Cable Car Confessions #11: Top 10 Manners


Time for the June 2009 edition of Cable Car Confessions. This month, Laura shares 10 common-sense etiquette rules for the cable car, some of which apply to all Muni vehicles. Pay attention, riders!

Ding ding all aboard. “Next stop Powell Street Chinatown. Tickets please show me your tickets please.” The locals know the following 10 ten list of manners and etiquette on the cable car. Some I agree with and others I try to remember to follow. Either way, riding the cable car is my favorite method of public transportation. Wouldn’t it be yours if you lived in San Francisco?

I have some questions for the woman I saw applying her mascara the other day, during rush hour on the cable car. Does she know that there are some spoken and unspoken manners and etiquette rules? My cable car confession to you is that I wish I knew some of the items on this list before I started riding the cable car. It was a lot of fun learning them though. (Click here to get all caught up with the other cable car confessions.)

Top Ten: Manners and Etiquette on the Cable Car

1) Please have your cable car pass and money ready for the cable car conductors. It must get very trying to wait for locals and tourists to search for their passes. Over and over again 🙂

2) Try to stand at the cable car sign. Do not try to get on the car while standing in the middle of the road. I have heard some cable car drivers yell at those passengers some lovely choice words.

Trust me, it’s better to not have this happen. I was so embarrassed.

3) The cable car can become packed with people. You can start to feel like a sardine tightly packed in a can. When this happens be aware of your elbows and whose feet you might be stepping on.

Uh sorry mister man wearing a suit. I didn’t mean to elbow you!

4) Ah yes and now we come to ‘the quiet and try not to use your cell phone rule.’ This rule is more like a courtesy to other passengers. Passengers that are looking for a quiet ride home and because of the tight cable car quarters can hear everything you’re saying. I need to remind myself of this rule when my friend “Katie” calls to tell me about her guy-dating drama.

Shhhh Laura!

5) Smile and enjoy. A camera is usually needed for the full San Francisco cable car experience.

6) Pull the cable for the next stop or ask two stops before your stop so the conductors know to slow the cable car down. Having to walk up the San Francisco hills to your missed destination can be very trying on your knees.

Trust me.

7) If you hear two bells, the cable car is about to stop. One bell it’s ready to go.

I love to hear these bells throughout the day.

8 Please help tourists with directions and pictures.

I guess this is the ‘treat others the way you would like to be treated’ rule.

9) While riding on the cable car listen for other cable car confessions.

Email me.

10) Try to apply your makeup before getting on the cable car. Get up earlier and do it at home. Just know that I wish I could put my mascara on while a cable car is twisting and turning.

How do you do it without getting it in your eye?

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