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Old May 19, 05, 3:34 pm   #1
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Easy Transportation from SFO to SJC

Any easy ways to get from SFO to SJC without renting a car? How easy is it to take CalTrain from SFO to SJC. I'll be getting off some 24 hours of flying, so I want to make the transit as non-stressful as possible.
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Old May 19, 05, 3:51 pm   #2
 
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Originally Posted by slippahs
Any easy ways to get from SFO to SJC without renting a car? How easy is it to take CalTrain from SFO to SJC. I'll be getting off some 24 hours of flying, so I want to make the transit as non-stressful as possible.
From SFO, you need to take BART in the International Terminal to the Millbrae station (runs every 15 min). In Millbrae, take Caltrain to the Santa Clara station, then the free Airport Flyer bus to SJC (runs every 10-15 min). So it's a bit of a pain, but so is renting a car.
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Old May 19, 05, 3:55 pm   #3
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Originally Posted by allisonflyer
From SFO, you need to take BART in the International Terminal to the Millbrae station (runs every 15 min). In Millbrae, take Caltrain to the Santa Clara station, then the free Airport Flyer bus to SJC (runs every 10-15 min). So it's a bit of a pain, but so is renting a car.
Any shuttle service recommendations that might be less of a pain?
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Old May 19, 05, 3:59 pm   #4
 
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Probably the easiest option is to take one of the shuttles (if you don't want to rent a car). There are a couple to choose from and all are located at the the 'departures' level (up one level from baggage claim). It'll cost about $35+tip. There's no way of knowing how many stops, but it's usually not too bad. Also, you don't have to lug your bags through 3 different systems (which is what you'd have to do if you use Caltrain). - No need to prebook, just show up and ask the assistant at the curb.

But, if you want to use Caltrain... you have to take BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to the Burlingame station and switch to Caltrain then from the Santa Clara station switch again to a bus service (VTA - Valley Transit Authority) .... I believe each of them is a completely different system and requires seperate fares.

In mo I'd take the shuttle. I live in the Bay Area and whenever we go to either airport, that's what we usually do since the other options seem disjointed and poorly executed.

Good luck whichever you choose.
DD

Last edited by Daringdoo; May 19, 05 at 4:02 pm. Reason: Adding info
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Old May 19, 05, 4:11 pm   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slippahs
Any easy ways to get from SFO to SJC without renting a car? How easy is it to take CalTrain from SFO to SJC. I'll be getting off some 24 hours of flying, so I want to make the transit as non-stressful as possible.
The transit directions given by allisonflyer are correct, easy and non-stressful. (A later post by someone else mentions Burlingame, which is the wrong station.) There is minimal walking, and at each stage, you can buy your ticket from a machine, using your credit card. Bills and coins work too. Through June 30, 2005, the total fare for this trip is $5.75 -- $1.50 for BART, $4.25 for Caltrain, and nothing for the Santa Clara VTA Route 10 Airport Flyer.

If you are apprehensive about making this trip on public transit, check out the SFO and SJC pages on www.iridethebus.org . You will find descriptions of the airport-related transit services; wayfinding directions; information about hours and frequency; and pictures. (Caution: the Web site is geared to people from my area, Santa Cruz, so you will also see some extra information that isn't relevant to your trip. Use the relevant parts of the Web site as a general introduction, but follow allisonflyer's specific directions. If you have questions, feel free to ask.)

Hope this helps!

Paul Marcelin-Sampson
Santa Cruz, California, USA

Last edited by marcelin; May 19, 05 at 4:33 pm. Reason: Clarification
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Old May 19, 05, 4:55 pm   #6
 
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[quote=marcelin] (A later post by someone else mentions Burlingame, which is the wrong station.)

Oops! Sorry that should have been the Millbrae station. Although I incorrectly named the station, the essentials remain the same - it's still a drag to change from train to train to bus when you can just hop on a shuttle once and it'll drop you right at the sjc door!


Also, try these websites:
www.flysfo.com ... or more specifically....
http://www.flysfo.com/transport/serv...p?gt_mode_id=4

and
http://www.sjc.org/travelers/ground_trans.html

DD
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Old May 19, 05, 5:47 pm   #7
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One time I took public transit from SFO all the way to Monterey. I took the shuttle bus to the Millbrae station (this was before BART arrived), Caltrain to San Jose, and the Amtrak bus to Monterey. Grand total was around $15.

Just going to SJC, compared to $35 (plus tip? ) for a shuttle that may get stuck in traffic, and make as many stops as they feel like, I must say the train is the clear winner.
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Old May 19, 05, 6:16 pm   #8
 
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I would just like to add that BART is great public transportation in my experience.
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Old May 19, 05, 6:21 pm   #9
 
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Originally Posted by JS
One time I took public transit from SFO all the way to Monterey. I took the shuttle bus to the Millbrae station (this was before BART arrived), Caltrain to San Jose, and the Amtrak bus to Monterey. Grand total was around $15.

Just going to SJC, compared to $35 (plus tip? ) for a shuttle that may get stuck in traffic, and make as many stops as they feel like, I must say the train is the clear winner.

??? Are you kidding? I find it amusing that one should be so perturbed by something so menial as an alternate idea. There's no need, really.

Unless the OP is arriving in the afternoon (say between 3-7pm), chances are pretty good there won't be traffic issues (and yes I drive the 101 all the time).

I guess I'd rather spend the money than lug bags from pilar to post - just a preference on my part (I've never had more than 2 stops between home and sfo). There was a time when I'd rather save a few bucks in lieu of convenience, but I got over that some time ago

I'm all for those who want to save the money and give up time and convenience (I'm just not one of them), but that's why I gave the OP the info on both options.

DD
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Old May 19, 05, 6:41 pm   #10
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The was referring to the idea of tipping a bus driver, on top of paying a $35 fare. That part I think is insane, not the whole idea of taking the bus in the first place.
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Old May 19, 05, 6:53 pm   #11
 
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Looks to me that if you go here:

http://www.sjc.org/travelers/airporters.html

you'll find two companies that operate buses/vans from SFO to SJC.

After 24 hours of travel that's what I'd take as impressive as the Bay Area's public transit network is.
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Old May 19, 05, 7:26 pm   #12
 
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Originally Posted by JS
The was referring to the idea of tipping a bus driver, on top of paying a $35 fare. That part I think is insane, not the whole idea of taking the bus in the first place.

OK. I thought you were a little too 'invested' in the shuttle vs train/bus thing, I stand corrected

So, and I'm not picking a fight here.... Isn't that the same as not tipping a waitress or a hotel valet? I always tip the driver since I see it as a service job. Plus he/she usually handles the bags putting them into and taking them out of the vehicle.

As always, tipping is a personal matter. Some do, some don't - regardless of the type or quality of service performed. I just thought I should make the OP aware that my estimate didn't include one.

Also, I'd hate for people to think I have no appreciation for the public transportation in the Bay Area, but you have to admit that while yes it is clean and comfortable, it is just not as convenient as say, many countries in Europe when it comes to access to the airport (as I'm sure many of you can attest to). Personally I'd love it if it made sense for me to use public transportation when trying to get to the airport but by the time I take a cab to Caltrain station, take the train, then switch to BART, I might as well have jumped into a shuttle (I think the price is about the same and it certainly wouldn't take any longer - even with pickups)! So, by all means if one is so inclined, for whatever reason, to use Caltrain/BART etc go for it!
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Old May 19, 05, 7:50 pm   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daringdoo
OK. I thought you were a little too 'invested' in the shuttle vs train/bus thing, I stand corrected

So, and I'm not picking a fight here.... Isn't that the same as not tipping a waitress or a hotel valet? I always tip the driver since I see it as a service job. Plus he/she usually handles the bags putting them into and taking them out of the vehicle.

As always, tipping is a personal matter. Some do, some don't - regardless of the type or quality of service performed. I just thought I should make the OP aware that my estimate didn't include one.

Also, I'd hate for people to think I have no appreciation for the public transportation in the Bay Area, but you have to admit that while yes it is clean and comfortable, it is just not as convenient as say, many countries in Europe when it comes to access to the airport (as I'm sure many of you can attest to). Personally I'd love it if it made sense for me to use public transportation when trying to get to the airport but by the time I take a cab to Caltrain station, take the train, then switch to BART, I might as well have jumped into a shuttle (I think the price is about the same and it certainly wouldn't take any longer - even with pickups)! So, by all means if one is so inclined, for whatever reason, to use Caltrain/BART etc go for it!
A waitress or bartender is paid a lower minimum wage because of the expectation of tips. Bus drivers are not. So, it's not the same thing. For $35, I expect the driver to spend two seconds taking my luggage. Even for California, that is a lot of money to spend on a bus to go from one airport to another in the same metropolitan area. Even in NYC, it costs half that for a bus from Grand Central in Manhattan to JFK, and it's non-stop.

I suppose I do have a lower tolerance for crummy public transit in the U.S., having taken city buses or light rail in Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas, which are not exactly models of public transit efficiency (plus D.C. to Boston which is better but still not European). Still, for five bucks and three quarters for two choo-choo trains followed by a free bus, you can't go wrong, IMHO.
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Old May 19, 05, 9:38 pm   #14
 
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Originally Posted by JS
A waitress or bartender is paid a lower minimum wage because of the expectation of tips. Bus drivers are not.

Still, for five bucks and three quarters for two choo-choo trains followed by a free bus, you can't go wrong, IMHO.

So you don't tip taxi drivers? Also, let me clarify.... these are not bus drivers, they are shuttle drivers who drop you off at the door of your destination. I would compare them more directly to a taxi driver than a bus driver. (And, what's the worst that can happen if a waitress has 'an accident'? )

I'll wave at you as we pass each other - me in my shuttle and you on your choo-choo!

I'm guessing the OP has left the thread by now

DD
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Old May 19, 05, 10:04 pm   #15
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Originally Posted by Daringdoo
So you don't tip taxi drivers? Also, let me clarify.... these are not bus drivers, they are shuttle drivers who drop you off at the door of your destination. I would compare them more directly to a taxi driver than a bus driver. (And, what's the worst that can happen if a waitress has 'an accident'? )

I'll wave at you as we pass each other - me in my shuttle and you on your choo-choo!

I'm guessing the OP has left the thread by now

DD
No, no. I'm still here. Just reading your comments.

One of the reasons why I needed transportation from SFO to SJC was not to make a connection, but to make it easier on a friend who lives in Santa Cruz to pick me up. I had a one-way car rental all planned out, but it was with Dollar (by far the cheapest pricing out for my dates). Heard a ton of honor-stories about Dollar, so thought that it might have just been better to transit to SJC without the car.

Thanks again for all your advice!
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