Oakland to Santa Cruz howto
November 29, 2009 2:21 PM   Subscribe

I'm flying into Oakland Airport arriving around 3:30. I need to get down to Santa Cruz. What's the best way to get there?

I'm flying into the Bay Area on a cheap flight to Oakland Airport. What's the best way to get from Oakland Airport to Santa Cruz given I'm arriving at Oakland around 3:15 PM on Dec. 25th?

Transit 511.org says to take the Bart shuttle to Bart, then to Fremont Bart. Transfer to Santa Clara VTA 181 to San Jose, then VTA 970 to Santa Cruz.

Is there another way to go that's more convenient or faster by public transit?
posted by diode to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Amtrak? There are trains that go from Oakland Coliseum station to San Jose, and a bus from there to Santa Cruz. According to http://tickets.amtrak.com, there is one that leaves at 4:17pm and gets you to Santa Cruz at 6:50
posted by baggers at 3:03 PM on November 29, 2009

posted by PercussivePaul at 3:05 PM on November 29, 2009

You can take a train to San Jose, and then a bus to Santa Cruz.

Google maps public transit directions are here.
posted by zain at 3:19 PM on November 29, 2009

Rideshare. Post an ad on craigslist (or hunt through the listings as the date approaches). Expect to pay $20-$50 and they'll pick you up and drop you off either at your destination, or somewhere central in Santa Cruz. Ridesharing in the Bay area is a pretty reliable way to get places- just try to get in touch with the person ahead of time to make sure you weed out possible flakes, etc.
posted by arnicae at 4:11 PM on November 29, 2009

I've taken the route that Transit 511.org suggests, and while it sounds complicated, it isn't, and it isn't that much of a hassle, since the routes connect at drop-off points, you won't be scrambling to make connections with luggage, etc. it does take a couple of hours, so unless you're in a super hurry, it could be easily done.
posted by kuppajava at 4:54 PM on November 29, 2009

There used to be a Greyhound bus that left right from the airport when I was a student at UC SCRUZ.
posted by effluvia at 5:49 PM on November 29, 2009

Ridesharing is going to be tricky on Christmas Day.

The VTA 970 route is actually run by three agencies: Amtrak, Santa Cruz Transit, and Valley Transit. It leaves from San Jose's Dirdon Amtrak station, and is generally known as the "Highway 17 Express". It'll be running on a Sunday schedule.

Unless the timetable works against you, the best way to San Jose is probably AirBart (or a taxi) to the Oakland Coliseum BART/Amtrak station (the stations are about 500 feet apart, but there's a pedestrian bridge connecting them), and then Amtrak down to SJ. This replaces the BART to Fremont, and then VTA 180/181 to SJ part of your plans (and it should be a little faster). Catch the Hwy 17 express from there.

Like kuppajava, I've done this trip before. It takes hours, but it's not at all complicated.
posted by toxic at 5:57 PM on November 29, 2009

Amtrak trains to San Jose on a Sunday/Holiday schedule run at best every hour and a half, and there are huge gaps in the schedule all day. There's a train at the Coliseum at 4:17, 5:40, and then 7:42. So if you think you can make the 4:17, you might be fine. It's also a 12 dollar fare from Coliseum to Diridon on Amtrak, if that matters.

The 511 itinerary is otherwise the best choice.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:03 PM on November 29, 2009

Great. Thanks for all the tips.
posted by diode at 8:59 PM on November 29, 2009

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