Daily Transportation in San Francisco



The Bay City is made up of 50 square miles of winding streets, alleyways and boulevards. Expatriates moving here will soon realise that getting around is not much of a problem because of these few tips that'll make their daily transportation relatively easy. 

San Francisco is a city of hills, steep hills to be particular. And though many locals or long time expats can be seen going to and from their work on foot, anyone who will be relocating here should be aware that it takes some getting used to. It is best to wear comfortable shoes and refrain from carrying anything heavy when planning on walking around the city. Those who would like to drive should be prepared for congestion and heavy traffic, especially during peak hours. Parking in the city centre is also scarce and expensive so most San Franciscans turn to the public transportation or other options such as car sharing. 

Public Transportation 


  • It typically takes up to two bus rides to reach a certain destination in San Francisco, but it won't be a problem because this type of public transport operates on a regular schedule. Buses arrive at designated stops every six to 15 minutes, and passengers can purchase tickets either onboard or at any vending machines. 

Cable Cars 

  • Bay City’s historic cable cars are mostly used by tourists but can also be a good way of travelling for expats who just arrived and wanted to take in some of the sights. Cable cars are situated downtown town and pass on three lines: Powell-Hyde, Powell-Mason and California Street. It is also the fastest way to reach Fisherman’s Warf or Chinatown but keep in mind that tickets can be a bit expensive. 

BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) 

  • BART is the fastest way to get around the city and to reach the Financial District. San Francisco’s metro has eight stations that have routes passing through Mission neighbourhood, downtown and other suburban areas. It operates seven days a week from 4 am until 12:30 am and arrives at every station between two to six minutes interval. Students, pensioners get fare discounts while kids below four years old can ride for free. 


  • The three types of public transportation mentioned above are being operated by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. FMTA has a universal ticket called the MUNI that can be used for the buses, cable cars and trains. Tickets can either be purchased on board or at any vending machine on the stations 

Car Sharing 

Another great option for getting around San Francisco is by car sharing. This method has become popular especially to those who want to avoid the congestion in public transportation but don’t want to own a vehicle. There is a variety to choose from such as Uber, Lyft, and GoCarma. Expats can simply download the apps, select a destination and will receive a driver that matches their request.