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Inexpensive way to get from OAK to downtown San Fran?

Inexpensive way to get from OAK to downtown San Fran?

Old Mar 17, 04, 8:41 pm
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Inexpensive way to get from OAK to downtown San Fran?

I have some relatives from Italy on their honeymoon. I'm helping them plan their trip. It's their first (and probably only time they'll be able to afford it) in America. They need to get from OAK to downtown San Francisco. I'm not from that area and I've done a search here, but it looks like a cab ride will be expensive.

Someone mentioned taking a shuttle to the BART which will get them into downtown SFO. Is that a difficult endeavor, especially for foreigners who may not understand english very well? Does the BART allow luggage on it? They'll likely have two bags each.

Are there any direct shuttles/vans/buses that aren't prohibitively expensive? My relatives are on a shoestring budget.
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Old Mar 18, 04, 12:14 am
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Then BART is the best option. The "airbart" bus to the station ($2), and then BART into the city (probably $3.50). You can bring luggage. Also you don't have any bridge traffic that a shuttle service could have. The ticket machines can be confusing for those unfamiliar, and the station agents are generally grumpy and unfriendly and unhelpful. If they speak a bit of spanish or can understand it, odds are good that someone will be able to help them if they don't understand English well enough.
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Old Mar 18, 04, 8:56 am
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Bunch of info on OAK and Bart here:


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Old Mar 18, 04, 11:40 am
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I know the shuttles from SFO (which provide door to door) service are usually $15/person. I think OAK shuttles run about the same.

I assume they are checking into a hotel or staying with someone in downtown SF? If so, I think it's worth the extra cost for the shuttle. It's door to door. Easier to deal with luggage (which sounds like they have a lot). You also don't have to deal with the transfers to BART or figuring out how to get from BART to the hotel.

I also will second the comment about the BART ticket machines being very confusing. Even after having lived in SF, when I go back I still get flustered.

Take an airport shuttle.


[This message has been edited by StudentExplorer (edited Mar 18, 2004).]
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Old Mar 18, 04, 12:51 pm
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I did the OAK-SF thing a few weeks ago. Here are the details.

The bus that goes from the airport to the BART is $2. The bus stops are clearly marked and there are vending machines at the bus stop where you have to buy tickets before boarding. They're strict about this. You just put the paper ticket into the slot and sit down. The busses have luggage racks, so they're perrty good.

The BART fare was about $3.50 (look it up to be sure). You buy a fare card at the vending machine inside the station.

On the return, you have to buy your bus ticket from the vending machine as you are exiting the BART station. I seem to recall that I bought a $2 BART farecard, but I'm hazy on this.

One warning: It can be a nightmare getting through security at OAK. Arrive very, very early.
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Old Mar 18, 04, 3:25 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by StudentExplorer:
I know the shuttles from SFO (which provide door to door) service are usually $15/person. I think OAK shuttles run about the same.</font>
From OAK airport to downtwon SF hotels, SuperShuttle is $25 for the first pax, $15 for each additional pax.
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Old Mar 19, 04, 12:54 pm
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Thank you for all of your information, it was very helpful. Much appreciated.
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Old Mar 22, 04, 7:36 pm
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If you have 2 people and a lot of luggage you may want to consider supershuttle. BART escalators and turnstiles can be tough to negotiate with multiple pieces of luggage, not to mention the transfer to the bus, etc. all of which requires a minimum of 1 hour from downtown SF. Might be worth paying the extra $30 for door-to-door service + relaxation.

Also, keep in mind that BART does not run before 8am on the weekends and after midnight or thereabouts. So if you are departing before 10am Sunday your chance of making it through the hellacious security are slim, even if you board the first train from SF. And you will be stuck on an expensive taxi if your late-night arrival is delayed.

I find off-airport parking to be the cheapest and quickest option, particularly for trips of &lt;4 days (though admittedly not an option for visitors).

[This message has been edited by Boraxo (edited Mar 22, 2004).]
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Old Mar 23, 04, 6:13 pm
Moderator: Hilton Honors, Practical Travel Safety Issues & San Francisco
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IF YOU take supershuttle - OAK Is one of the ONLY supershuttle cities that you need (and are well advised to ) have a reservation with - especially if they are going from OAK to SF - otherwise you risk waiting till they find a van and driver...which can be anywhere from 1/2 hr to an hour ...
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