What is the best way to get to San Francisco Airport from the East Bay?
August 29, 2012 3:00 PM   Subscribe

What is the best way to get to San Francisco Airport from the East Bay?

I have to get to San Francisco airport from the East Bay for a 10 am flight on Delta tomorrow.

Is there a company that takes people to S.F. in a reasonable way?

Any shuttle service that's particularly better than the others?

My starting point is nowhere near BART, so if I took BART I'd have to get a cab to BART. (I'm not really that into BART, though.)

Given the length of the trip, long-term parking might be an option (any specific info about that would be great, if that's what you recommend).

If I do drive and use long-term parking, when should I leave?
posted by eeby to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (16 answers total)
The best way is cab to BART, especially when you're trying to get from the East Bay to SFO during morning rush hour. If you choose to do some sort of driving option, make sure you add a ton of extra time for the extra commute time.
posted by brainmouse at 3:02 PM on August 29, 2012 [6 favorites]

If you're doing long term parking, I recommend Park 'N Fly over the actual SFO lots. It's just as far away from the airport, but if you book online, it's a lot cheaper. If you're just going for the weekend, this might be cost-effective. If you're going for more than like 4 days, then I imagine a cab or Super Shuttle will be cheaper. Super Shuttle will probably involve them picking you up at 6 AM or so.
posted by thewumpusisdead at 3:07 PM on August 29, 2012

Super Shuttle if you really are anti-BART, but BART will save you a lot of time.
posted by matt_od at 3:08 PM on August 29, 2012

If you can, go extra early, then get breakfast and coffee and chill at the airport.
posted by barnone at 3:13 PM on August 29, 2012

The East Bay is a big, big place - two counties and around 1600 square miles. Your strategy for easily getting to the airport from Pittsburg may be radically different than from Oakland, from Hayward, or from Livermore.

When BART has not been an option, I've used SuperShuttle, Lorrie's Airport Shuttle and car services like those provided by Uber. All work well. You'll need to be more specific for us to help you with what would work best.
posted by eschatfische at 3:13 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

At that time in the morning, BART will be *much* faster. The drive from the East Bay is usually an hour when there isn't traffic. If you're flight's at 10, and you want to get there by 8:30 or 9, that's like peak commute time. Cab to BART.
posted by colin_l at 3:13 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

All the multi-passenger shuttle services are generally comparable, there's East Bay Connection (the green vans) or Super Shuttle (the blue vans), which can require earlier than you might desire pickup times to accommodate what may be a lot of other passengers, or there are vans that guarantee only 2 or 3 passengers, and of course there's always a cab (but that is several times the price of the vans).

It also depends on *where* you are in the East Bay (east or west of the tunnel).

I used a off-airport long-term parking lot one time for SFO, and it was easy to get to (right next door to SFO) but at $9/day for a giant, uncovered parking lot surrounded by barbed wire, I always prefer to ride BART. (The only time I don't is if I'm flying out super-early and BART can't get me there on time...a 10am flight is perfect to get to SFO via BART, even if you plan to arrive 2 full hours in advance).
posted by honey badger at 3:14 PM on August 29, 2012

I used Bayporter Express when BART wasn't running. I think they're cheaper then SuperShuttle, but it may have just been that I pretty much always had a coupon. But for a 10am flight on a weekday, BART is an option from the East Bay (it's Sunday morning flights that are always my problem.)
posted by hoyland at 3:14 PM on August 29, 2012

Suck it up and take bart.
posted by chevyvan at 3:15 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Forgot to answer your question about long-term parking. If you go the off-airport parking lot route, then tack on another 20-30min to drop off the car and catch the shuttle to SFO.

For a 10am flight out of SFO, BART really seems to be the all-around solution, with a lot less aggravation! Good luck, and leave yourself plenty of time!
posted by honey badger at 3:19 PM on August 29, 2012

I always take BART to SFO. If I can't get a dropped off at the station, I purchase long term BART parking online (https://www.select-a-spot.com/bart/) and drive to BART. It is pretty reliable and if you get on early enough on the Pittsburg/Baypoint line, for example, you and your luggage will have a seat the whole way and you won't have to transfer. The planner on the BART site will tell you how long the trip will take.

Super Shuttle is also an alternative and the only one that will reliably do the "long haul" trips from the further reaches of the bay area. It runs me about $80 for the shared van, but I am coming from Contra Costa County. The 6am time suggested by thewumpusisdead sounds about right, depending on the number of other stops they make.

I only drive to the airport when I have a 6am flight that is too early to get to by taking the train.
posted by sciatica at 3:22 PM on August 29, 2012

Depending on where you are in the East Bay, you could take Bay Porter Express. Tends to be a little cheaper and faster than Super Shuttle.
posted by mingodingo at 3:36 PM on August 29, 2012

Cab to BART. Avoids any bridge nonsense.
posted by zippy at 3:52 PM on August 29, 2012

I've been really screwed by SFO long term parking bus in the past. I almost missed my mom's funeral due to it taking far longer than literally walking from the parking garage to the gate.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 4:10 PM on August 29, 2012

Bart, and you're there.
posted by tremspeed at 7:06 PM on August 29, 2012

You could always take a cab to BART - it really is your best option, and you won't be the only one doing it. If you're worried about your luggage taking up too much space during a morning commute, take one of the seats that face eachother and sit with the luggage on your lap.

Otherwise Super Shuttle or just straight up cab is probably your best option, but those will likely take longer and cost far more.
posted by OrangeDrink at 9:48 PM on August 29, 2012

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