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Release date: SFMTA 2007 Holiday Season Transportation Tips

*** Press Release ***

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) offers the following tips for enjoying the downtown shopping area this holiday season:

  • The two best ways to get to Union Square, San Francisco Centre, or the Metreon on the day after Thanksgiving (Friday, November 23) are Muni Metro or BART. The Powell Street stop for Muni Metro and BART takes you to the foot of Union Square, directly beneath SF Centre, and one block from the Metreon at 5th Street and Mission.
  • The following Muni rail lines and bus routes will take you right to Union Square: F-Market, Mason and Hyde Cable Car lines, Muni Metro to Powell Station, 2-Clement, 3-Jackson, 4-Sutter, 9X-San Bruno, 30-Stockton, 45-Union/Stockton and 38-Geary
  • The historic Cable Car and F-Market lines make holiday shopping an excursion that is fun for the whole family.
  • Muni customers and shoppers should be careful of pick-pockets, especially during the holiday season.
  • Most BART stations have ample free parking on the day after Thanksgiving.
  • The SFMTA provides over 7,000 parking spaces in the Union Square area with weekday and weekend rates designed for short-term parking in the following garages: Ellis-O’Farrell (925 spaces); 5th/Mission (2,585 spaces); Moscone Center (732 spaces); Sutter Stockton (1,865 spaces) and Union Square (985 spaces).
  • The least expensive and least crowded place to park near Union Square on weekends: St. Mary's Square Garage, two blocks east and three blocks north of Union Square on Kearny and Pine Streets. Weekend and holiday rates: $2 for one hour, $7 per day.
  • Parking garages near Union Square that do not fill up on Saturdays or the day after Thanksgiving: Hearst Garage on 3rd Street between Mission and Market Streets, St. Mary's Square Garage and the Jessie Square Garage on Stevenson Street west of 3rd Street.
  • Reduced Muni fares: Children age 5-17, seniors, and the disabled ride Muni for a third of the regular adult fare. The Adult fare is $1.50 with a 90-minute transfer. The reduced fare is $.50 with a 90-minute transfer. These fares are good on all Muni vehicles, except Cable Cars.
  • Cable Cars are a flat rate of $5.00 per trip. Those wishing to make more than two trips should purchase a Muni 1-day Passport for $11.00. Muni also sells 3-day Passports and 7-day Passports. Check out the SFMTA Web site, for further information on Passports.
  • Reduced BART fares: Children age 5-12 and seniors 65 or older can ride BART for one-quarter the normal fare with discount tickets. Discount tickets are available at retail vendors, such as Albertsons, Safeway and Longs Drugs, but not at most BART stations. For BART ticket vendor info, go to:
  • Ferries that operate on the day after Thanksgiving: Larkspur, Sausalito, Vallejo and Oakland-Alameda. For more info on ferries, go to or call 511.
  • Best bicycle parking near Union Square: Union Square Garage, top floor. Free service on a first come, first served basis.
  • The busiest days to shop at Union Square (in order): Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, Fridays and Saturdays between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Christmas Eve and December 26
  • Least crowded days of the week to shop at Union Square between Thanksgiving and Christmas: Sundays and Mondays.
  • Read all parking signs carefully before parking. Many downtown parking spaces are designated for commercial vehicle parking, and many spaces become tow-away zones after 3:00 p.m. or 4:00 p.m.
  • If a parking garage is full, garage attendants will provide maps to nearby garages that have space available. Do not wait outside full garages.
  • For updated free traffic info and transit info, go to or call 511.

Holiday Safety Reminder

  • Be alert for pick pockets. Carry wallets in front pockets and close handbags and carry them in front of you in crowds.
  • If you believe you have had a theft on a Muni vehicle, please contact 311 and provide the bus number as well as the date and time.
  • Due to heightened security measures, do not leave bags or parcels unattended at any time.

Special Holiday Season Parking & Traffic Measures

Traffic Facilitation

The Department of Parking & Traffic will restrict on-street parking on several downtown streets between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day in order to increase traffic and transit capacity during the busy holiday shopping season. “Tow Away No Stopping” signs will be installed on the following streets from Friday, November 23, 2005 through Tuesday, January 1, 2006:

  • O’Farrell Street, north side, Powell to Grant
  • Stockton Street, east side, Sutter to Market
  • Geary Street, north side, Powell to Mason

Traffic Control

Traffic Control Officers will be deployed to the Union Square and Moscone Center areas as needed to facilitate traffic flow and ensure pedestrian safety and access.

Construction Moratorium

In order to facilitate traffic and transit flow, no traffic lane or sidewalk closures will be allowed on business area streets between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

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