Skip to main content

Cable car service in San Francisco limited due APEC summit

People stand on the back of a cable car and smile in San Francisco.
Mayor London Breed stands on a cable car at the “150th Anniversary of the Cable Car” at Powell and Market streets in San Francisco in August. | Source: Isaac Ceja/The Standard

Cable cars are a premier San Francisco attraction, but due to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit this week, one line will be completely out of commission and stops on other lines were restricted.

President Joe Biden will be staying at the Fairmont Hotel in Nob Hill, which sits directly along the California cable car line. The Secret Service is establishing a security perimeter around the hotel, and the entire line will be shut down. 

San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency officials had said last week the California Line would go out of service on Monday. However, on Sunday, California Street was already crawling with workers installing security fences, and buses seemed to be running in place of the cable cars.

A red bus is seen traveling down a street; the view of the bus is partially blocked by a security fence.
A bus travels past the Huntington Hotel on California Street in San Francisco on Sunday. The California Line of the city's cable cars will be out of service during APEC. | Source: Julie Makinen/The Standard

Meanwhile, the Powell/Hyde and Powell/Mason cable car lines will still be running during APEC, but starting Sunday, they were shortened and were not traveling south of Washington Street on Powell Street.

The cable car turnaround at Market and Powell streets in San Francisco was empty due to APEC security restrictions.
Source: George Kelly/The Standard

That means visitors who were planning to grab a ride at Market and Powell up through Union Square are out of luck. Buses were available at Ellis and Powell to take riders up north to a point where they could get on a cable car.

Bus service will be available for the stops along Powell Street that were not available during the summit, SFMTA said. 

READ MORE: APEC San Francisco: Everything To Know About Security, Traffic and Transit in 10 Maps

Workers install security fencing along California Street near Powell Street in San Francisco on Sunday for the APEC summit. | Source: Julie Makinen/The Standard

San Francisco’s transit agency urged anyone who would like to experience a cable car ride during APEC week to board at the Cable Car Museum for travel toward Fisherman’s Wharf.

The Cable Car Museum, a free attraction at 1201 Mason St., is a great place to learn about cable cars and see the pulley system that makes them work. 

Source: George Kelly/The Standard

RELATED: 15 Things to Know about San Francisco’s Cable Cars

Single cable car rides are $8, while an all-day pass that allows access to buses, Muni trains and cable cars is $13. More information on how to purchase tickets can be found on Muni’s website