The line runs from the Embarcadero Station downtown to the Geneva Avenue and San Jose Avenue in the Balboa Park neighborhood, near City College of San Francisco. The downtown portion of the line runs through the Market Street Subway, which it shares with the four other Muni Metro lines. It continues through the much older Twin Peaks Tunnel, along with the L Taraval and M Ocean View lines, emerging at West Portal Station. From there, it follows West Portal Avenue to Saint Francis Circle, where it then runs on its own right-of-way in the middle of Junipero Serra Boulevard to Ocean Avenue. The K then follows Ocean Avenue until it reaches Balboa Park Station, where it circles around the Metro yard at San Jose and Geneva Avenue, with the actual terminal stop alongside the station.
The K Ingleside line stops at large stations for the downtown section of the line and at smaller stops on the rest of the line. Most of the smaller stops are nothing more than concrete "islands" in the middle of the street next to the tracks. Some of these "island" stops provide access for wheelchairs. Muni bus routes provide service to all stations and other systems with access to the stations are noted.
The original K Ingleside streetcar line opened in 1918. Service was extended the next year by incorporating a previously opened line. The outer end of the line was a stub at the intersection of Brighton and Grafton. In the 1940s an additional branch of the line was built down Onondaga Street to Mission Street. In the 1950s, this was shortened to the Phelan loop at Ocean and Lee. On April 23, 1979, the line was lengthened to Balboa Park BART Station. Initially, only supplemental trips running from West Portal and using newly-in-service Boeing Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) served the new extension, weekdays only, and most K-line service continued to use PCC streetcars running from downtown to Phelan Loop. The LRV shuttle service ended in February 1980, and PCC-operated service was extended to Balboa Park, but lasted only four months before the weekday service was replaced by a temporary K-L crosstown route using LRVs (and weekend service cut back to Phelan Loop). Additional changes to the service configuration followed until finally on December 17, 1980, the K line became operated as a through service from Embarcadero Station to Balboa Park, using LRVs, on weekdays only. Weekend service continued to use PCC cars until September 1982 when the Muni Metro became fully operational.
Eureka Station in the Twin Peaks Tunnel was originally a stop on the K line, but the station was closed in 1972 and replaced, 10 years later, by Castro Street Station when the Market Street Subway opened.
Following service changes on June 30, 2007, the K Ingleside and the T Third Street lines were spliced together inside the Market Street Subway tunnel, though keeping their respective line designations, resulting in an upside-down horseshoe-shaped route from Balboa Park to Bayshore and Sunnydale. At West Portal Station, inbound K trains heading towards downtown change their signs to the T line; conversely, at Embarcadero Station, T trains heading into downtown change signs to the K line. The trains show the ultimate destination of the spliced lines rather than the intermediate "terminus" of the individual line.
The K Ingleside begins service at 5 a.m. weekdays, 6 a.m. Saturdays and 8 a.m. Sundays, with the end of service occurring around 12:30 a.m. each night. It operates a headway of 9 to 10 minutes during the day, and 12 to 15 minutes at night. Late night service is provided by the 91 Owl diesel bus line on West Portal and Ocean Avenue, and by the L-Owl diesel bus line from West Portal Station to Market Street and Steuart Street, near Embarcadero Station. There is also a K-Owl diesel bus line that runs from Market Street and Steuart Street to Balboa Park. This line makes a limited number of trips between the times owl service stops and the underground subway stations open.
Future plans for the K line include an extension on Geneva Avenue from the Balboa Park station to Bayshore Boulevard, with a connection to the T Third Street line and a possible connection to the Bayshore Caltrain station in Brisbane. This has been identified as a Tier 1 level project. Once this project is complete, the K Ingleside may be re-titled as K Geneva or K Crocker Amazon.
Additional plans include a subway with a portal entrance south of Saint Francis Circle on Junipero Serra Boulevard that connects to the existing Twin Peaks Tunnel. This plan will coincide with the construction of the M Ocean View subway project.
Station and stop listing
inbound to outbound
|Embarcadero||Financial District||Sign change from T Third Street outbound
Connects to F Market & Wharves and BART
Serves Ferry Building
|Montgomery Street||Financial District||Connects to F Market & Wharves and BART|
|Powell Street||Financial District||Connects to F Market & Wharves and BART|
|Civic Center/UN Plaza||Civic Center||Connects to F Market & Wharves and BART|
|Van Ness||Civic Center and Tenderloin||Connects to F Market & Wharves|
|Church Street||Duboce Triangle||*||*Connects with J Church on surface stop at 14th Street
Connects with F Market & Wharves streetcar
|Forest Hill||Forest Hill and Laguna Honda|
|West Portal||West Portal||Changes to T Third Street inbound|
|West Portal and 14th Avenue||West Portal|
|St. Francis Circle||St. Francis Wood|
|Junipero Serra and Ocean||St. Francis Wood|
|Ocean and San Leandro||Balboa Terrace|
|Ocean and Aptos||Balboa Terrace|
|Ocean and Cerritos (outbound)
Ocean and Westgate (inbound)
|Ocean and Aptos||Mount Davidson|
|Ocean and Victoria (outbound)
Ocean and Fairfield (inbound)
| Ocean and Jules (outbound)
Ocean and Dorado (inbound)
|Ocean and Miramar||Westwood Park|
|Ocean and Lee||Westwood Park|
|Ocean and Phelan/City College||Westwood Park||Linked by pedestrian bridge to City College of San Francisco|
|Balboa Park||Mission Terrace||*||Outbound terminus
Connects with BART via Muni Metro's mezzanine level
*Utilizes turn around shared with J Church; within walking distance of M Ocean View
- "TEP Route Data & Proposed Changes". San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-15.
- Demery, Jr., Leroy W. (November 2011). "U.S. Urban Rail Transit Lines Opened From 1980" (pdf). publictransit.us. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
- "D4258_2". SFMTA Photography Department & Archive. SFMTA. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
- "City Map - Municipal Street Car Lines & Coach Routes" (jpg). Retrieved 2013-12-15.
- McKane, John; Perles, Anthony (1982). Inside Muni: The Properties and Operations of the Municipal Railway of San Francisco. Glendale, CA (US): Interurban Press. p. 198. ISBN 0-916374-49-1.
- Perles, Anthony (1984). Tours of Discovery: A San Francisco Muni Album. Interurban Press. p. 126. ISBN 0-916374-60-2.
- Gordon, Rachel (June 4, 2007). "T-Third line causing delays, so officials consider new routes". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2013-12-15.