Commuting from SF to Emeryville?
January 8, 2017 8:52 PM   Subscribe

I've lived and worked in San Francisco for the last ten years. I'm now considering taking a job in Emeryville and wondering what the commute is like. I've done it on BART once (about an hour, door to door) and once by car (about 40 min, door to door) and wondering if people who do this regularly can chime in on how typical those numbers are and what it's like to do it daily.
posted by pombe to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think that you'll need to be more specific about where in SF you live in order to get good answers to the question - much of the commute time will be in SF vs. on the other side of the Bay.
posted by asphericalcow at 9:14 PM on January 8, 2017 [4 favorites]

Have you tried plugging the addresses into Google maps? (Sorry if this is obvious but it doesn't seem like you have done that and the numbers they give are extremely accurate. You can also put in the specific times you need to leave by/arrive by.)
posted by bleep at 9:26 PM on January 8, 2017

I commuted SF -> Emeryville (near the amtrak) for about a year. I tried doing Bart (Bart to MacArthur, Emery-Go-Round to final destination) but quickly gave up and drove in instead. But in my case it was bus to bart to bus, which was a lot of transferring (and the Emery-Go-Round is SLOW). If you live near the transbay terminal there's a couple of transbay busses that you can take.
posted by aspo at 9:28 PM on January 8, 2017

Emery-Go-Round is slow but reliable. It's probably with reasonable Uber range from MacArthur BART instead, if that's in your budget.

The last time I worked in Emeryville was many years ago, and I don't drive at all, so I can't compare the two. From bits of info around the area: it's a coin-toss as to which is better; there's okay but not great traffic and parking options, and BART and the buses are crowded but stable.

It comes down to: how much do you hate rush hour traffic vs how much do you hate rush hour on public transit?
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:06 PM on January 8, 2017

I commute from Jack London to Potrero, reverse direction, so all I can tell you is that Friday light is a real thing on the bridge and the only time you'll get some respite. Public transit and driving generally take the same amount of time in rush hour.
posted by gillianr at 11:11 PM on January 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

I did this for five years, on public transit. Please, let my suffering serve as a warning to others: don't do it!

I took Muni to BART (30 minutes), waited for BART, took BART to MacArthur Station (30 minutes), waited for the Emery-Go-Round, the took the EGR to work (30 minutes).

The problem is that if Muni, BART, or the Emery-Go-Round are not on time, the whole thing gets fucked, and you end up late. I was nearly fired for my at-least-weekly lateness, even though I left more than two hours before I needed to be at work. So I ended up spending a fortune on taxis between the various points, just to get to work by 8am.

Also, I would imagine BART and the EGR are even more crowded than when I stopped doing this several years ago.

I tried taking the Z transbay bus for a while, but there were frequent issues with it actually, you know, showing up. Not sure if that's been solved by now. Also, even though it's a "reverse commute," the Bay Bridge is still packed.

Sorry for the bad news. :(
posted by Munching Langolier at 11:19 PM on January 8, 2017

How do you feel about riding a bike? You combine riding your bike and the ferry into a trip under fifteen files, about six of them being the ferry. Should take you just over an hour. Plus your commute time is also your exercise time instead of wasted sitting in traffic time!
posted by mikepop at 7:18 AM on January 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

This is new so not a reliable thing yet, but there's now an SF/Emeryville private ferry. I would also strongly advise a bike for this commute, due to the weird connectivity on the east bay side.
posted by migurski at 8:19 AM on January 9, 2017

I did this for a couple years, over a decade ago. MUNI -> BART -> Go Round. It's doable, but inconvenient. I also gave up and started driving whenever possible. An hour in the car was preferable to 90+ minutes on transit.
posted by gnutron at 10:20 AM on January 9, 2017

Hey I'm surprised but I didn't see anyone on here mentioning the AC Transit Transbay Bus. There are about four lines which go through Emeryville, depending on when and where you live, and they all drop off in Soma around 1st and Folsom, so if you're working in Soma or Fidi it's a very reasonable commute, and if you're working in i.e. the Mission connecting from there to Embarcadero bart or some other transit method is also pretty reasonable. I used to ride the Transbay F line every day for probably 6 years, it's pretty reasonable, has a few stops in E-ville:

There are a lot of other transbay lines too. They can be great. I've had door-to-door commutes from North Oakland -> SF in under 35 minutes. North Oakland / Piedmont / Rockridge / Emeryville can be *more* convenient for a commute to SF than a lot of SF neighborhoods (compare to the upper haight or outer sunset).
posted by doteatop at 2:54 PM on January 9, 2017

Oh hey I see I got this backwards, you'd be commuting from SF -> E-ville. I'd still say check out the busses, but I haven't done that direction and I'm not sure the same reasoning applies symmetrically to it. Might be better— reverse commute?
posted by doteatop at 2:55 PM on January 9, 2017

It depends hugely on specifics. If you live by the Transbay bus and that's all you need to take you could probably count on 30 minutes. If you need to take a bus to BART and then another bus it will be an hour plus. I live near MacArthur BART and it takes me half an our to take the F bus to the Transbay terminal, and then I ride the 5R up to Golden Gate Park for another 30 minutes (BART is quicker than bus, but I'd have to stand the whole way). Reverse commute might be a bit easier, but 40 minutes to an hour is pretty normal, I'd guess.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:04 PM on January 9, 2017

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