SF’s Historic Cable Cars Will Give Free Rides During Mock Service In August

Jamie Ferrell Jamie Ferrell

SF’s Historic Cable Cars Will Give Free Rides During Mock Service In August

The historic cable cars will be back for full service in early September!

San Francisco has really been missing its cable cars after SFMTA halted service in March of last year due to the pandemic. Well, it turns out these wheeled national landmarks will return to city streets at the end of the summer!

According to a press release, SFMTA will retrain operators and conduct mechanical inspections in July, so as to begin a “mock trial” period in August. During this time, the cars will run their usual routes intermittently and on no particular schedule as they work out kinks in the system and run tests. During this time, you can hop on for a free ride at any stop!


Full cable car service is then scheduled to return in early September, first on the Powell-Hyde line and then on the Powell-Mason and California lines. The cars will run from 7:30am to 10pm, so passengers can once again be part of a piece of San Francisco history.

There are 2 types of historic cable cars in service in San Francisco today: 12 California cars, which are larger and may be operated from both ends; and 28 Powell cars, which are slightly smaller and operational from one end only. SFMTA’s decision to halt cable car service this year has been a shame for passengers, but a blessing in disguise for the carpenters at Woods Division and Cable Car Barn. It gave them a chance to perform smaller improvements and repairs such as replacing cracked windows and fine-tuning details. Did you know you can actually visit the carpentry shop and watch these national landmarks get restored before your eyes? Learn more about it here.

Keep an eye out for cable cars running tests around the city during August. You just might score a free ride!


Featured image: @mrp1cture via Instagram

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