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Old Feb 23, 11, 9:20 am   #1
 
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SFO BART question-please help

Good morning to everyone. I have recently taken a position as a gate agent for AE and now want to enjoy some of the flight benefits. I would like to take my family to SFO tomorrow. The flight we are taking would get us into SFO around 11pm. Is it safe to take the BART to the Powell St. station at that hour?? Any help anyone can give would be much appreciated. Thanks.
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Old Feb 23, 11, 9:30 am   #2
 
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Originally Posted by Rainman4 View Post
Good morning to everyone. I have recently taken a position as a gate agent for AE and now want to enjoy some of the flight benefits. I would like to take my family to SFO tomorrow. The flight we are taking would get us into SFO around 11pm. Is it safe to take the BART to the Powell St. station at that hour?? Any help anyone can give would be much appreciated. Thanks.

If you have more than a couple of people - it would probably be the sme price to just take a cab. I think SFO -> Powell is like 7.50. The cab ride is about 40.
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Old Feb 23, 11, 9:30 am   #3
 
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I only go to SF twice a year but have never encountered any problems on BART late at night.
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Old Feb 23, 11, 9:48 am   #4
 
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It is definitely safe to take BART at that time. BART fare is $8.10 per person. The train takes just under 30 min. (plus the wait time and AirTrain time) A cab at that time will take 20 min. and cost about $40.
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Old Feb 23, 11, 9:54 am   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainman4 View Post
I would like to take my family to SFO tomorrow. The flight we are taking would get us into SFO around 11pm. Is it safe to take the BART to the Powell St. station at that hour?
I think it's safe. BART has pretty high fares, cameras everywhere, and a big police force. I've regularly ridden BART to my home from a variety of destinations between 11 pm and 1 am without incident.

Are you checking luggage? The last train from the airport is at 11:54 weekdays, so you might have to run for it even if the flight is on time. If you're checking bags, forget making it.

It's an expensive trip: $8.10 per person. The BART ticket machines don't take credit cards for less than $20, so you either need to buy a $20 ticket for each person and have a plan to use the extra $3.80 for some other BART ride or carry $16.20 in cash for each person to get a ticket of the exact fare you need.
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Old Feb 23, 11, 9:57 am   #6
 
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Hi,

Please note that the BART stops service sometime around 11:45 pm, so that if your flight is delayed you'll need to take a taxi.

Otherwise, BART is safe and easy to use and as other's have posted, the price is $8.10 per person.

Have a great time
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Old Feb 23, 11, 9:57 am   #7
 
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Originally Posted by airjerz View Post
(plus the wait time and AirTrain time)
I never take the AirTrain from terminal 3 (AA's terminal) to BART. I find that the AirTrain wait time cancels out the walk to and from airtrain and the speed of the airtrain. If you exit the AA pier and turn right, you can walk past the United counters and then go up the escalator to the international terminal. Keep going straight and you hit the BART station.

Of course, this assumes you walk quickly. I am 6'2" and treat walking through the airport as a major form of exercise because it's the only way I can fit it into my day. Depending on the age of children in tow, this may not be a good assumption for you.
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Old Feb 23, 11, 10:13 am   #8
 
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sounds similar to my situation. I am coming in from JFK on AA017, arriving at 23.10pm, and I need to catch the last BART train which leaves at 23.54pm. Unfortunately I must have checked luggage, sounds like it is going to be very tight. Though I see that normally when AA017 leaves on/near on-time, it usually arrives early. But just as often, it actually departs/arrives late.

I see that the earlier flight, AA177, oftentimes depart late, so I am going to try to do stand-by to get on that one. I arrive into JFK T-7 on IB6251 at 17.10; AA177 has been departing at/after 18.40 on many days.

If that fails, then I might just leave SFO airport without my bag and come back the next day to get it. That would be cheaper than a taxi to the far East Bay (>$100). Anyone see a problem with that?
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Old Feb 23, 11, 10:31 am   #9
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Originally Posted by flyermatthew View Post
The BART ticket machines don't take credit cards for less than $20
Not true. Though at first it does say $20, you have the ability to decrease the amount using the touch screen. If all you need is a roundtrip between SFO and downtown SF, you can most certainly buy a $16.20 ticket just by decreasing the amount to that exact amount.

Also, I believe fares for BART can now be made on the SF wide Clipper Card. If you plan to go to SF often, it might be easier for you to get a Clipper Card and charge that up.
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Old Feb 23, 11, 10:33 am   #10
 
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Originally Posted by malcolmkettering View Post
sounds similar to my situation. I am coming in from JFK on AA017, arriving at 23.10pm, and I need to catch the last BART train which leaves at 23.54pm. Unfortunately I must have checked luggage, sounds like it is going to be very tight. Though I see that normally when AA017 leaves on/near on-time, it usually arrives early. But just as often, it actually departs/arrives late.

I see that the earlier flight, AA177, oftentimes depart late, so I am going to try to do stand-by to get on that one. I arrive into JFK T-7 on IB6251 at 17.10; AA177 has been departing at/after 18.40 on many days.

If that fails, then I might just leave SFO airport without my bag and come back the next day to get it. That would be cheaper than a taxi to the far East Bay (>$100). Anyone see a problem with that?

To the OP: yes BART is safe. Powell St may be another issue if you're hassled by pandhandlers.

The reason SFO BART fares are so high is they include a surcharge of ~$4 for serving SFO!

There are other forms of transport. SamTrans provides service into the city, but has a so called luggage restriction, which I don't know how well it is enforced at night. AC Transit used to run overnight bus service SFO to East Bay, and may still do.

Supershuttle is another option over a taxi.

And depending upon day of week, renting a car even for one way into the city could be viable, especially if going to the East Bay.
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Old Feb 23, 11, 10:35 am   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainman4 View Post
Good morning to everyone. I have recently taken a position as a gate agent for AE and now want to enjoy some of the flight benefits. I would like to take my family to SFO tomorrow. The flight we are taking would get us into SFO around 11pm. Is it safe to take the BART to the Powell St. station at that hour?? Any help anyone can give would be much appreciated. Thanks.
Congrats on your new position, Rainman4!

Since your question is actually a general SFO question and not AA/AAdvantage-related, we'll shift your thread over to the San Francisco forum where additional knowledgeable FlyerTalkers can chime in! /Moderator
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Old Feb 23, 11, 10:54 am   #12
 
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Originally Posted by kebosabi View Post
Not true. Though at first it does say $20, you have the ability to decrease the amount using the touch screen. If all you need is a roundtrip between SFO and downtown SF, you can most certainly buy a $16.20 ticket just by decreasing the amount to that exact amount.
Huh. I stand corrected. Even though I live here, it's been years since I've had to buy a BART ticket via credit card. I got the BART fare card linked to a credit card the minute it was offered, so I haven't had to use the fare machines since something like 2007 or 2008.

They definitely used to enforce a $20 minimum spend on credit cards. I'm glad to hear they've become less tourist-hostile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kebosabi View Post
Also, I believe fares for BART can now be made on the SF wide Clipper Card. If you plan to go to SF often, it might be easier for you to get a Clipper Card and charge that up.
Yes, BART is available on the Clipper Card, and has been for a bit more than half a year, I think. It works quite nicely, and is definitely worth getting if you'll visit SF often. I use my Clipper on BART every day.
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Old Feb 23, 11, 11:57 am   #13
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At that hour I would take a taxi. First, as mentioned above, for multiple passengers, the cost for BART can be almost as much as a taxi ride. Also, when you add together time spent getting to the BART station at SFO and waiting for the next train, a taxi can be much quicker. More importantly, however, while the BART itself will be safe, the walk from Powell station to your hotel may be less so -- especially if you are unfamiliar with the City and wander in the wrong direction at that time of night.
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Old Feb 23, 11, 5:38 pm   #14
 
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Thanks

Thanks so much to everyone that posted. You guys are great!! Looks like we will take a cab as we want to stay in the Wharf area. But will probably use the BART when we go home. Thanks again.!
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Old Feb 23, 11, 5:55 pm   #15
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Originally Posted by flyermatthew View Post
They definitely used to enforce a $20 minimum spend on credit cards. I'm glad to hear they've become less tourist-hostile.
Yes, they used to and I secretly dream that I fixed that. When I ran into that several years ago, I sent a complaint into Mastercard or Visa (I think Mastercard) complaining that BART was violating merchant rules by requiring a minimum purchase amount. On a subsequent trip I noticed that the amount could be changed.

I am sure it was not because of my complaint, but sometimes it is nice to think one can actually change a dumb rule.

BillJ
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