How to Ride Light Rail

What You'll Need

If you are paying with cash, make sure you have exact change! Please note that full-size bikes are not allowed on light rail trains, so bicyclists may need to find an alternate route.

Step-by-step instructions

1Plan Your Trip

Determine Destination

When you need to get somewhere on Muni Metro light rail, start with your destination to find what lines will take you there. You may need to transfer to another light rail train or to a bus, which is free for 90 minutes after you purchase your ticket.

Next Steps:

N Judah Train on Duboce Avenue | February 13, 2013

Choose a Line

There are six metro lines: J Church, K Ingleside, L Taraval, M Ocean, N Judah, and T Third. The N and T lines both stop at AT&T Park.

More Information:

Check Departure Time

To ensure your timely arrival, check when the Muni Metro will arrive at your stop. Remember: predictions are subject to change based on traffic and shift changes. You may avoid delays by choosing an earlier departure time.

Next Steps:

2Find Your Stop

Above-Ground Stops

Muni Metro stops are either above-ground platforms in the middle of the street, or underground stations adjacent to the BART stops along Market Street.

Some above-ground stops have wheelchair-accessible platforms or boarding islands or both. Remember to wait for the green signal at the crosswalk before you make your way to the platform!

Underground Muni Metro Stations

Underground stops are located along Market Street and are accessible by stairs and elevator. The Civic Center, Powell, Montgomery and Embarcadero stops share a station with BART. When you purchase a ticket, make sure to use the Muni Metro vending machines and not the BART ticket machines. You will need a ticket before you go to the platform below.

More Information:

3Get Your Fare Ready

Paying with Cash Underground

If your stop is underground, you need a ticket before you board. Find the Muni Metro vending machine to purchase a limited-use ride ticket or Clipper® card. Do not go through the faregates without your ticket!

More Information:

Paying with Cash Above Ground

When your train arrives at the above-ground platform, board at the front door of the train and feed exact change into the fare box with bills and/or change. We cannot refund your money if you pay too much!

Paying with a Clipper® Card

If you're paying with a Clipper® card, just tag when you board. You can reload Clipper® cards at the underground station vending machine.

More Information:

Color photo showing a close up of a white woman's hand holding a paper Muni transfer.  Paper transfer is about 1.5" by 3" in size and has the day and date number written in yellow ink as well as a list of times listed in black ink.

Using a Transfer

If you have a valid transfer in the form of a fare receipt (pictured) or it is within the 90-minute limit on your Clipper® card, you may ride as long as your transfer is valid. If you use a Clipper® card, you must tag your card each and every time you enter a Muni vehicle.

More Information:

4Boarding Muni Metro

Wait for Your Train

In underground stations, the signs overhead will display and make audible announcements of live predictions of incoming trains. Please wait for others to exit the train before you attempt to board.

In above-ground stations, when your train arrives, please wait for others to exit before you attempt to board.

At above-ground stops where there are no platforms, look to the left of the train before stepping out into the roadway to board.

More Information:

Follow the Rules

Full-size bicycles are not permitted on Muni Metro. Folding bicycles must be folded and carried. One large pet is allowed per car, except during rush hour, and dogs must be leashed and muzzled. You must pay a separate fare for your pet. Service animals for customers with disabilities may ride free at all times.

Collapsible strollers are permitted on Muni Metro. Strollers may be carried on if there is enough room; otherwise, they must be folded. Strollers may remain open as long as they are under the control of the owner at all imes and the wheel brake is set. Strollers must not interfere with passenger movement and must not block the wheelchair securement area. Children may remain in the stroller while traveling on Muni Metro.

More Information:


color photo showing interior view of Muni LRV train, view is down aisle with red and great seats on left of frame , stanchions in center, and people sitting with their backs turned to the camera.  Light streams in from the train's large windows at frame left

Listen to the announcements. Pull the stop cord along the windows of the train to request a stop.


  • If you are able-bodied, offer your seat to elderly and disabled customers.
  • Don't put luggage on seats on crowded trains, and stand with backpacks between your feet.
  • Hold onto poles to avoid falls, but do not lean on them and block other customers from using them.

6Exit the Metro

Once the train comes to a complete stop, exit through the nearest door. Please wait for customers with disabilities to exit first and lend a hand to help customers cross the gap to the platform.

At above-ground/street stops where there is no passenger platform, look to the right for approaching bicyclists and vehicles before you exit, as they may not be able to stop in time.

One More Thing:

  • Have a great day, and thanks for riding Muni Metro!