Charter a Cable Car or Streetcar

Cable Car 15 on the Powell and Hyde Turnaround at Sunrise | May 2012

Our cable cars, historical streetcars, and other vehicles are available for charter.

Charter Reservations & Bookings - How do I reserve a vehicle?

  • Saving a Date - dates can be saved for a charter up to one year prior to the desired date; however, reservations will not be confirmed until 90 days prior to your requested date. If you save a date, you must submit payment for the reservation 80 days prior.
  • Making a Reservation -  reservations for SFMTA vehicles are allowed to be made and confirmed from 90 days until 10 days before an event. 
  • Reservation Confirmation - for reservations submitted within 90 days prior to the event, it will be reviewed and confirmed (approved) by SFMTA within 7 days. For customers with “saved dates”, reservations will be confirmed 90 days prior to the event date.

Charter Availity - What days and times can I book a charter?

  • Charter Days - Charters are possible 7 days a week. 
  • Charter Times - Charters are not possible during peak ridership hours on weekdays: 7AM to 10AM and 4PM to 7PM.
  • No more than 1 charter is allowed at a time (of a given vehicle type) - If a requested time is not available, alternative times and days will provided.
  • Weekday Charters - one weekday charter of a given vehicle type is available per week.
  • Weather - Inclement weather may affect the ability to provide a requested vehicle. The SFMTA will provide another vehicle if the vehicle requested is not suitable for the forecasted weather. If weather causes disruption to rail service, the charter may be cancelled. 
  • Special Events - Charters are not available on days with special events such as parades, protests, sporting events, and other events of the same magnitude.
  • Cable Car Availability - Cable Car availability will be determined by Director of Cable Car Operations. In general, cable car charters are available most days and times unless other activities or events preclude a charter.

Vehicle Requests - Can I request a specific vehicle?

The SFMTA owns and operates a variety of Historic Streetcars and Vintage Streetcars. For a list of streetcar options, please visit the Market Street Railway website which includes photos and descriptions of all vehicles. To ensure successful and safe charters, customers can request any PCC vehicle or choose from two vintage vehicles. PCC vehicles are the best vehicles for charters as they have more space for your event. Additional vehicle request details include:

  • Historic Streetcar requests - reservation for specific PCC or Milan streetcars are not possible.
  • Vintage Streetcar Requests - The SFMTA will provide three options for vintage streetcar charters. A customer can request one of the three vintage cars; however, the SFMTA cannot guarantee the requested car will be available. The SFMTA will do its best to provide the requested car or a similiar car. The SFMTA will notify the customer if the requested car is not available.
  • Other Vehicle Requests - LRVs, motorbuses, trolleybuses, and Cable Cars are generally the same. Specific vehicles can be requested; however, the SFMTA cannot guarantee the requested vehicle will be available. SFMTA will do its best to provide the requested car or a similiar car.

Charter Routes & Pickup/dropoff locations - Where can we go on the charter?

  • Charters are only allowed on the F Market route, which travels from Castro to Fisherman’s Wharf on Market Street and The Embarcadero, and the E Embarcadero Route which travels from 4th and King to Fisherman’s Wharf.
  • A map of the available routes is located here.
  • Pickup locations - to ensure reliability of regular service, pickup locations must be at a “spur location”: Castro and Market, 11th Street and Market, Jones & Beach (Fishermans Wharf), or at the Market Street Railway Museum.
  • Stopping - charters cannot stop to let customers on or off once the vehicle has started.

Guidelines during a Charter

  • Food - food is allowed on chartered vehicles. All items brought on board the train must be removed and cleaned by the charter requester.
  • Drinks - drinks are allowed on chartered vehicles. All items brought on board the train must be removed and cleaned by the charter requester.
  • Music - music is allowed on charters. Requesters must provide their own power source. Volume cannot be excessive so as to maintain a safe operating environment.
  • Safety - All passengers must act safely and follow instructions of the train operator. If the train operator feels the passengers are acting unsafely, the charter can be terminated. 
  • Smoking - smoking or vaping is not allowed on any charter vehicle.

Cost for a Charter

  • Cable cars are $393 per hour (FY18 rate).
  • Vintage and historic streetcars are $192 per hour (FY18 rate)
  • Charters require a two hour minimum.
  • All payments must be submitted 10 days in advance of the charter date.

Cancellations and Refunds

  • Refunds - Refunds will be issued for cancellations made per the cancellation procedures defined below.
  • Weather - Inclement weather may affect the ability to provide a requested vehicle. The SFMTA will provide another vehicle if the vehicle requested is not suitable for the forecasted weather. If weather causes disruption to rail service, the charter may be cancelled. The SFMTA will rely on www.wunderground.com as the official weather forecast.
  • SFMTA unable to fulfill a confirmed charter - If the SFMTA is not able to fulfill a charter, the SFMTA will notify requesters as soon as possible. All charter requests are at the sole discretion of the SFMTA, and the SFMTA cannot guarantee a charter will be available. A refund will be provided if the charter must be cancelled. 
  • Cancellation - If charter is no longer needed, please cancel at least 10 days before the event.

For more information

If you would like to charter one of our pieces of history, please email our staff for more information or call at 415.646.2660