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San Francisco

Getting to and from San Francisco

How to get to and from San Francisco.

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Taking BART to and from the airport is convenient and affordable

By Plane: Two major airports, San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Oakland International Airport (OAK) serve the Bay Area. The San Francisco International Airport is not located in San Francisco proper but in San Mateo, a city about 20-30 minutes south of SF. Alternatively, Oakland International Airport is located across the bay from San Francisco in nearby Oakland. Car services, car rentals, and public transportation are easy to arrange and provide convenient access to the city.

SFO Airport

  • 30 minute BART ride to SF: $8.25-$7.70. BART comes about every 20 minutes, last BART departs SFO at 11:50pm.

  • 20 minute taxi to SF without traffic: $40-$50.

Oakland Airport

  • 45 minutes on BART + AirBART ride to SF: $3.85-$4.20. BART comes about every 20 minutes, last BART departs OAK at 12:20am.

  • 30 minute taxi ride to SF without traffic: $60-$65.

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By Car

  • Expect traffic during rush hours: 7:30-9am and 5-7pm.

  • Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge both charge a $6 toll.

  • Car rideshares: Find a lift to SF through Zimride or Ridejoy.

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By Ferry: Leave your car and your worries behind by ferrying around the Bay Area. Nine ferry terminals serve the area. They offer direct access to Angel Island and Alcatraz, as well as provide service to locations as far south as South San Francisco and as far north as Vallejo. The ferry is not only convenient—it's an incredible way to appreciate the scope of the Bay Area, namely its bridges and skyline.

Visit sanfranciscobayferry.com and goldengateferry.org to learn more.

By Bus

  • AC Transit (service to East Bay), SamTrans (South SF, Peninsula), VTA (Peninsula: Santa Clara, Mountain View, Palo Alto), and Golden Gate Transit (Marin).

  • Purchase individual tickets or use a Clipper card.

  • For travel outside of the Bay Area, try long distance bus carriers such as Greyhound and Megabus.

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The Caltrain whisks passengers to and from Silicon Valley

By Caltrain: Caltrain provides rail service along the SF Peninsula and through the South Bay to San Jose and Gilroy.

  • Purchase a ticket at any Caltrain station. The cost of each trip is based on the distance traveled. Hold on to your ticket to show to the train conductor when asked for proof of payment during your trip. If you're using a Clipper card, you must tap the card reader at your starting station and tap off at your destination station.

  • During rush hours, the dedicated bike car tends to fill up. If the bike car is full, you’ll have to wait until the next train if you’re bringing your bike.



Photography by: Michael Blumenfeld and Odessa Shekar.