31 Balboa is a trolleybus line operated by the San Francisco Municipal Railway. It is one of several routes operating between the Financial District and the Richmond District.

31 Balboa
Muni worm logo.svg
San Francisco, Škoda 14TrSF (5).jpg
Running inbound on Market Street, 2005
SystemMuni trolleybus network
OperatorSan Francisco Municipal Railway
Began serviceMay 15, 1932 (May 15, 1932)
LocaleSan Francisco, California
StartPowell Street station (temporary)
ViaEddy St,Turk Blvd, Balboa St
EndCabrillo and La Playa
Length6.2 miles (10.0 km)
Other routes31AX, 31BX
Daily ridership8,800 (2019)[1]
Map31 Balboa (Modified)
← 30 Stockton  List of San Francisco Municipal Railway lines  33 Ashbury/18th Street →

Route descriptionEdit

The outbound terminal is located at Cabrillo and La Playa, shared with the 5 Fulton. It runs inbound on Cabrillo to 45th Avenue where it runs a block north to Balboa Street. East of Arguello Boulevard the route continues on Turk Boulevard. It turns at Divisadero to run another block north on Eddy. The line splits between Larkin and Mason, with inbound buses continuing on Turk while outbound buses run on Turk Street.[2] The lines turns on and off Market Street via Turk and Mason, running as far inbound to the end of Market and turning around via Spear and Mission to terminate on Steuart.

As of 2021 the truncated route turns around at Cyril Magnon and Market above Hallidie Plaza and Powell Street station.

31X Balboa Express servicesEdit

Two express limited services operate along the corridor.[3] The 31AX Balboa 'A' Express runs from the outbound terminal at La Playa as far as Park Presidio Boulevard, where it runs express to Embarcadero station using Park Presidio, Geary Boulevard, Masonic, Bush, Sansome, and California with outbound buses running on Pine. 31BX Balboa 'B' Express operates local starting at Park Presidio and running inbound on Balboa, Turk, Masonic, and Geary before going express on Presidio and the route of the A Express.[4] These services were discontinued in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


The 31 Balboa was established as a streetcar line on May 15, 1932, by the Market Street Railway.[5] It was the last entirely new streetcar line built in the city (until 1995).[6] Its opening likely caused the discontinuation of Muni's A Geary–10th Avenue line six months later.[7][5] Rail service ended on July 2, 1949 and was replaced with motor coach service.[7]

Service was extended from Balboa and 30th Avenue to Ocean Beach in 1979.[6] The express services were split in two, designated as "A" and "B", in 1982.[3] Owl service was discontinued in 1992.[8] Trolleybus infrastructure was installed on the line with completion in May 1992, but electrified service began on July 5, 1993 for limited runs after issues with the newly-enacted Americans with Disabilities Act affected the availability of rolling stock.[9] The full trolleybus conversion took place on March 12, 1994.[10]

The outer terminus at La Playa and Cabrillo

The line was temporarily suspended in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A truncated version of the route terminating at Powell Street station was reinstated on August 14, 2021.[11] The proposed Muni 2022 Service Network plans for this route being rerouted to serve Caltrain Depot via 4th and 5th Streets.


  1. ^ "Short Range Transit Plan" (PDF). San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. December 3, 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 5, 2020. Retrieved December 27, 2021.
  2. ^ 31 Balboa (Map). SFMTA. September 26, 2015. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Callwell 1999, p. 61
  4. ^ 1AX 1BX 31AX 31BX 38AX 38BX (PDF) (Map). SFMTA. April 23, 2016. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
  5. ^ a b Perles & McKane 1982, p. 174.
  6. ^ a b Callwell 1999, p. 39
  7. ^ a b "31 Balboa Streetcar Line". Western Neighborhoods Project. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  8. ^ Gibbs, Walt (June 19, 1992). "New Muni night-owl service due Saturday". San Francisco Examiner. p. 6. Retrieved February 18, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.  
  9. ^ Callwell 1999, p. 74–75
  10. ^ Callwell 1999, p. 78
  11. ^ Graf, Carly (July 15, 2021). "Muni will add M-Ocean View and 31-Balboa to list of restored lines". San Francisco Examiner. p. A4. Retrieved February 18, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.  


External linksEdit

  • 31 Balboa — via San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency