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Waiting time for Cable Cars

malta
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Waiting time for Cable Cars

I have been reading that the waiting time at turnarounds for cable cars can be quite long...but maybe not early in the morning...

Was wondering how early we are talking about? Say 7am - 8am??

Melbourne, Australia
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1. Re: Waiting time for Cable Cars

Go when you want to go; and wait. Just avoid the turnaround at Hyde & Beach St on the Powell-Hyde line. Taylor St not far away was a shorter queue.

The queues at the Market St end seemed to move quickly. We did not catch the California line.

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Providence, Rhode...
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2. Re: Waiting time for Cable Cars

It really depends on the time of year you go as well as the time of day. In nice weather, early means between 6 and 6:30am. (at least on the Market St end) I stayed at the Chancellor Hotel on Powell St (about four blocks up from Market) in December and November when the weather weather was beautiful and even by 7am, the cars were coming by packed with people.

If you are there with a small party, say of 1-3, you will still be able to get on board a car that looks full. It makes more sense most times to wait a few blocks up than at the Powell & Market turnaround.

I have always been able to find shorter lines at Bay & Taylor than at Hyde & Beach leaving Fisherman's Wharf. And I have never encountered a long line at the bottom of California St.

But this past May I used the Stockton 30 bus to get from Fisherman's Wharf to Union Square because the Cable Cars and F-Line Streetcars were so full.

flickr.com/photos/…set-72157629958493776

Edited: 24 June 2012, 13:51
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Milwaukee
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3. Re: Waiting time for Cable Cars

Most likely the earlier you go the shorter the lines will be. Late in the evening is a good time to avoid lines too. The night views are spectacular, but it can get very chilly in the open air cars at night.

I've often read on the forum that all you have to do is walk a few blocks away from the turnaround to board quicker. I've found this can be done by an individual or small group, but you must be assertive. In my opinion the challenges of dong this are often understated on this forum.

When a cable car approaches you need to just walk up and board. Every car that comes by will look full. If the conductor thinks the car is too full he will tell you not to board. If no one tells you to stop you just need to hop on and grab a rail wherever you can. Once you are on the conductor will tell you where to stand, but don't expect anyone to clear a path for you or give you permission to come aboard. Boarding is really a free for all.

The other thing I would say is if you are on a short time frame, like you need to be somewhere for a tour or reservation you might think about alternative transportation. Cable cars work best when you are not in a hurry and not carrying packages, or other bulky items.

Middletown, New...
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4. Re: Waiting time for Cable Cars

Just back from San Francisco and the turnaround at Powell and Market had no lime at 7:30 am on Monday morning if that helps

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5. Re: Waiting time for Cable Cars

The California line almost never has a queue. It has just a great view as the others.

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6. Re: Waiting time for Cable Cars

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