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SamTrans "SFO" route <-> Millbrae Caltrain launched June 24, 2018

SamTrans "SFO" route <-> Millbrae Caltrain launched June 24, 2018

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Old Jun 28, 19, 12:12 am   -   Wikipost
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SamTrans bus route "SFO" (operated as part of route 38)
BART Purple line
  • $5.05 one-way
  • "On weekdays until 9 pm and on Sundays, a dedicated shuttle train operates between the two stations, with timed transfers to Antioch line trains at SFO. Weeknight and Saturday service continue to be part of the Antioch [yellow] line."
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Old Jul 1, 18, 12:35 pm
  #1  
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SamTrans "SFO" route <-> Millbrae Caltrain launched June 24, 2018

Was doing a transit directions/trip planner in Google Maps when I saw this option pop up, apparently launched last Sunday.

SamTrans Launches ECR Rapid, Route SFO

Route info and timetable:

Route SFO

FREE RIDE Promotion!

Try the service for FREE between June 24 and July 7. After the free promotion, regular fares apply. Farebox accepts cash only fare: $2.25 for adults, $1.10 for Seniors and Youth. Riders can also pay with Clipper Card for a larger discount! See FARES for more info.

Route SFO will run direct service from the Millbrae Transit Center (Caltrain and BART) to terminal stops at San Francisco International Airport including International Courtyard A, Terminal 2, Terminal 3 and International Courtyard G. All buses will have additional luggage racks.
FlySFO.com:

https://www.flysfo.com/to-from/public-transit

SamTrans Route SFO connects each Airport terminal with Caltrain's Millbrae Station. It is timed to meet each Caltrain service to and from the south, 7 days per week.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 3:46 pm
  #2  
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Cool, makes a lot of sense for those who want to get from SFO to the Milbrae Caltrain station without having to "backtrack" a station on BART during daytime hours. (Surprising to me that this wasn't done by a transit agency earlier!)
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Old Jul 1, 18, 3:54 pm
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Originally Posted by ryw View Post
Cool, makes a lot of sense for those who want to get from SFO to the Milbrae Caltrain station without having to "backtrack" a station on BART during daytime hours. (Surprising to me that this wasn't done by a transit agency earlier!)
I thought I remembered there used to be one that got discontinued.

Google found me this from 2013:

Why is the Caltrain connection to SFO via BART so cumbersome? | BayRail Alliance
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Old Jul 2, 18, 11:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
I thought I remembered there used to be one that got discontinued.

Google found me this from 2013:

Why is the Caltrain connection to SFO via BART so cumbersome? BayRail Alliance
Ah interesting! As a slightly more recent Bay Area transplant, fascinating to see how older decisions (and disagreements) reverberate. Shame that they weren't able to make a more consistent BART SFO-Milbrae train shuttle work financially, or a BART/Caltrian/AirTrain station work in San Bruno, which would seem to make a lot of sense since they're geographically so close. Hopefully they're able to make the SamTrans route work out and have it stay for a while.
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Old Jul 4, 18, 10:39 am
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The SFO BART surcharge is so high these days ($4+) that I'd even consider taking this route to get back to SF proper...

If you arrive in, say, Terminal 2, you have a choice between picking up luggage then going up 2 floors, walking over to the AirTrain station, up another floor, then riding all the way around to the BART dropoff in the garage. Then you pay $9.65 cash fare to Powell.

Or now, you can step out of the terminal directly to the pick up point, ride the bus over to Millbrae, and walk up to a BART train at street level that bypasses SFO. Total cash fare $2.25+$5.25 = $7.50

You save $2.15 and don't have to deal with AirTrain. If you time it right, it might even be a bit quicker.
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Old Jul 9, 18, 9:46 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by ryw View Post
(Surprising to me that this wasn't done by a transit agency earlier!)
It has to do with how BART is funded.

BART's SFO extension is funded partially by SamTrans (San Mateo County Transit District). To ensure the farebox recovery, SamTrans adjusts its bus services to accommodate SFO extension by eliminating internal competitions.

On the other hand, BART's OAK extension is not funded by AC Transit. That's why AC Transit Route 73 is in direct competition with AirBART.

What makes it even more interesting is AirBART actually has a higher farebox recovery rate than SFO extension, despite the surcharge is higher, which can be interpreted as OAK extension succeeds better than SFO extension.
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Old Sep 1, 18, 11:41 am
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I am so looking forward to using this when I travel thru SFO. The VTA Airport Flyer service for SJC is very convenient.

The BART way of doing it is ridiculous. For me, it was Caltrain to Millbrae, BART AWAY from the airport to San Bruno, get off, get back on going the opposite direction and then AirTrain. Absurd.
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Old Sep 3, 18, 2:15 am
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I was looking at catching this last week. In the end I didn't, but...

If you are catching it, especially FROM Millbrae, be aware that it departs from the Caltrain side of the complex, not from the BART side.

Also keep in mind that if you're planning to park in BART, then in theory at least you need to actually catch BART. If you're using the BART airport parking then it's going to be hard for them to enforce that, however if you're paying the $3/day (even if only for the first day) at the machine and then head off in the direction of Caltrain then it might be a different story (they have signs up saying you can't do that, but I have no idea if they enforce it or not).
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Old Sep 5, 18, 11:32 pm
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Originally Posted by docbert View Post
I was looking at catching this last week. In the end I didn't, but...

If you are catching it, especially FROM Millbrae, be aware that it departs from the Caltrain side of the complex, not from the BART side.

Also keep in mind that if you're planning to park in BART, then in theory at least you need to actually catch BART. If you're using the BART airport parking then it's going to be hard for them to enforce that, however if you're paying the $3/day (even if only for the first day) at the machine and then head off in the direction of Caltrain then it might be a different story (they have signs up saying you can't do that, but I have no idea if they enforce it or not).
They've made it so the only machines that allow you to pay the $3 parking fee are after the BART ticket gates. So you're stuck for the minimum fare and might as well then use BART.
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Old Sep 6, 18, 3:59 pm
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
They've made it so the only machines that allow you to pay the $3 parking fee are after the BART ticket gates. So you're stuck for the minimum fare and might as well then use BART.
Is that a new change? The last time I parked there was about 2 months ago, but there was definitely still a parking payment machine outside (roughly opposite the station attendants booth, on the far side of the station from where the parking is)
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Old Sep 6, 18, 8:32 pm
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Long term airport parking is done via permit, here. https://www.select-a-spot.com/bart/r...type=long_term

more info. Parking | bart.gov
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Old Sep 7, 18, 12:50 am
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Originally Posted by returnoftheyeti View Post
Long term airport parking is done via permit, here. https://www.select-a-spot.com/bart/r...type=long_term
Yes and no.

Firstly, BART has free parking over the weekends. So for a trip departing Friday (before 3pm) you can pay 1 day parking at BART, and park free until early Monday morning.

For other trips when using the airport parking process, you can save a few dollars by paying the first days parking at the normal day rate ($3), and have your airport parking ($7/day) start on the second day (or if you leave on Friday, start on the following Monday).

However even if you are using the Long Term Airport Parking for the whole stay, the rules are still that you are supposed to ride BART - although obviously the enforcement is harder in that case and the issue of the parking machine location isn't relevant.
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Old Sep 7, 18, 10:41 pm
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Originally Posted by docbert View Post
Firstly, BART has free parking over the weekends. So for a trip departing Friday (before 3pm) you can pay 1 day parking at BART, and park free until early Monday morning.
Not true.

It is true that BART has free parking during the weekend days. However, the standard daily parking policies apply that you can't park the car overnight. The only way you can park the car overnight at a BART Station is to obtain a Airport/Long Term Parking permit. BART issues parking permits even the parking fee is $0. Without the permit, all cars are subject to tow.

In the example you have mentioned, per BART's parking policies, the parking will be subject to a $28 parking fee as it starts at a "paid" time So there will be no free weekend parking. And the Airport/Long Term Parking is day-based, not time. So the time frame in question lasts 4 days.

Originally Posted by docbert View Post
For other trips when using the airport parking process, you can save a few dollars by paying the first days parking at the normal day rate ($3), and have your airport parking ($7/day) start on the second day (or if you leave on Friday, start on the following Monday).
Unless you can match up the time perfectly, it sounds like trouble more than saving money.

Originally Posted by docbert View Post
However even if you are using the Long Term Airport Parking for the whole stay, the rules are still that you are supposed to ride BART - although obviously the enforcement is harder in that case and the issue of the parking machine location isn't relevant.
Unless you parking at a BART station where Samtrans routes to SFO are available, I don't see how you you can avoid taking BART to SFO.
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Old Sep 8, 18, 10:08 am
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This is turning into one of thoes Internet arguments, but I actually agree with both of you. You can park overnight using the daily parking fee, and I have done it many times. BART allows this to encourage people to not drink and drive.

You also must get a permit for the weekends if you are doing airport parking, and that cost is $0 per day weekend and holidays.

So you are both right, its a conflunce of overlapping rules. Carry on.

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Old Sep 8, 18, 1:34 pm
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post
Not true.

It is true that BART has free parking during the weekend days. However, the standard daily parking policies apply that you can't park the car overnight. The only way you can park the car overnight at a BART Station is to obtain a Airport/Long Term Parking permit. BART issues parking permits even the parking fee is $0. Without the permit, all cars are subject to tow.
You are more than willing to believe that. However the official BART parking page disagrees with you. From https://www.bart.gov/guide/parking :

"At all BART parking facilities, the 24 hour rule for leaving your vehicle is waived during and throughout weekends and BART designated holidays. [...] This means you may leave your vehicle at a BART parking facility during and throughout the weekends and the BART designated holidays continuously and payment of parking fees is not required for these days."
Originally Posted by garykung View Post
Unless you can match up the time perfectly, it sounds like trouble more than saving money.
There's no "times" to match up. BART parking is only charged between 4am and 3pm on weekdays. Outside of those hours it is FREE. So if you arrival at (say) 10am on Friday, you pay $3 to cover the period from 10am Friday to 3pm Friday. From there, parking is free until 4am Monday. The 24 hour rule doesn't apply, as it's a weekend (considered so until 4am on Monday morning, or Tuesday if Monday is a holiday).

If you really don't want to risk it, just go and "buy" an airport parking reservation covering the weekend. It's completely free, and has the advantage that if you do need to extend into Monday (eg, flight delays/etc) then you can do so.



Originally Posted by garykung View Post
Unless you parking at a BART station where Samtrans routes to SFO are available, I don't see how you you can avoid taking BART to SFO.
Personally, I've done each of catching a Taxi, an Uber, and walking from Millbrae BART to or from SFO. The first was for an early flight before BART had started running. The second a delayed flight that got us in after BART had stopped running. The last was a few months ago (before the bus being talked about here started). It was a beautiful day, I only had a backpack (short overnight trip) and I was in no rush to get to the airport, so I decided I was going to walk over to the Bayfront and catch the 292 bus. I managed to miss the bus by about a minute, so decided what the heck, lets see if I can walk all the way!

In case you're wondering, it is possible to walk, but I would not at all recommend it. There's no footpath the vast majority of the way, although there is a good shoulder, a bike lane, and not a lot of traffic. It's also possible there may have been a "No pedestrians" sign or two that I choose to not see...

(San Bruno BART to the Rental Car/Airtrain station is actually very doable, with footpaths the entire way - although I've yet to try doing it)
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