Bay Area Early Morning Commute
July 2, 2006 9:55 PM   Subscribe

Coming from Palo Alto, I need to get to San Francisco by 9am on July 4th. What's the cheapest / fastest way to do this?

I probably won't have access to a car. Caltrain operates on Sunday hours on Holidays, so they can't get me to San Francisco until 9:36am. In particular I need to get to Noe Valley, if it helps.

Can I take a taxi? If so, how much will it be? Should I rent a car for the day? What other options do I have? Also, I don't live in California so don't assume I'm too familiar with services, towns, etc.

If by some miracle I do get access to a car then how long should I expect my commute to take?
posted by mto to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total)
Rent a car, that would cost a fortune in a taxi and it's an easy drive. I'd give myself about an hour to and hour and half to get there and find parking, longer if you're not used to driving in the City.

On the bright side, judging by the traffic over the bridge on Fri afternoon there should be plenty of parking in the city.
posted by fshgrl at 10:01 PM on July 2, 2006

btw, if you don't already know about it Bay Area Transit is a good source for public transport info and might offer you some alternatives.
posted by fshgrl at 10:02 PM on July 2, 2006

Why not take the last CalTrain in on Monday night? There are enough 24-hour places in SF that you could chill until 9.
posted by devilsbrigade at 10:11 PM on July 2, 2006

I'm not sure what fshgrl was trying to link to, but the site you want (for future reference) is

I do think you're out of luck though from that far distance unless you can get a car (plan at least 45 minutes, depends on traffic) or, as devilsbrigade creatively suggests, get here the night before.
posted by vacapinta at 10:26 PM on July 2, 2006

Oh, also you could always take your chances at craigslist rideshare
posted by vacapinta at 10:28 PM on July 2, 2006

Another option would be to get a ride or take SamTrans to San Francisco airport and take bart from there...
posted by Arthur Dent at 10:32 PM on July 2, 2006

Or call an airport shuttle service - tell them you need to be at the airport before 8am. Then catch BART to 24th st mission stop. Walk to Noe Valley. Why didnt I think of that....
posted by vacapinta at 10:40 PM on July 2, 2006

You can take SamTrans (line KX I believe) from Palo Alto to SF. It makes a few stops on the peninsula up to SFO then shouldn't stop again until it reaches the city. Also, you could look into a bus line that takes you over the Dunbarton bridge to the BART station in Fremont and go around the long way, though that's probably just... the long way.

The other good alternative noted above is the airport shuttle to SFO, then BART into the city. BART looks to be running on a Sunday schedule but is running early in the morning. You might even be able to switch to another airport shuttle at the airport. The cost of a shuttle from PA to SFO is about $20-25 (though it's been about a year since I last took one).

I took a cab from SFO to Palo Alto once (about 4 years ago) and it ran me about $70, so going up to the city is probably a very expensive proposition.
posted by marylynn at 11:18 PM on July 2, 2006

Check your profile email, mto.
posted by tangerine at 11:19 PM on July 2, 2006

The cheapest way is to hitchhike. Use a sign must be in city by 9 am
posted by zackdog at 12:28 AM on July 3, 2006

marylynn - BART goes to Millbrae now, y'know. He only needs to get that far. Pretty easy from Palo Alto on SamTrans. :)
posted by drstein at 8:42 PM on July 3, 2006

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