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Final Day of SF’s Free Month of Cable Car Rides ($8 Fares Return Sept. 1)

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Tuesday, August 31, 2021 - 7:00 am to 10:30 pm | Cost: FREE*
*Free rides all August, but cars run on irregular schedule

Cable Car Turnaround (Market/Powell) | Market St. and Powell St., San Francisco, CA


SFs Cable Cars Are Finally Back: Free for One Month (August 2021)

The SFMTA will run mock service and will solicit the public’s help and feedback ahead of the official return to revenue service

Mayor London N. Breed and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) today welcomed back cable car service to San Francisco streets. Following the successful completion of operator training and mechanical inspections, the public is invited onboard to provide feedback on vehicle headways and customer experience during the month of August.

SF’s Cable Cars Back Officially in August 2021 w/ Free Service for One Month
Cable Cars and their operators are returning back to the city after a 16-month long shut down due to the epidemic. We are returning the cable car system as safely and strategically as possible.

  • Beginning in July, we started testing a few cable cars on the Powell-Hyde line.
  • On August 2, we will continue testing with San Franciscans and tourists being able to ride free throughout the end of the month.
  • Hours of operations will be 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Monday through Sunday. 
  • Our last phase will consist of adding the Powell-Mason and California lines into operations.
  • Cable car revenue service will resume in September. Fares are $8 per ride for both cash/clipper for adults and youth, with $4 late night/early morning rides for senior/disabled/medicare between 9p and 7a.

Read more at SFMTA.com

Last March, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SFMTA temporarily halted cable car service as part of the City’s emergency response. This decision was made to best protect operators and the public. Muni resources were then shifted to a core network to serve essential workers and accommodate physical distancing on San Francisco’s most utilized lines.

The result was the longest cable car shutdown in the system since the full system reconstruction in the 1980s, requiring significant work to reboot the system and bring it back better. Now, as the City shifts its focus to supporting economic recovery, locals, regional visitors, and tourists will see the triumphant homecoming of the cable cars and hear the iconic bells chiming from Union Square to Fisherman’s Wharf—and all of the backdrops in between.

Starting today, SFMTA will ask the public to help the agency roll out a soft launch of the system by riding the lines when cable car conductors are making stops and inviting passengers aboard for the duration of “mock service.”

This mock service will be irregular, not following a particular schedule as the SFMTA works out the official rollout of the system. The SFMTA will not be collecting fares for cable car rides during the month of August in exchange for the public’s help riding the system.

“Our cable cars are a symbol of San Francisco and central to the city’s economic recovery,” said Jeffrey Tumlin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “It’s a treat to work with the public during our mock service as we gear up to officially welcome back cable cars this fall.”

What’s Next?
By early September, all three cable cars will resume revenue service: the Powell-Hyde, the Powell-Mason and the California lines. Service is planned to run from 7:00 a.m. until about 10:00 p.m., though cars returning to the cable car barn after 10:00 p.m. will continue to take riders to Chinatown.

SFMTA announced on August 2, 2021 that they plan to run free rides for all of August 2021 with a return of fares in September, but please check website for exact details and things can change.

Disclaimer: Please double check event information with the event organizer as events can be canceled, details can change after they are added to our calendar, and errors do occur.


Event Details


Cost: FREE*
*Free rides all August, but cars run on irregular schedule
Categories: *Top Pick*, In Person
Address: Market St. and Powell St., San Francisco, CA