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May 7th, 2022

San Francisco Cable Car Experience

Stanford Court News

San Francisco’s cable cars are arguably the most recognizable symbol of the city, (big orange bridge withstanding) and the Stanford Court is making it easy for you to experience the thrill of riding these iconic treasures. With the hotel's SF Cable Car Experience, you’ll receive 4 cable car tickets, a curated local attractions map, and 15% off the hotel’s Best Available guest room rate. 

Did you know that the Stanford Court is the only hotel in the world which sits at the intersection of all three cable car lines? That's right! The California Street line, Powell/Mason line, and Powell/Hyde line all intersect oustide our front doors at the intersection of California and Powell streets. So whether you want to ride the rails to Union Square, Fisherman's Wharf, or the Embarcadero near the Ferry Building, Stanford Court's guests are just steps away from a cable car that will get you there. 

Here are some more interesting cable car facts and trivia:

  • The cable car was invented by Andrew Smth Hallidie who got his inspiration after watching horses struggle uphill on the wet streets of San Francisco in the late 1800's. 
  • The very first San Francisco cable car line launched in 1873.
  • The cost of the very first line was $85,000 - equivalent to nearly $2 million in today's dollars.
  • The original cables were powered by steam but were later replaced by electricity.
  • You can see the inner workings of the actual cables and machinery at the Cable Car Museum, located at the corner of Mason and Washington, just four blocks from the Stanford Court. (and it's free!)
  • At one time there were more than 600 cable cars in operation in San Francisco but after the 1906 earthquake this number was reduced drastically to less than 100. 
  • Today there are 40 cable cars - 12 for the California Street line and 28 for the Powell Street lines. 
  • The Powell Street cars differ from the California Street cars. The Powell Street cars go only one direction and must be phycially turned around at the end of the line, while the California Street cars are more modern and can go both directions without turning. 
  • Cable cars reach a maximum speed of 9 1/2 miles per hour, both uphill and downhill. 
  • The cost of a ride is $8 per person, per ride (each way). Stanford Court has made it easy for its guests to purchase tickets at the front desk if they did not purchase the SF Cable Car Experience package. 
  • Looking for cable car tips and hints? Check out our Cable Car FAQs and #InsiderTips


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