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bebalm Jul 11th, 2007 08:07 AM

eeeekkkk--SF muni
Ok, so i have figured out the routes to the cable cars in SF for our upcoming trip. Not too difficult. Then I started studying the MUNI map...a whole new ballgame. We won't be renting a car, so we are gonna have to figure this whole grid of colors out. Mainly we will be using it to get us to Golden Gate Park and the Golden Gate Bridge. Coming from suburban America--the MUNI map looks very confusing. Are there any tips? I am beginning to wonder if it would be easier to get a cab...

NJriverchick Jul 11th, 2007 08:15 AM

From downtown SF you can rent bikes and bike across the bridge and then take the ferry back. Its great fun!

Regarding the MUNI maps, some people do not have an aptitude for map reading. Its nothing to be ashamed of but maybe someone else in your group can decipher it.

MelissaHI Jul 11th, 2007 09:11 AM

Also don't fret too much....when using the bus system in SF, I keep their number handy in my cel:

I call them when I am lost or unsure. I can tell them, "I'm standing on xx street and am looking at the Walgreens, there are two bus stops and I'm trying to get to Fisherman's Wharf. what do I do?" they will tell me which stop to go to and which bus to catch. it's just great!

easytraveler Jul 11th, 2007 09:33 AM

Are you lookinga thte muni map online or do you have a physical copy? The foldout map is very easy to read; the online one not so.

dovima Jul 11th, 2007 09:39 AM

Quick route tips:

The Number 28 and Number 29 buses are the ones which take you right to the GG Bridge.

Buses on the 7, 71, and 5 lines will take you to the streets bordering Golden Gate Park. The Number 44 will cut through the park on close to the Japanese Tea Garden and the DeYoung Museum.

The N-Judah Muni Metro will take you within a block or two of the 9th Avenue entrance to the park.

mowmow Jul 11th, 2007 09:46 AM

This website has a "plan my trip" function. Just put in where you want to depart, where you want to arrive, and it will figure it out for you.

Many of the bus stops also have a map of the routes they serve, unless some idiot has stolen or defaced them.

Search websites that have info on the specific sites you want to visit--they often have good public transit info.

Golden Gate Park:

Golden Gate Bridge:

If you have a cell phone, just call 511 if you get lost and they'll help you get back on track :)

El_Swainer Jul 11th, 2007 09:58 AM

That is a wonderful tip, MelissaHI

J_Correa Jul 11th, 2007 10:26 AM

I agree - the fold out map is much easier to read than the one online. I think you can order one through the website so you will have it ahead of time, or you can just pick one up when you get to SF.

I think one reason that the map is confusing at first is that just about everything goes down Market street, so that corridor looks like spaghetti. But in practice though, this is a good thing, especially if you are staying near Market street, because you can get just about anywhere from there.

Another tip - get a transit pass when you get to SF, that way you don't have to worry about paying fares, getting transfer tickets or any of that stuff. You just get on and off whenever you want.

Don't worry. Once you are there, it all makes a lot more sense. And of course you can call the help number or ask people.

FainaAgain Jul 11th, 2007 11:13 AM

First of all, which map are you looking at? Website? I agree, it's difficult.

If you have time, order a MUNI map on-line, all bus lines are numbered and colored.

If not, buy a MUNI map here(not any other map, the official MUNI map is the best)

maj Jul 11th, 2007 05:25 PM

I felt exactly the same way. We had never used public transportation like this before. I couldn't figure out the maps ahead of time at all and I had plenty to look at as well as on the internet. Totally agree with the fact that the official one we bought with our passes was much easier to read. But, I think you have to do it to understand it.

We had asked at the hotel where to catch the bus to Fisherman's Wharf and they told us which one to take and where to catch it. We walked to the corner and couldn't figure out where it actually stopped. We just asked someone and they pointed out the pole where the stop is (and it is very obvious, but we missed it -- never had a problem finding one after that).

Also, know what street/stop you want to get off at. We went right past Fisherman's Wharf because we thought something would let us know we were there. Had a nice tour of the rest of the route. The driver had given us a transfer (we forgot to ask for one even though I must have read about a hundred times to ask for a transfer whenever you board the bus whether you think you will need it or not). We did need it to take us back to the Fisherman's Wharf area.

It might help to use that transit 511 trip planner. If you follow the route they plan for you with a map, you may get a little idea of how the routes go. (it helped me in NYC, but I didn't do it for the San Francisco trip because I didn't know ahead of time what we would be doing and didn't have a computer with us to check while there).
It also would be easier if there is any way you can get one of those passes on line before you go. It is the only way to go. You pretty much get your moneys worth if you ride on the cable car and a couple of bus rides.

bebalm Jul 12th, 2007 06:34 AM

Ok, I was looking at the scrunched up online map. I will try an order one, if not we will buy one when we get there. The thing that looked so intimidating was changing bumpkins don't have the luxury of mass transit. :) I guess we will just hop on with the rest of the tourists and figure it out. Glad to hear that it is manageable though....

NeoPatrick Jul 12th, 2007 08:21 AM

When you get a regular map, it will all become much easier. I've found the busses pretty easy to use, and at each bus stop there will also be a route map for that line to double check before you get on. Also, you can usually depend on the kindness of strangers. Just ask someone waiting if the approaching bus goes to Golden Gate Park, and you'll usually get the help you need. The drivers are nice as well. As you get on, double check that the bus goes where you want it to, and he will likely even call out the stop for you when you get there.

One bit of warning, however. It sounds like you are looking at the cable cars as a viable means of getting around. You might be greatly disappointed. At the ends of the Powell/ Hyde lines, you can usually expect to wait up to hour or more to get on one, and even along the route, you may be left standing as car after car goes by, not accepting any additional passengers.

likeswords Jul 12th, 2007 08:52 AM


FainaAgain Jul 12th, 2007 10:32 AM

If you have a daily (or longer) pass, just show it to the driver and move on.

If you pay, get a transfer (ticket). This is the law now - each passenger must carry a proof of payment.

This transfer can be used in any direction for as long as the time indicated on the transfer. This depends on the kindness of the bus driver - some give you only 2 hours, some much longer, depends on how they cut the ticket.

bebalm Jul 12th, 2007 03:20 PM

thanks, we weren't planning on using the cablecars as a real transportation method...but we do plan to ride them while there.

FainaAgain Jul 12th, 2007 03:24 PM

Oh, this is a hilarious (and very helpful!) thread on buses in Rome, I hope this is not how you feel about SF buses!;tid=34908741

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