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Should I rent a car while visiting San Francisco?

If you plan to stay within the city limits of San Francisco, we strongly recommend against driving. Compared with the rest of the United States, San Francisco's streets tend to be congested not only with other cars but with pedestrians as well. Add to that the difficulty for some of driving up and down steep hills and navigating a maze of one way streets that often split, change direction or stop altogether and it's easy to see that taking advantage of public transportation is likely to make your visit more enjoyable. And, if that isn't enough to convince you, please be warned that parking is often very difficult to find, expensive when you do find it and both highly restricted and strictly enforced when at the curbside. Instead, it's better to make use of the city's public transportation. The most economical means of public transportation is the San Francisco Municipal Railway, which consists mainly of a series of bus lines and is locally referred to simply as MUNI. As of January, 2007, tickets cost $1.50 each way and include transfer to other lines. If you wish to take the Cable Cars, please be warned that waits can be long and tickets cost $5 each way and do not include any transfers. Because of this, we recommend purchasing a daily or multi-day pass. For more information on MUNI fare and pass options, click here. If you plan to stay a week or longer, you might also want to consider the San Francisco City Pass, which includes a week's worth of rides on MUNI as well as admission to some of the city's museums. If you find yourself more stretched for time than money, there are a variety of taxi cab fleets but hailing a cab itself can often be an exercise in patience. For the official list of San Francisco taxicab companies and rate guide, please click here.

last updated 2008.10.19
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