L Taraval

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L Taraval
L Taraval logo.svg
Muni Metro trains on Taraval at 24th and 27th Avenues, June 2017.JPG
Two inbound L Taraval trains in 2017
Type Light rail/Streetcar
System Muni Metro
Locale San Francisco, California
Termini Embarcadero Station
46th Avenue and Wawona
Stations 29
Daily ridership 28,816 (2013)[1]
Opened 1919; 99 years ago (1919)[2]
Owner San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency
Operator(s) San Francisco Municipal Railway
Character At grade (Wawona to West Portal)
Underground (West Portal to Embarcadero)
Rolling stock Breda light rail vehicles
(high floor)
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
(standard gauge)
Electrification Overhead lines, 600 V DC
Route diagram
UpperLeft arrow Bay Area Rapid Transit | Up arrow N Judah T Third Street
Left arrow F Market & Wharves | J Church K Ingleside M Ocean View
Bay Area Rapid Transit San Francisco Ferry Building
Bay Area Rapid Transit
Union Square/
Market Street
Bay Area Rapid Transit
Civic Center
Bay Area Rapid Transit
Van Ness
N Judah
J Church
F Market & Wharves
Market Street Railway
Forest Hill
West Portal
T Third Street
K Ingleside M Ocean View
Ulloa & Forest Side
Ulloa & 15th Avenue
Taraval & 15th Avenue
Taraval & 17th Avenue
Taraval & 19th Avenue
Taraval & 22nd Avenue
Taraval & 23rd Avenue
Taraval & 26th Avenue
Taraval & 28th Avenue
Taraval & 30th Avenue
Taraval & 32nd Avenue
Taraval & 35th Avenue
Taraval & Sunset
Taraval & 40th Avenue
Taraval & 42nd Avenue
Taraval & 44th Avenue
Taraval & 46th Avenue
46th Avenue & Ulloa
46th Avenue & Vicente
46th Avenue & Wawona

The L Taraval is a Muni Metro line in San Francisco, California, mainly serving the Parkside District.


The line commenced operation in 1919 and incorporated a previous streetcar line which had opened in about 1907, 20th Avenue – 30th Avenue, it was extended along Taraval to 48th in 1923, and subsequently extended south (turning off Taraval at 46th) to the San Francisco Zoo, the line's current outer terminus, on September 15, 1937.[3] The L was partially converted to modern light rail operation as part of the opening of the Muni Metro system in 1980.[3] While many streetcar lines were converted to buses after World War II, the L Taraval remained a streetcar line due to its use of the Twin Peaks Tunnel.

Painted safety zone added at Taraval and 19th Avenue in 2017

The L Taraval Rapid project was conceived to increase pedestrian safety and speed up trains. Nine stops will be eliminated, the roadway upon which the track is laid will be repainted as a transit-only lane, and concrete boarding islands will be installed at some stops.[4][5] Preliminary stop elimination occurred on February 25, 2017,[6] though some plans were amended due to community backlash.[7]

Route description[edit]

The original end of the L Taraval line, before the 1937 extension south of Taraval Street, with tracks still in place as a short branch, not normally used. Trains are usually sent here to turn back early, and these are the only tracks left in San Francisco that are embedded in sett.

The line runs from the Embarcadero Station in the Financial District to the 46th Avenue and Wawona Street, near the San Francisco Zoo in the Sunset District. The downtown portion of the line runs in the Market Street Subway, which is shared with six other Muni Metro lines, it continues through the much older Twin Peaks Tunnel, shared by the K Ingleside and M Ocean View lines, emerging at West Portal Station. Once out of the tunnel, the L begins street running operation, it takes Ulloa Street to 15th Avenue and then turns west onto Taraval Street. It then follows Taraval to 46th Avenue, where it turns south towards the Zoo, the end of the line loops around Vicente, 47th Avenue and Wawona with the terminal stop on Wawona between 46th and 47th Avenues.

Tracks on Taraval Street extend west from 46th Avenue to 48th Avenue (Great Highway), but they are not used in revenue service. However, chartered streetcars and LRVs can operate there if requested.

The L Taraval line stops at large stations for the downtown section of the route and at smaller stops on the rest of the line. Most of the smaller stops are nothing more than a sign on the side of the street designating a stop and a few others are concrete islands in the middle of the street next to the tracks that provide access for wheelchairs. Muni bus routes provide service to all stations and other systems with access to the stations are noted.


The L Taraval operates 7 days a week, primarily with train service beginning at 5 a.m. weekdays, 6 a.m. Saturdays and 8 a.m. Sundays and running until 12:30 a.m. Frequency headways range from 7 to 10 minutes during the day, and 15 to 20 during nighttime service. Late-night service is provided by the L Owl diesel bus line, this line is generally the same as the daytime L Taraval line, except it follows surface streets instead of going through the streetcar-only Market Street Subway and Twin Peaks Tunnel. The line begins at Steuart Street and Market Street, near Embarcadero Station, and follows Market past all of the Market Street Subway's seven underground stations served by the daytime L Taraval line. West of Castro Street, it turns south on Market Street, which becomes Portola Drive, it follows Portola between the Diamond Heights neighborhood and Twin Peaks, turns onto Woodside and then Laguna Honda Boulevard, where it loops around at Forest Hill Station. It then backtracks on Laguna Honda Boulevard, Dewey, Claremont and Ulloa to West Portal Station, where it rejoins the daytime L line.

Station and stop listing[edit]

inbound to outbound

Station Neighborhood Other Muni
Metro Lines
Handicapped/disabled access Embarcadero Financial District J Church K Ingleside M Ocean View N Judah T Third Street S Castro Shuttle Inbound terminus
Connects to F Market & Wharves and BART; within walking distance of E Embarcadero
Serves Ferry Building
Handicapped/disabled access Montgomery Street Connects to F Market & Wharves and BART
Handicapped/disabled access Powell Street Connects to F Market & Wharves and BART
Handicapped/disabled access Civic Center/UN Plaza Civic Center Connects to F Market & Wharves and BART
Handicapped/disabled access Van Ness Civic Center and Tenderloin Connects to F Market & Wharves
Handicapped/disabled access Church Street Duboce Triangle J Church* K Ingleside M Ocean View T Third Street S Castro Shuttle *Connects with J Church on surface stop at 14th Street
Connects with F Market & Wharves streetcar
Handicapped/disabled access Castro Street Castro K Ingleside M Ocean View T Third Street S Castro Shuttle
Handicapped/disabled access Forest Hill Forest Hill and Laguna Honda
Handicapped/disabled access West Portal West Portal Muni bus: 48, 57, 91 Owl
Ulloa and Forest Side Parkside Muni bus: 48
Taraval and 15th Avenue
Taraval and 17th Avenue Inbound only[6]
Taraval and 19th Avenue Sunset District Muni bus lines: 28, 28R, 91 Owl
Intersects with Highway 1 (19th Avenue locally)
Handicapped/disabled access Taraval and 22nd Avenue (inbound)
Taraval and 23rd Avenue (outbound)
Taraval and 26th Avenue
Taraval and 30th Avenue Muni bus: 66
Taraval and 32nd Avenue
Handicapped/disabled access Taraval and Sunset Muni bus: 29
Taraval and 40th Avenue Sunset District
Taraval and 42nd Avenue
Taraval and 44th Avenue
Taraval and 46th Avenue Muni bus: 18
46th Avenue and Ulloa Muni bus: 18
46th Avenue and Vicente Muni bus: 18
Handicapped/disabled access 46th Avenue and Wawona/Zoo Outbound terminus
Serves San Francisco Zoo
Muni bus: 18


  1. ^ "TEP Route Data & Proposed Changes". San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-15. 
  2. ^ Demery, Jr., Leroy W. (November 2011). "U.S. Urban Rail Transit Lines Opened From 1980" (PDF). publictransit.us. Archived from the original (pdf) on November 4, 2013. Retrieved November 2, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b McKane, John; Perles, Anthony (1982). Inside Muni: The Properties and Operations of the Municipal Railway of San Francisco. Glendale, CA (US): Interurban Press. p. 195. ISBN 0-916374-49-1. 
  4. ^ Rodriguez, Joe Fitzgerald (20 September 2016). "SFMTA approves controversial L-Taraval changes in name of safety". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 11 February 2017. 
  5. ^ Rodriguez, Joe Fitzgerald (19 September 2016). "Major L-Taraval changes up for vote Tuesday". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 11 February 2017. 
  6. ^ a b "Muni to launch next big shakeup Saturday, changing routes, stops, and more". SF Gate. 23 February 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  7. ^ Rodriguez, Joe Fitzgerald (26 January 2018). "SFMTA no longer plans to remove 17th Avenue Safeway stop". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 26 January 2018. 

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