Apr 23, 2024 - News

Cable car ridership still down

colorful cable car

A cable car on Hyde Street in 2022. Photo: Megan Rose Dickey/Axios

Cable car ridership has been slow to bounce back from the pandemic, having recovered just 58% of its 2019 ridership as of this February.

State of play: The cable cars shut down in March 2020 and didn't begin operating again until August 2021.

  • Since their return, cable cars have operated fewer hours and made fewer trips, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Why it matters: San Francisco's cable cars symbolize the city's tourism industry, which is slowly recovering.

By the numbers: In 2019, the city's cable cars saw between 430,000 to 480,000 passenger trips per month, according to the Chronicle's analysis of city data supplied to the Federal Transit Administration.

  • In February 2024, there were nearly 254,000 passenger trips.
  • Since the pandemic began, the highest cable car ridership was just short of 295,000 passenger trips in August 2023.

What's next: The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's board of directors this month approved a budget that includes $5 all-day passes for the California Street cable car line.


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