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Getting In and Around San Francisco

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San Francisco is northern California's commercial, cultural and financial hub which is located on the Western Coast of the United States. It is one of the most populous cities and also the second most densely populated city in America. The cosmopolitan population of San Francisco is concentrated in the San Francisco Bay Area. San Francisco encompasses many striking and significant landmarks and has now become one of the most sought for tourist destination. The transportation system in San Francisco is formed of vast elaborate systems of infrastructure and comprises lane-miles of roadways, bridges, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, bus transit rails, airways and seaports. The city has an efficient multi-modal transportation network that provides easy connectivity of people and goods to many destinations and markets across the city and beyond.

San Francisco Muni Trolleybus
Image By Steve Morgan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Travel to San Francisco by Air

Air transport in San Francisco is an essential gateway that serves the locals and tourists from all over the world. The Federal Aviation Administration authorizes and oversees all flight operations in San Francisco. There are three major international airports in San Francisco Bay Area.

San Francisco International Airport

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is a Class B airspace public international airport that is owned by the City & County of San Francisco and is operated by San Francisco Airport Commission. SFO is one of the busiest airport in California and also the largest in the state. There are several airlines that operate to and from the airport, and SFO especially serves as a hub for United Airlines and Virgin Airlines. The top five international destinations served by SFO are London (Heathrow), United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Seoul (Incheon), South Korea, Frankfurt, Germany and Tokyo (Narita), Japan.

Contact Details:
San Francisco International Airport
PO Box 8097
San Francisco, CA 94128-8097
Telephone: 800.435.9736800.435.9736 or 650.821.8211650.821.8211
Website: www.flysfo.com

Oakland International Airport

Oakland International Airport (OAK) is a Class C airspace public international airport that is owned and operated by the Port of Oakland. OAK serves the East Bay, California. The airport's strategic location, closed to Financial district, makes it one of the most significant and easily accessible airports by public transit. Allegiant Air and Southwest Airlines are the major airlines that serve Oakland region. OAK is the hub for FedEx Express. Los Angeles, California, Las Vegas, Nevada, Seattle/Tacoma, Washington, Burbank, California and San Diego, California are the top destinations OAK serve.

Contact Details:
1 Airport Dr, Oakland
CA 94621, United States
Phone: 1 510-563-33001 510-563-3300
Website: www.oaklandairport.com

San Jose International Airport

Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) is a public international airport that is owned by City of San Jose and is serves San Jose region. Los Angeles, California, Seattle/Tacoma, Washington, Phoenix, Arizona, San Diego, California and Las Vegas, Nevada are the top five destinations served by SJC. The major dominant airlines that operate to and from SJC are Southwest Airlines with Alaska Airlines.

Contact Details:
1701 Airport Blvd.
San Jose, CA 95110
Phone: 408.392.3600408.392.3600
Website: www.flysanjose.com

Travel to San Francisco by Train

The San Francisco Municipal Railway (SF Muni or Muni) is the public transit system that is owned by the City and County of San Francisco and operated by San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). Muni is one of the largest rail transit systems in the nation and ranked second largest in California, next to Metro in LA. Muni provide services all throughout the year daily and serves people from all walks of life.

Listed below are the city's major inter-city rail and commuter rail operators.

Altamont Commuter Express

The Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) is a commuter rail owned by San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission and connects Stockton and San Jose.

Routes of ACE
  • San Jose to Great America
  • Great America to Fremont
  • Fremont to Pleasanton
  • Pleasanton to Livermore
  • Livermore to Tracy
  • Tracy to Lathrop/Manteca
  • Lathrop/Manteca to Stockton
For ACE tickets and Fares, Click Here
Telephone: 1-800-411-RAIL1-800-411-RAIL (7245)
Website: www.acerail.com

Amtrak California

Amtrak California is owned by Caltrans Division of Rail. The Amtak trains that operate to and from San Francisco are California Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Capital Corridor and San Joaquin.

For Amtrak California routes, fares and timetable, Click Here
Telephone: 1-800-USA-RAIL1-800-USA-RAIL (24*7)
Website: www.amtrakcalifornia.com

Bay Area Rapid Transit

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is a rapid transit system and offer inter-city connectivity with the East Bay cities and northern San Mateo County suburbs. BART operates six lines, of which five are rapid transit lines and one is Automated guideway transit (AGT) line.

The five BART lines are-
  • Richmond–Fremont (Orange line)
  • Pittsburg/Bay Point–SFO/Millbrae (Yellow line)
  • Fremont–Daly City (Green line)
  • Richmond–Daly City/Millbrae (Red line)
  • Dublin/Pleasanton–Daly City (Blue line)
For BART schedules and routes, Click Here
For BART tickets and Fares, Click Here
Local Telephone Numbers:
Oakland/Berkeley/San Leandro - 510 465-2278510 465-2278
San Francisco/Daly City - 415 989-2278415 989-2278
Website: www.bart.gov

Heritage Railways

San Francisco also has many heritage railways, that is operated to showcase the historical railway scenes. The old railway trackes are preserved that depicts a certain era in the history of railway system. San Francisco Bay Area has several heritage railways, such as-
  • Ardenwood Historic Farm – Operates in Fremont
  • California Trolley and Railroad Corporation – Operates in San Jose
  • Napa Valley Wine Train – Operates between Napa and St. Helena
  • Niles Canyon Railway – Operates between Fremont and Sunol

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency administers and oversee the operations of transit, taxis and streets in the city of San Francisco. It was formed in 1999 by the collaboration of three organization, namely the San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni), the Taxicab Commission and the Department of Parking and Traffic (DPT).

Contact Details:
24/7/365 contact: dial 311
Outside San Francisco: 415.701.2311415.701.2311
Website: www.sfmta.com

Travel to San Francisco by Road

The road transportation in San Francisco is an intermodal network comprising of several interstate highways, state routes, bridges and tunnels. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is determined to ensure safe, convenient and excellent transportation and also to manage traffic and provide easy connectivity to various cities and states. San Francisco has an arterial road or thoroughfare system layout instead of numerous highways.

Interstate 80: This a major east-west route starts at the entrance of the Bay Bridge. Most of its western terminus is in San Francisco which links Bay Bridge to Oakland.

State Route 1: This is a major north-south highway that serves the San Francisco Bay Area. The route enters the city from north vis the Golden Gate Bridge.

State Route 35: It is commonly known as Skyline Boulevard. Its route in the city begins fro the southern side and ends at its its intersection with Highway 1.

State Route 82: The route begins from the south in the city as Mission Street.

San Francisco's major arterial thoroughfares are-

Geary Boulevard: It is the major east-west thoroughfare that begins in downtown at Market Street and runs through downtown, the Western Addition, the Civic Center area, and Richmond District.

Lincoln Way/Fell Street: It begins from the Central Freeway terminus towards Golden Gate Park and merging into Lincoln Way.

Market Street: It runs from the Embarcadero at the city's northeastern end and in the southwest runs through downtown, the Civic Center, the Castro District, the Twin Peaks neighborhood and extends to the Portola Drive in southestern corner.

Portola Drive:
The Market Street extends into the south and western part of the city to from the Portola Drive.
Fulton Street: It extends through the northern length of Golden Gate Park.

Travel to San Francisco by Sea

San Francisco's waterways is significant for passenger as well as freight movements. The sea ports in the city serve as the major export and import hub for distributing the fresh sea produce across the city and beyond.

Port of San Francisco

The Port of San Francisco is a semi-independent organization which is owned by the City and County of San Francisco. The Port administers the waterfront area including the Golden Gate Bridge anchorage; east shores comprising of Fisherman's Wharf and the Embarcadero; and southern part beyond Candlestick Point.

Port of San Francisco
Pier 1, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: 415-274-0400415-274-0400
Website: www.sfport.com

Spend your next Holiday in San Francisco

Local Travel in San Francisco

The public transportation system in San Francisco is a very significant for the residents who use it for daily commuting to work place and for daily errands. The San Francisco Municipal Railway administers the operation of local public transportation services in the city. The city's local transportation is well planned and equipped to ensure easy and convenient movement of the locals and visitors.

Local Buses

AC Transit: AC Transit (Alameda & Contra Costa counties) is a public transit agency based in Oakland. The transit serves Western Alameda and Contra Costa Counties and operates around 149 routes.

Website: www.actransit.org

WestCAT: The Western Contra Costa Transit Authority serves the Contra Costa County which is the northern part of Oakland. It operates as transit bus, express bus, paratransit and runs 14 routes.

Website: www.westcat.org

SamTrans: SamTrans is a bus service, express bus and paratransit system that serves San Mateo County. It operates about 48 routes.

Website: www.samtrans.com

Golden Gate Transit: Golden Gate Transit (GGT) serves San Francisco Bay Area (San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, and Contra Costa Counties). The transit is operated by Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. It operates 27 routes including 13 Marin Transit

Website: www.goldengatetransit.org

Thruway Motorcoach: The coach is owned by Amtrak and connects the Amtrak train stations to those regions which is not connected by the Amtrak railways. Thruway Motorcoach tickets are available from Amtrak counters or website.

Megabus: It is an inter city bus services having three routes in San Francisco. The routes are-
  • San Francisco-San Jose-Los Angeles
  • San Francisco-Oakland-Los Angeles
  • San Francisco-Sacramento-Reno
Website: www.us.megabus.com

Ridesharing: Ridesharing is sharing a ride to work. This is a very efficient system that cuts your cost of traveling and also offer a fun ride. Ride sharing may be in the form of carpool, vanpool or schoolpool. You may contact SF Environment and 511 to find a match or for more details.


Bicycling: The San Francisco bicycle network is focused to ensure safe and convenient ride for the bicyclists as it is an energy-efficient, healthy and non-polluting transportation alternative. The SFMTA designates several types of lanes.



San Francisco Bay Ferry

The San Francisco Bay Ferry (SFBF) is a passenger ferry service that serves the San Francisco Bay Area. The ferry is operated by Blue & Gold Fleet.

San Francisco Bay Ferry Routes
  • Alameda Harbor Bay Ferry
  • Alameda/Oakland Ferry
  • South San Francisco
  • Vallejo
  • Richmond

For SFBF Fares and Ticket, Click Here
For SFBF Schedules, Click Here

Contact San Francisco Bay Ferry
c/o Water Emergency Transportation Authority
Pier 9, Suite 111, The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: (415) 705-8291, M – F, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Fax: (415) 291-3388
Website: www.sanfranciscobayferry.com

Light Rail

Muni Metro

Muni Metro is a light rail/streetcar hybrid system owned by San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. The metro operates six lines and a special line for peak hours and game days.

Website: www.sfmta.com

The six lines are-

J Church: From Embarcadero Station to Balboa Park Station
K Ingleside: From Embarcadero Station to Balboa Park Station
L Taraval: From Embarcadero Station to 46th Avenue and Wawona
M Ocean View: From Embarcadero Stationto San Jose and Geneva
Balboa Park Station N Judah: From 4th and King Station Caltrain Depot to Judah and La Playa Ocean Beach
T Third Street: From West Portal Station to Sunnydale Station
S Shuttle: Special service from Embarcadero Station 4th and King Station (game days) to Castro Station
West Portal Station (game days)

Cable Car

The San Francisco cable car system is an iconic system of the city which continues as the last manually operated cable car system in the world. There are three lines, namely the Powell-Hyde Line, the Powell-Mason Line and the California Line.

Powell-Hyde line: Runs from Market Street to Union Square and ends near Ghiradelli Square.

Powell-Mason line: Runs from Market Street to Union Square and ends at Bay Street in Fisherman's Wharf.

California Street Line: It runs east-west from Van Ness Avenue to the Financial District.

For Cable Car Route Map, Click Here

Our Insider's guide to the best two days tour of SFO

San Francisco's Taxi/Cab Services

Yellow Cab Co-op
San Francisco, CA
United States
1 415-333-33331 415-333-3333

DeSoto Cab Co
555 Selby Stcab
San Francisco, CA, United States
1 877-691-21701 877-691-2170

National Taxicab Supply
1450 Griffith St
San Francisco, CA, United States
1 415-243-41181 415-243-4118

SF Green Cab, LLC
San Francisco, CA
United States
1 415-626-47331 415-626-4733

Alameda City Cab

459 Buena Vista Ave
Alameda, CA, United States
1 510-523-82001 510-523-8200

Yellow Express Cab
Berkeley, CA
United States
1 510-655-11731 510-655-1173

Green Taxi Cab

1180 University Ave
Berkeley, CA, United States
1 510-548-12341 510-548-1234

Taxi Rates
  • First one-fifth mile of flag rate: $3.50
  • Each additional one-fifth mile or fraction thereof: $0.55
  • Each minute of waiting or traffic time delay: $0.55
  • SF Airport Exit surcharge: $4.00

All rates, irrespective of what cab company you select, are set for all companies by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA)

Taxi Cab Company Contact Details
2011 San Francisco Taxi Stand Locations

Also refer:
511 Schedule
511 Trip Planner
Routes and stops of San Francisco's buses, light rail, cable cars, historic streetcars

A complete map guide to get around San Francisco

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