Originally Posted by Gordo
Easiest maybe. Fastest? Meh, I'd take the 1, one or two blocks away depending on whether you're going inbound or outbound.
I think the cable cars are nice as a historic landmark and tourist trap, but practical transportation? They're extremely expensive to operate and the only line not overrun with tourists is duplicated by several trolleybus lines. This isn't to say that I want them to go away, just that their primary and really only purpose is for tourism. I do wish that the California line would be extended to Japantown or Fillmore St, to provide some kind of tourist destination for it.
The California St line is absolutely not "overrun with tourists". I have NEVER been unable to board the first car to pass me or leave if I'm at either end of the line. I can't say if it's faster than the 1 bus but it's a whole lot more pleasant.
I do NOT wish the California St line would be extended because the tourists have all they need now to keep them entertained and it works well for locals as it is.
You go ride one of Muni's lousy jerky busses with their cranky drivers and leave my cable car, with its smiling operators, to me and Amanita. We know how to get around our town.
PS--Along with thousands of other San Franciscans, I'd rather ride the Market St. streetcars than the subway too.