Home >Public Transportation>Guide to riding BART & MUNI

Guide to riding BART & MUNI

all steps in one pagePDF


Step 1: Get directions and schedules

The Bay area has scores of transit systems. While traveling in San Francisco, you're mostly like to either take the MUNI light rail / buses,or the BART trains.

Option1: In front of a computer or with your mobile
Use 511.org to plan your best route, including times. But keep in mind that that system only factors in allowing you to walk up to a mile. After you've ridden your recommended route a few times, you may notice that it's easier to walk further or bike to a different station to make the trip faster or more pleasant. Tip: bookmark the trip planner on your computer now.

Train arrival times provided on 511.org aren’t always accurate. For more precise arrival times, Check MUNI's NextMUNI.  NextMUNI gives you the updated predicted time for the arrival of many, though not all, routes. You can also sign up for pop up web and mobile alerts through myNextBus. Also, BART has an estimated arrival tool too on its Web site.

You can get schedule and realtime information about BART on the web (www.bart.gov) or on you mobile device (www.bart.gov/mobile). You can also receive service advisories by text and email (bart.gov/alerts) or Twitter (twitter.com/sfbart).

Option 2: On the street
If you don't have time to check  any of the above sites you can find arrival times on the electronic signs at  the train stop. All of the underground stations in the downtown area have signs with information about when the next train arrives(separate for MUNI and BART). MUNI even has a map of where all the trains are. You MUNI and BART also make constant announcements in the underground stations about when the next train will arrive.

If you're waiting at an outdoor MUNI stop that doesn't have a sign about arrivals, call 311 or 511 to ask for the schedule.

By the way, the MUNI trains are either inbound or outbound. Inbound is towards Embarcadero (the downtown stop right by the ferry building). Outbound is going away from Embarcadero.

muni muni muni


previous step  
next step


Presidio Spire

British artist Andy Goldsworthy has earned international recognition for works that are both in and about nature. He is known for ephemeral art-pieces that decay, melt, or wash away. In 2006, Goldsworthy visited the Presidio and was inspired by the history and character of its forest, planted more than 100 years ago by the Army. The aging cypress and pine trees are now in gradual decline. Each year, the Presidio Trust replants two to three acres, staggering the effort to create an unevenaged forest that can be more easily sustained. Goldsworthy saw an opportunity to create a sculpture with the felled mature trees. In October 2008, he spent fourteen days at the Presidio overseeing the construction of Spire. The sculpture, located along the Bay Area Ridge Trail, is comprised of 35 cypress trees removed as this beloved forest grove is gradually replanted. From its 15-foot diameter, Spire rises over 90 feet into the air, and encourages visitors to experience it from different perspectives, both far and near. Spire tells the story of the forest, celebrates its history and natural rhythms, and welcomes the next generation of trees. It is a poetic reference to the forest's past; as young trees grow up to meet the sculpture, it will eventually disappear into the forest. Hundreds have already made a visit to Spire, or have discovered it by happy coincidence during a hike.

To experience Spire for yourself, Click Here