San Francisco to Davis
July 19, 2006 1:32 PM   Subscribe

Kinda urgent: A friend's flight was re-routed and now he needs to know the best way to get from the San Francisco airport to the University of California, Davis (about 70 miles away).

Is there any sort of long distance public transit system, like a commuter rail? Are there any shuttle services willing to travel that far?

His new flight won't be arriving until 9 pm, which could make this a little trickier.

Thanks in advance!
posted by chickletworks to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
SuperShuttle goes from SFO to UCD. Actually, there are two shuttle services on that page.
posted by clarahamster at 1:35 PM on July 19, 2006

Yes, that's easy, but slightly cheaper and just as easy:

take BART from SFO to Richmond. At Richmond, transfer on to a Capitol Corridor Amtrak train (there are a half dozen a day). 1 hour and 20 minutes later he will be in downtown Davis, just a few blocks from the campus.
posted by luriete at 1:51 PM on July 19, 2006

That's unfortunately too late to take an Amtrak train from the Richmond Bart station to Davis, but if he has to stay overnight in SF he could do it in the morning.
posted by footnote at 1:52 PM on July 19, 2006

(Super Shuttle will be $60 probably for that trip, or more; BART is about $4 to Richmond and then the Amtrak ticket would be approximately $15) - plus the train is WAY more comfortable - there is food, cocktails, beer, clean restrooms, internet access, etc.
posted by luriete at 1:52 PM on July 19, 2006

Oh crap. Sorry about that, didn't realize the trains stopped earlier. Ignore me. Sorry.
posted by luriete at 1:53 PM on July 19, 2006

You can also take BART to downtown oakland and get on a Greyhound bus.
posted by luriete at 1:53 PM on July 19, 2006

I'd see if a rental agency would be willing to give him a car for a cheap rate and let him return it in Davis for a reasonable price. Never hurts to try.
posted by onalark at 1:58 PM on July 19, 2006

I live in Sacramento, and routinely have to travel to SF. The BART-Amtrak route is definitely the best, but again, if he misses the last train, he'll have to take the shuttle or Greyhound. He can certainly ask about a rental, but I can also tell you from experience that one-way rentals between the two cities run in the $100 range at least, even for compacts. The simple fact is that the rental car companies need a lot more vehicles in SF than they do in Davis, so it costs them a lot to get the one-way rentals back here.

One idea that may save a few bucks - it seems logical that the further east he gets, the less a shuttle or bus might be, so he might check into bus/shuttle fares from Concord to Davis. BART costs $7.10 from the airport to Concord, and it only takes about 30 minutes. (He may notice that BART goes further east than Concord, but it starts ending up on the wrong side of the water, so Concord is actually the closest BART station to Davis, unless you're a bird.)
posted by robhuddles at 2:44 PM on July 19, 2006

another possibility is to post/look on craigslists for a ride share. i've got rides to a number of places this way and the people usually just want gas money.
posted by christy at 3:04 PM on July 19, 2006

If your friend's flight was rerouted by the airline for some reason after he purchased the ticket and not for mother nature related causes, I would ask the airline to pay for his ride.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 3:21 PM on July 19, 2006

All good suggestions so far... Just wanted to say, if all else fails and he absolutely doesn't want to spend the night in 'Frisco, I'm not doing anything tonight, and would be happy to make a little roadtrip. With my little Saturn, all I'd need is $20 for gas and I'm good. Email's in the profile.

(Hope that's not an inappropriate answer/offer to make. If so, my apologies, and Matt/Jessamyn, please take down!)
posted by po at 4:23 PM on July 19, 2006

I don't have anything to add except that robhuddles' timeline is wrong, according to it takes over an hour to go from sfo to concord and in my experience, at least that. it takes 20 minutes plus to get to downtown sfo.

if amtrak isn't running for him tonight and he can't wait till morning, i'd start by asking the airline to supply a rental car, and then look into the greyhound option.
posted by andifsohow at 4:25 PM on July 19, 2006

He should ask the airline for assistance--a transportation voucher, for example. I was rerouted from Rochester to Buffalo last year, and the airline picked up the cabfare for all of us who had been taken well out of our way.
posted by thomas j wise at 4:38 PM on July 19, 2006

Response by poster: Aww, Po, my friend and I are both completey touched by your offer! That's incredibly generous of you and completely made my day.

As it turns out, no shuttle service would take a last-minute reservation for that late in the day, no rental car company would agree to a one-way rental, and the trains all left long before 9:00. So my friend presented all of this to Northwest and they caved and put him on another airline's flight to Davis. It was a pretty frustrating afternoon (except for the bright spot provided by Po!) but all's well that ends well, I guess.
posted by chickletworks at 6:04 PM on July 19, 2006

Wow. Airlines fly to Davis, CA.

I had no idea.
posted by notyou at 8:20 PM on July 19, 2006

There aren't any commercial airlines that serve Davis! The closest he's going to get is SMF. Unless they found some obscure non-commercial air taxi of some sort. There are a few of those around the Bay Area.
posted by drstein at 8:47 PM on July 19, 2006

Response by poster: Geez, you guys are detail oriented! I meant Sacramento; I just said Davis for the sake of simplicity.

For the record, there *is* a Davis airport but it's owned by the university and only used for small planes, I think.
posted by chickletworks at 10:02 PM on July 19, 2006

Sorry, all (and especially to chickletworks), if my comment above seemed harsh. I really was surprised. Then I googled and guessed chickletworks probably meant Sacramento.

Anyhow, glad it all worked out.
posted by notyou at 7:42 AM on July 20, 2006

Glad to hear it turned out okay - what a hassle, indeed! But good for your friend having the guts to pursue the airline 'till they ponied up, and good for the airline not being complete arseholes. :)
posted by po at 11:07 AM on July 20, 2006

Oh, I know there's an airport in Davis - that is exactly why I was worried. :-) It would suck to have your friend land in Sacramento, thinking that he was in Davis. The airport in Sacramento is actually 10-15 miles outside of the city and public transportation is pretty much non existant.
posted by drstein at 4:56 PM on July 21, 2006

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