out).
I’m quite happy we went on the cable car trip. It’s one of those stereotypical things to do
and I don’t think a trip would’ve been complete had we missed out on the two must-do
things in San Francisco.