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Release date: 3/25/11

*** Press Release ***

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which operates the Municipal Railway (Muni), today announced that as part of the continuing rehabilitation and maintenance of San Francisco’s iconic cable cars, the two Powell lines, Powell-Mason and Powell-Hyde, will be shut down this spring during three, non-consecutive weeks for five days each. The first of these begins Monday and continues through next Friday.

“The care and stewardship of the cable cars, a National Historic Landmark, are a vital part of our Capital Improvement Program,” said Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., Executive Director/CEO. “As we continue to reinvest in Muni, we invest in the future of San Francisco.”

As part of the Cable Car Improvement Project, the SFMTA will perform upgrades on the Powell-Mason and Powell-Hyde cable car lines as well as additional work on the California Line, which has been shut down since January. The cable car system has been in continuous service for almost 27 years and needs to be renewed to ensure that it is safer, more reliable and easier to maintain.

Transit Impacts

During the Powell-Mason service shutdown starting Monday, Muni bus shuttles will substitute for cable car service along the full regular route between Ellis and Powell streets and Francisco and Taylor streets.

Shuttles will also operate along the Powell-Hyde Line between Ellis and Powell streets and Jackson and Mason streets.

Cable cars will operate on the Powell-Hyde Line from the Cable Car Barn to the end of the line at Hyde & Beach streets (Victorian Park). Customers can transfer from bus shuttle to cable car and vice versa at Jackson and Mason streets.

Customers can board a bus shuttle at all cable car line stops, except those in or near construction areas.

The regular, non-cable car fare of $2 ($0.75 Discount, Children aged 4 and under free) will apply; transfers will be provided.

During the shutdown, SFMTA Ambassadors will be stationed at the terminals and key customer boarding locations to provide assistance and advise customers of their options.

Traffic Impacts

Local access will be provided most of the time; however, access may be delayed by construction work or equipment in the construction zones.

Police officers will be on site directing traffic.

Some street parking will be temporarily unavailable in or near construction sites.

The second and third shutdowns are scheduled as follows:

  • Monday, April 25 - Friday, April 29: Partial Powell-Hyde Line Shutdown: Cable car service will only operate from the beginning of the line at Market and Powell streets to Jackson and Mason streets where customers can transfer to a bus shuttle.
  • Wednesday, June1 - Sunday, June 5: All Cable Car Lines Shutdown: All cable car lines will be served by bus shuttles.

For more information about the Cable Car System Improvement Project and transportation alternatives, please visit or call 311.

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