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Old Aug 5, 05, 5:40 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: San Francisco
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driving time from SJC to SFO or other methods?

I'll be travelling back-and-forth to San Francisco for the next several months. Unfortunately, my local airport has more direct and flexible flights to SJC (San Jose) than it does to SFO (only one direct flight each day).

Any idea on how long it takes to drive from SJC to SFO during Monday mornings? One hour? Two hours? Or should I just forget about it? I've never gotten stuck in Bay Area traffic, but I've heard horror stories.

How about driving times from SJC-SFO during morning and afternoon rush hours?

Also, any suggestions for alternative methods to get from SJO to SFO? I see CalTrain takes about 1.5 hours from San Jose to South SF.

Hopefully I'll get some idea for the traffic down there. Thanks!
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Old Aug 5, 05, 7:13 pm   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runnerwallah
I'll be travelling back-and-forth to San Francisco for the next several months. Unfortunately, my local airport has more direct and flexible flights to SJC (San Jose) than it does to SFO (only one direct flight each day).

Any idea on how long it takes to drive from SJC to SFO during Monday mornings? One hour? Two hours? Or should I just forget about it? I've never gotten stuck in Bay Area traffic, but I've heard horror stories.

How about driving times from SJC-SFO during morning and afternoon rush hours?

Also, any suggestions for alternative methods to get from SJO to SFO? I see CalTrain takes about 1.5 hours from San Jose to South SF.

Hopefully I'll get some idea for the traffic down there. Thanks!
I will take CalTrain, way less frustration and some work can be done on the train.

However, having said that, it depends on how important a car factors into your plans. I will suggest a North bound 101-switch to 85-North 280-SFO route to avoid the bottleneck around Palo Alto and Redwood Shores...
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Old Aug 5, 05, 11:24 pm   #3
 
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The baby bullet caltrain is an hour from san jose to downtown san francisco.




Quote:
Originally Posted by runnerwallah
I'll be travelling back-and-forth to San Francisco for the next several months. Unfortunately, my local airport has more direct and flexible flights to SJC (San Jose) than it does to SFO (only one direct flight each day).

Any idea on how long it takes to drive from SJC to SFO during Monday mornings? One hour? Two hours? Or should I just forget about it? I've never gotten stuck in Bay Area traffic, but I've heard horror stories.

How about driving times from SJC-SFO during morning and afternoon rush hours?

Also, any suggestions for alternative methods to get from SJO to SFO? I see CalTrain takes about 1.5 hours from San Jose to South SF.

Hopefully I'll get some idea for the traffic down there. Thanks!
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Old Aug 5, 05, 11:49 pm   #4
 
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101 N on Monday is horrible

It will take you over an hour to get from SJC to SFO on a Monday morning anytime after 7:30 am. 280 is much better...it gets a little backed up in the South bay but is great the rest of the way up the Peninsula...
I commute from Menlo Park to an office 2 exits away from SFO and 101 takes me at least 45 minutes...280 takes me 25 minutes...

Having said that, Caltrain still makes the most sense if you are actually going to be doing business in the city (and staying at a hotel in the city). In the city you can get around by taxi, bart or tram...and you don't have to pay the 35 to 45$/night charged by most hotels.

You can check the caltrain schedules on-line.

If you still want to drive a car, you can dial 511 on your cell phone in the bay area and get an automated commuter info line. It can give you traffic conditions, accident reports, average drive times, etc. You can also access this on-line.
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Old Aug 7, 05, 12:37 pm   #5
 
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Hi!
A question connected with the topic:
How long will it take me from Palo Alto (El Camino Real) to SFO airport on a Sunday at around 10 or 11 am? I calculated a maximum time of 30 or 40 minutes - is that possible?

Thanx for your help!

Greetings, Thomas
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Old Aug 7, 05, 1:49 pm   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomashi
Hi!
A question connected with the topic:
How long will it take me from Palo Alto (El Camino Real) to SFO airport on a Sunday at around 10 or 11 am? I calculated a maximum time of 30 or 40 minutes - is that possible?

Thanx for your help!

Greetings, Thomas
I'm not a SFO native or resident, but I did take that route last month. It took me a good 20 minutes driving at roughly 60-70 mph the whole way (with no traffic).
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Old Aug 7, 05, 6:02 pm   #7
 
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It really depends on where in San Francisco are your final destination, but you might want to consider flying into Oakland as well. Now that the construction is completed at OAK, the AirBart connection is reasonable. From OAK, you should be able to make it to San Francisco downtown in about an hour via the AirBart/BART link.

If the place you need to go are not close to public transportation, than the car probably will still save you time. If you can avoid 7-9 am, you can probably travel the 33 miles from SJC to SFO in one hour +/- 15 minutes.
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Old Aug 7, 05, 8:13 pm   #8
 
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If I were in your situation, and I had access to a car at will, my ordering of options would be

1. Caltrain baby bullet (about 1 hour from downtown SJ (Diridon station) to downtown SF (4th and King)); both termini are well-served by public transportation. Lots of people do this, and you will see many of the same people frequently. If you want to go straight from SJC to Caltrain, there is a free shuttle (VTA Route 10) from SJC to the Santa Clara Caltrain station, and back. But I am not sure the baby bullet stops at Santa Clara, so you should probably go online to check the Caltrain schedule.

2. Drive 280 (or US-101 to CA-85 to I-280), but beware of potential backups around Sand Hill Road, the I-280/I-380 interchange, and the I-280/19th Ave interchange just as you enter the SF city limits. 280 is a beautiful drive, and good for the soul.

3. Do #2, but park at the Millbrae BART station (near SFO), and take BART the rest of the way. Probably best done only occasionally.

4. Take US-101. Last resort. Terrible traffic, massive delays if there is an accident.
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Old Aug 8, 05, 7:18 am   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slippahs
I'm not a SFO native or resident, but I did take that route last month. It took me a good 20 minutes driving at roughly 60-70 mph the whole way (with no traffic).
20 minutes from Palo Alto to SFO? I live in Palo Alto and I've never done it in 20 minutes! It can take 5-10 minutes just to get from El Camino Real to 101.

Allocate 40 minutes, as originally suggested. If you are returning a rental car, add at least 20 minutes more. If there's an accident on 101, even on Sunday morning, it will take longer.
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Old Aug 9, 05, 4:35 pm   #10
 
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What specific times will you be arriving? If you won't be on the road before 10 a.m., just take the 101 all the way to the City. If you arrive earlier than that, take the 280 North from the southern SJC access road (ask at the rental car counter) and then connect to 101 via the 380 near SFO airport. I've done this countless times and there has only ever been any traffic if there is an accident or I somehow manage to arrive in the City during the afternoon commute over the Bay Bridge (backs up 101N to about the 280 interchange). The 280 North of 380 always seems to have traffic, whereas 101 between SFO and the 280 interchange doesn't ever seem to have any traffic.
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Old Aug 9, 05, 4:48 pm   #11
 
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My most favorable option is to arrive at SJC at exactly 8 am. Ideally, I would like to reach my destination before 10 am - it looks like this may be possible from reading the thread.

If I can avoid flying to SFO, I may now be able to have 3 days at home a month, instead of two days. A 50% gain! :-)
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Old Aug 26, 05, 4:52 pm   #12
 
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Just a followup to my original post for future reference. I tried this out on a Friday afternoon at 2:30 pm (just before rush hour). Here's what I got:

From the 101 near SFO to my rental car's company at SJC: ~55 minutes
From the rental car shuttle to the curb of SJC: ~20 minutes

Only had slows in Burlingame and San Jose. 101 going north looked a lot slower than my route going south.

I don't think it's worth it to drive down to SJC just to get a direct flight going home to AUS. I'll save around 30 minutes of time on my trip (if I don't get stuck in rush hour traffic) - not worth the effort in my opinion.

Last edited by runnerwallah; Aug 26, 05 at 4:54 pm..
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