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San Francisco

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  • San Francisco

    San Francisco has a wide variety of transportation options. So here they are in no particular order:

    Bay Area Rapid Transit (B.A.R.T) - this is a full metro system running on five lines. Trains are on the Indian track gauge (5'6"), trains are fast operate at 130km/h) and smooth. BART operates the longest metro trains in North America with 10-car trains being 213m in length.

    There are 5 lines, 4 of which run through the Trans Bay Tube between Oakland and San Francisco. Three lines operate from 4am to 1am - the other two lines operate until 8pm. All stations are served during all service hours. Each lines nominally runs every 15 minutes, with additional trains in the peak. During the peak hours, trains through the Trans Bay Tube are running every 90 seconds to 2 minutes part.

    In San Francisco, BART trains run on the bottom level of a subway under Market Street, with Muni LRVs operating in the tunnel on the top level. In total, there are 44 station and 167km of track. BART also has a station in San Francisco International Airport connected directly to the International Terminal and my Air Train to the other three terminals. Oakland International Airport currently has dedicated BART bus to the closest station with plans to build a BART operated shuttle train.

    Streetcars San Francisco Muni operates seven Light Rail Lines - six of which run underground in downtown San Francisco serving station on the Market Street subway above the BART lines. These are high-floor LRVs that operate on dedicated rights of way in the City (underground mainly) and run in the street in the suburbs. There are 115km of track and 150 LRVs. All lines except one operate all day and evening frequently - one line is peak only.

    One line (F) runs on the surface of Market Street and on its own right of way along the wharves to Fisherman's Wharf. This is really a tourist line operated with vintage streetcars and trams from around the world (the name of the city the tram is from is posted on the side). Interesting to note that where the tram shares the road with trolley buses, the tram pulls power from the trolley bus positive wire (it doesn't need to the negative wire as ground return is through the rails). The F line runs frequently - every 8 minutes or better - all day and evening until 1am.

    Trolley Buses Like Vancouver, San Francisco has an extensive trolley bus network. The service has 16 lines and 344 trolley buses. The trolley climb some of the steepest hills of any buses in the world, including one at 23 percent (for design purposes in BC, the maximum is considered 10%) - making the electric trolley bus well suited to San Francisco. The transit agency is considering converting some diesel bus routes to trolley buses in the near future. The buses run frequently and until the early hours of the morning.

    Cable Cars Not just a tourist attraction, they actually do serve commuters too and they are included in the transit passes and day passes. The Cable Cares lines were opened in the 1870s and they are hauled by a cable under the roadway. The cable runs at 16 km/h. A grip on the car drops down through a slot in the roadway and holds onto the cable pulling the car with it. To stop, the gripman releases the hold on the cable and uses a wheel brake to stop the car. There are two other brakes on the cars - a block brake that pushes down on the track to stop the car and an emergency brake that rams a wedge into the slot to stop the car (causing damage but stopping in an emergency). Where two lines cross, the gripman has to release hold on the cable if the cable passes under the other line's cable. To round corners - depends on the design. In some instances, a series of pulleys keeps the cable in the slot, in others, the car coast around and re-grips once the turn is made.

    Cable cars climb some of the steepest hills in San Francisco and there's nothing like standing on the running board, holding onto the side of the car as you climb up and down the hills.

    There used to be 23 cable car lines in San Francisco, today there are three. California Street, served by double-ended cars is mainly a commuter route; Powell-Hyde and Powell-Mason both mainly tourist routes as they connect Fisherman's Wharf area with Market Street. All lines are driven from a powerhouse from which 4 cables provide traction. One cable serves California Street line. One cable on Powell and the loop at the top of Nobb Hill. One cable on Hyde and one on Mason.

    The California cars are double-ended, while the Powell cars are single ended - and require turning on a turntable at the end of the lines. All routes operate every 8 minutes or more frequently.

    There is also CalTrans - a commuter rail network providing service south to San Jose.
    ETS Trolley Buses - 1939 to 2010 - R.I.P.

  • #2
    I absolutely loved taking the streetcars and cable cars while in S.F.





    Hanging off the side


    Great link on the historic streetcars



    • #3
      the cable cars are fun.
      "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi


      • #4
        SF has done a great job integrating all its public transportation modes. The streetcars and trollys are great for tourists - but no lack of locals using them.
        ... gobsmacked


        • #5
          I've been to SF a few times and I love the ease of public transportation there. I remember getting of the plane hopping on the BART and 20 minutes later being three blocks from my hotel downtown. Then were was when stayed with my aunt's mother-in-law in the Sunset and took the Muni everywhere. Again I was amazed at how easy it was to get almost anywhere in the city. I also took note of the fact the businesses tended to be clustered along the lines and doing very well.

          "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"


          • #6
            the Cable Cars really are not that useful as far as effective public transport... they are more a Tourist Draw.
            "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi


            • #7
              ^ Word to that, and most of the system is slow, I usually took the bus when I lived there.
              Live and love... your neighbourhood.


              • #8
                Not sure I agree with this tottaly.. but it kind of explains why things like the cable cars are important.

                the disneyland theory of transit


                Darrin Nordahl’s My Kind of Transit is a book-length explanation of what could be called, in its own terms, the Disneyland theory of transit. The theory states, in its barest form, that to make people ride transit, we must provide an experience that's more like what they get at Disneyland :
                Last edited by edmonton daily photo; 11-03-2013, 01:29 PM.
                "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi


                • #9
                  I don't agree

                  Transit need to be a combination of safe, reliable, on schedule, economical and efficient method of getting from where you are now to where you want to be. The more it deviates in any way from that will significantly affect ridership, more or less.
                  Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.