Cable Car Lines Closed for Ten Days

But here are other ways to experience a cable car!

For a historic form of transportation that has been around for 150 years, it is impressive that the cable car lines are still running at all. Unfortunately, the cable car lines will be shut down for maintenance from Sept 13 – 22, 2019.


Not to fret, there are other ways that you can experience the fun of a cable car without actually being on the cable line. A few tour companies have bought old cable cars and restored them with wheels and motor. They offer some fun tours throughout the city.

Hornblower Classic Cable Cars

They are San Francisco's original cable car tour and charter operator. Some of their cars are originals dating back to the late 1800s and early 1900s. They offer numerous tours around the city and across the Golden Gate Bridge.

San Francisco cable car city trolley tour from Fisherman's Wharf

Explore San Francisco on this city tour that provides the chance to ride on a classic-style cable car without having to stick to the limited route of the city's tracks. As you travel aboard the cable car retrofitted with wheels, you'll hop off at three locations to take guided walking tours of the Civic Center, Alamo Square and Golden Gate Bridge areas.

San Francisco cable car city trolley tour from Union Square

Avoid the hours-long wait at San Francisco's cable car lines, while still getting a classic cable car experience during this city tour by converted cable car from Union Square. In addition to pointing out landmarks that visitors often miss, your guide also provides walking tours at City Hall, Alamo Square Park, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Plus, blankets and refreshments are included to make sure you stay comfortable during the ride.


San Francisco Muni will run bus shuttles for the Powell-Hyde, Powell-Mason and California cable car lines starting Friday, September 13 for about ten days. As a part of the Cable Car Gearbox Rehab Project, the Hyde gearbox will be refurbished to keep the world-famous cable cars operating.

Bus service will begin Friday, September 13 at 5:30 a.m., continuing during regular service hours until the end of service on Sunday, September 22. Regular cable car service is expected to resume Monday, September 23, after the work is complete. Bus shuttles will serve all cable car stops following the Powell-Hyde, Powell-Mason and California lines, picking up passengers at curbside cable car stops.

Bus shuttles will not stop at cable car terminals, but bus stops will be conveniently located nearby:

  • California and Drumm Terminal - Drumm and California streets in front of Hyatt Hotel
  • California and Van Ness Terminal - California Street and Van Ness Avenue next to the island stop
  • Powell and Market Turntable - Northeast of Ellis and Powell streets
  • Taylor and Bay Terminal - Southwest of Taylor and Francisco streets in front of the restaurant
  • Hyde and Beach Terminal - Southwest of Hyde and Beach streets
  • Regular bus fare will apply: $3 for cash fare or $2.50 if paid by MuniMobile or Clipper Card.

Also, the Cable Car museum is still open, so you can take a tour of the headquarters of the cable car and see them working hard on restoring the cable lines and the massive gearboxes that keep the little cable cars climbing halfway to the stars.


Click here for more information about the Cable Car Gearbox Rehab Project


Teresa Rodriguez
About the author

Teresa Rodriguez is the Editor-in-Chief of Where and Epicure magazines in San Francisco. She author...