San Francisco, California

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San Francisco, CA
Traveling Information

Transit Information:
The San Francisco Municipal Railway, or Muni, operates the city's cable cars, buses, and Metro streetcars. For customer service.

San Francisco International Airport:
Just south of the city, off U.S. 101. Several domestic airlines serve the Oakland Airport , which is across the bay but not much farther away from downtown San Francisco via I-880 and I-80, although traffic on the Bay Bridge may at times make travel time longer. Flying times: 6 hours from New York, 4 hours from Chicago, and 1 hour from Los Angeles.
New SFO International Terminal;
Highlights of the new 2.5 million square foot terminal include: 24 additional gates with expanded U.S. Customs facilities to have passengers on their way in 45 minutes.
Faster baggage handling, with ten more baggage carousels than at the current International Terminal.
Twice the amount of ticket counter space as in the previous International Terminal to reduce lines.
18 new restaurants serving a wide variety of international cuisine.
37 new retail stores.
A $10 million permanent art collection.
An 11,000 square-foot Aviation Library and Museum.
3,200 new parking spaces.

A taxi ride from SFO to downtown costs about $30. Airport shuttles are inexpensive and efficient. The SFO Airporter $10 picks up passengers at baggage claim lower level and serves selected downtown hotels. SuperShuttle stops at the upper-level traffic islands and takes you from the airport to anywhere within the city limits of San Francisco. It costs from $11 to $13 depending on your destination. Inexpensive shuttles to the East Bay among them Bayporter Express also depart from SFO's upper-level traffic islands; expect to pay around $20. To drive to downtown San Francisco from the airport, take U.S. 101 north to the Civic Center 9th Street, 7th Street, or 4th Street exit. If you're headed to the Embarcadero or Fisherman's Wharf, take I-280 north the exit is to the right, just past 3Com Park and get off at the 4th Street-King Street exit. King Street becomes the Embarcadero a few blocks east of the exit. The Embarcadero winds around the waterfront to Fisherman's Wharf.
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By Train:
Amtrak: trains-the Zephyr, from Chicago via Denver, and the Coast Starlight, traveling between Los Angeles and Seattle-stop in Emeryville 5885 Landregan St. and Oakland 245 2nd St. in Jack London Sq.. Shuttle buses connect the Emeryville station and San Francisco's Ferry Building 30 Embarcadero at the foot of Market St.
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Driving a Car in the City:
Driving in San Francisco can be a challenge because of the hills, the one-way streets, and the traffic. Remember to curb your wheels when parking on hills.
Exploring the city involves navigating a maze of one-way streets and restricted parking zones. Cable cars, buses, and trolleys can take you to or near most attractions. If you plan to visit distant outlying areas which are not accessible by subway, it is best to ret a car for the length of such trips, and plan to walk or use public transportation in the city of San Francisco and environs.
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BART, or Bay Area Rapid Transit provides efficient transportation to Oakland, Berkeley, Concord, Richmond, Fremont, Colma, and Martinez and other points. Trains also travel south from San Francisco as far as Daly City and Colma. Fares are low.
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Whenever possible, avoid using taxis. Rates are high, and it is almost impossible to hail a passing cab, especially on weekends. If you must use one, either phone or use the nearest hotel taxi stand.
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The Citywide public transportation agency is the San Francisco Municipal Railway, better known as Muni. It operates the world-famous cable cars, buses, trolley buses, a metro system, and historic streetcars trams.

The Muni:
Passports include the cable cars, Muni buses, Muni Metro and the F-Market streetcars. You can travel anywhere within San Francisco with the Passport. In addition, you will receive savings on your entrance fees at most city museums and many of our city's attractions when you show your Muni Passport. One, three and seven day passports available.
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Cable Cars:
There are three cable car routes in San Francisco. Two of these routes, the Powell-Hyde and the Powell-Mason, begin at the corner of Powell and Market Streets, and run north-south to and from Nob Hill and Fisherman's Wharf. At Fisherman's Wharf, you can board the Powell-Hyde line at Hyde and Beach Streets and the Powell-Mason line at Bay and Taylor Streets. The third line is the California line running east-west on California Street between Market Street and Van Ness Avenue, serving the Financial District, Chinatown and Nob Hill. This line tends to be the least crowded. The transfer point for all three lines is at Powell and California Streets. Cable cars can be boarded at any designated stop along the route. However, during the busy summer months, it is a good idea to wait at the terminal, as the cable cars usually fill up at the beginning of the line. There may be a 45- to 60-minute wait during the summer.
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Buses-Trolley Buses:
Muni's buses and trolley buses run all over The City in frequent intervals usually every five to 20 minutes. Each route has a number and a name, i.e. 5-Fulton, 24-Divisadero, 42-Downtown Loop, which are prominently displayed on the front and side of the bus, along with the route's destination. Some routes, such as 38L-Geary Limited or 14L-Mission Limited, make only limited stops along their routes. Others, such as 9X-San Bruno Express or 31AX-Balboa "A" Express, operate nonstop from downtown to the outer regions of The City. For more clarity on Muni service, purchase a Muni map.
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Historic Streetcars Trams: You can travel back in time on the distinctive collection of historic streetcars.. Each car is painted in its original colors designating its origin in Boston, Chicago, Milan, or some other country in the world. . You can find these beautiful streetcars running along the center of Market Street from the Transbay Terminal in downtown to the Castro District. They are collectively known as line F-Market.
Beginning downtown at Embarcadero Station, the Muni Metro's five underground streetcar lines J-Church, K-Ingleside, L-Taraval, M-Ocean View and N-Judah take you under Market Street to various points of interest in the western and southwestern regions of The City. The J and N lines branch off after Van Ness station and operate on the surface, and the K, L and M continue underground to West Portal Station before splitting into their own separate surface lines. In the subway section of the system, J and N cars are often coupled together, as are K, L and M cars.

Because of ongoing repairs, the Metro currently closes every evening at 10 pm. Shuttle bus service is available until 12:30 am on the K, L, M and N lines, and the F-Market historic streetcar service is extended during this time to cover the J line. Board F-Market streetcars and shuttle buses at the island stops on Market Street.
Call for current fare schedule.
Please have the exact fare ready when you board; Metro fare gates do not accept any dollar bills.
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Transfers: A two-part transfer slip is provided when you pay your fare on buses, streetcars and Metro lines. This transfer allows you to transfer two more times to any bus, streetcar or Metro line. No transfers are given or accepted on cable cars; single fares must be paid each time you board.
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Hours Of Operation:
Monday-Friday 5:30 am-12:30 am
Saturday 6 am-12:30 am
Sunday 7:30 am-12:30 am
Limited late night service is also offered on some lines.
Muni offers three discount transit passes, subject to availability. All can be purchased at the Visitor Information Center at 900 Market Street, downstairs from the Powell-Market cable car terminal. Just walk to Powell and Market. The banners hanging above the cable car terminal will point you to the Center.
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