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To be able to complete the Urban Trek for San Francisco, you must be in good enough physical condition to do all of the following without assistance:
- Walk at a normal pace (approximately 106 steps per minute) for at least 20 minutes before resting.
- Walk uphill (10-18% grade) for at least 1 city block.
- Walk up and down stairs.
- Must be at least 18 years old. Minors should be accompanied by an adult.
Helpful tips for Urban Treks:
The Urban Trek for San Francisco is done in a way to make it as easy as possible for anyone to complete the Urban Trek. Most walks are done at a normal pace for approximately 20 minutes before a rest period. Uphill walks are made as infrequent as possible. However, most parks like Lafayette Park are atop a small hill to get the benefit of the best views of the City. Lunch break is about an hour to give the group time to enjoy a relaxing meal. Most stops have public toilets available.
What to bring for the Urban Trek:
- Exact Muni fare ($3.00 each ride for adults, $1.50 for those under 18 years old/seniors, 65 years and older). The Muni fare for the entire urban trek will be approximately $3.00 for trek 4 and $9.00 for all the other treks.The buses do not give change so you will need to have exact fare (e.g. $3.00) each time you ride the bus. If your party has more than one person, you should have exact fare for your party (e.g. $6.00 for 2 adults). (Note: If you download the Muni Mobile App, it offers a $5.00 ALL DAY <until 11:59 pm>, which is a good deal especially if you join urban trek 1 and urban trek 2. More information about the Muni Mobile App will be provided to you when you make your urban trek reservation.)
- Money for snacks and/or a meal.
- Your mobile/cell phone, if you have one.
- Snack in case you get hungry before lunch.
- Sunscreen and a small bottle of water.
What to wear for the Urban Trek:
- Comfortable and sensible walking shoes because there will be a lot of walking.
- Dress in layers. San Francisco weather can vary greatly from morning to afternoon and from neighborhood to neighborhood. You can remove or add a layer as needed. A hooded sweatshirt will be your best friend.
Other helpful tips:
- Have a good breakfast before the urban trek. Take into consideration the first public toilet available for each urban trek. Having coffee/tea right before an urban trek might not be a good idea because they tend to make people want to use the toilet afterwards.
- Anything you carry should not be too heavy that it will become a burden over the duration of the urban trek.
Safety Tips for Urban Treks:
1. When walking:
- Make sure you are looking at where you are going and be aware of holes or anything on the ground that might cause you to slip or fall especially when the ground is wet.
- On a downhill or uphill slope, take special care looking at where you are walking especially when the ground is wet.
- When taking a stairway, always hold on the hand rails when available and look at where you are going especially when it is wet.
- When crossing the street, make sure you look both ways (left & right) before crossing to make sure it is safe to cross the street.
- If you feel out of breath, stop and let the Trek Leader know you need to rest. Do not force yourself to do more exertion than you can handle.
- Make sure you are aware of your surroundings to help ensure you do not become a victim of a pickpocket.
2. When talking the bus/streetcar:
- Make sure you hold onto something stable the moment you board the bus/streetcar before the bus/streetcar starts to move to make sure you do not loose balance and fall when the bus/streetcar moves.
- Make sure you are aware of your surroundings and your valuables are secure so you do not become a victim of a pickpocket.
- It is best that you do not wear expensive/flashy jewelry during the urban trek to eliminate the possibility of being a target for theft.
- If a bad or dangerous situation happens, the Trek Leader will do his best to protect everyone. It is best to walk (run) away from the situation and call for help (911).
Places to avoid:
Like all urban cities, San Francisco has certain areas that people who are not used to dealing with the ills of city living should avoid. The "Tenderloin" area bounded by Market, Geary, Van Ness, and Taylor Streets is one area. Another is part of South of Market (SOMA) bounded by Market, Sixth, Howard, and Eleventh Streets.
If you are aware of your surroundings and do not act like a target you will be safe for the most part. Here are some things to keep in mind:
1. Do not have a map visible or read a map. It is best to write down directions on a piece of paper instead of reading a map in those areas.
2. Do not have your camera showing in those areas.
3. If you have an expensive mobile/cell phone, it is best not to use it in those areas.
4. Do not show your wallet or money in those areas.
Please note that the warnings apply only when you are in the areas noted above. Most other places tourist visit in San Francisco are very safe although there have been some incidents of crime in the "safer" neighborhoods.
The cheapest way to get from San Francisco International Airport to downtown San Francisco is taking BART. Here is a link to BART's website for more information about BART stations, fare calculator, and more: http://www.bart.gov/index.aspx
When you get to the city, San Francisco has a pretty good public transportation system. The fare is $3.00** for adults ($1.50 for those under 18 years old and those 65 years old and older) for everything except for the cable cars. The fare for the cable cars is $7.00**. The buses, trolleys, and metro trains (not cable cars) provide transfers that are good for 2 hours. The transfers can be used for any direction and for any bus, streetcar, and Metro train but not for cable cars. Riders should obtain a transfer upon boarding the bus or streetcar after paying the fare because it serves as your proof of payment.Transfers for 2 hours are automatically included when you get a card at the metro stations after paying the fare. (Note: In order to take the Metro, you have to get either a temporary card (Muni ticket) or a Clipper card (has $3.00 extra charge) at the vending machines located by the gates to the Metro station. The 2-hour transfer is calculated from the time you enter the gate.)
**The buses/streetcars/Metro trainsDO NOT give change so you will need exact fare for you or your entire party. The buses/streetcars/Metro accepts both coins and bills. The cable car conductors will give change. The vending machines at the Metro stations accept credit cards and will also give out change up to only a certain amount ($4.50) if you pay cash.
If you intend to take the cable cars and other public transportation often, it might save you money if you purchase a "passport." There are three different passports: 1-day, 3-day, and 7day. Passports can be purchased at the Visitors Information Center before the urban trek and at other locations (refer to link below).
IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Muni Mobile App offers DISCOUNTED passes (e.g. $5.00 all day bus pass <no cable car rides>, $12.00 1-day passport <includes cable car rides>). In my opinion, it is NOT worth getting the 3-day passport if you will not be taking multiple cable car rides during those three days. Right now, a discounted 3-day passport via the Muni Mobile is $29.00 and bus fare is $3.00 for adults with 2-hour transfer privilege and only $1.50 for those under 18 years old and seniors 65 years old and older. Therefore, a discounted 3-day passport to be worth its price only if you take at least two cable car rides for those three days ($7 x 2 = $14) PLUS take the bus at least two times 2-hours apart <e.g. 9:00 am, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm> ($5.00 all day bus pass x 3 = $15.00). A Muni Mobile App discounted 7-day passport for $39.00 could be more economical if you will be staying seven days and take multiple cable car and bus rides during those seven days.
Here's a link to basic fare information: http://www.sfmta.com/cms/mfares/basic.htm
Here's a link to Muni Mobile App information: https://www.sfmta.com/getting-around/muni/fares/munimobile%C2%AE
You can get a free city map with the public transportation routes at the Visitors Information Center and most hotels.
If you have a Blackberry, iPhone, Android or other types of device that have Internet access, you can get Muni (San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency) schedule information via this website:http://www.nextmuni.com/
There are also some Apps like NextBus, Quicky and Moovit that are helpful. The Moovit app will helpful if you want the app to give you a warning before you reach your destination when you do the Live Directions function. The Moovit app also has a trip planner you can use.
You can also get public transportation departure information, among other things, by calling 511 (when you are in San Francisco) if you do not have a phone that has Internet access. Simply follow the voice activated instructions to get the information you need. If you want to talk to a live person, call 311.
If you have a phone that has Internet access and do not want to use the Moovit app, you can use 511 Trip Planner for instructions on how to get from one location to another. Here's a link to 511 Trip Planner http://tripplanner.transit.511.org/mtc/XSLT_TRIP_REQUEST2?language=en&itdLPxx_homepage=secondStep
Note: The 511 Trip Planner also has a free app you can use.