PI4EVR
Topic Author
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:29 pm

SFO Help - Train to Plane

Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:06 pm

I need some travel advice from folks in the San Francisco Bay area as to best options to use BART to transit from San Francisco area to SFO Airport after arriving off the Amtrak California Zephyr from Chicago. Arrival would be on a Friday or a Sunday afternoon on the 3rd day after departing CHI.
Amtrak options for a San Francisco ticket permits you to leave the train at Richmond, Emeryville and also connect via an Amtrak bus to the Financial District (Westin Hotel) the Transbay Temporary Terminal or at or near the Ferry Building/Fisherman's Wharf.
The onward BART service would be to the SFO Airport (Millbrae?) stop to overnight at an airport area hotel before continuing in 2 days to Hawaii and Guam.
I understand I can:
1. Get off in Richmond and make a direct connection to BART and transfer via the Coliseum(?) on to the airport,
2. Get off in Emeryville and use a free shuttle bus to BART and connect via?
3. Get off in Emeryville and use the bus connection to the above city locations to continue on to BART or possibly spend the first night in San Fran in the Financial District/Union Square area and continue on BART the following day.
I will be traveling with a crew type rollerboard and a backpack or portfolio type bag so not a bunch of stuff to manhandle.
Thanks in advance for any advice on best options and what to avoid.
Thomas
 
aklrno
Posts: 1477
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:18 pm

Re: SFO Help - Train to Plane

Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:51 pm

Number 1 sounds like the way to get to Oakland airport, not SFO. I recommend 3. Stay in a hotel in downtown San Francisco. More restaurants and things to do. Then take Bart to SFO when ready to leave. BART takes you to the international terminal. The hotels at the airport area are convenient for the airport but nothing else.

Are you going to Hawaii and Guam on UA? That’s in T3 a 5 minute walk from the airport BART station.
 
VC10DC10
Posts: 647
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 9:56 am

Re: SFO Help - Train to Plane

Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:00 pm

aklrno wrote:
Number 1 sounds like the way to get to Oakland airport, not SFO. I recommend 3. Stay in a hotel in downtown San Francisco. More restaurants and things to do. Then take Bart to SFO when ready to leave. BART takes you to the international terminal. The hotels at the airport area are convenient for the airport but nothing else.

Are you going to Hawaii and Guam on UA? That’s in T3 a 5 minute walk from the airport BART station.


I agree with aklrno. Don't stay near SFO when you have a layover that long. The city and airport are within easy reach of each other via BART and every other part of San Francisco other than the airport is beautiful and worth visiting.
 
Yflyer
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Re: SFO Help - Train to Plane

Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:21 pm

PI4EVR wrote:
1. Get off in Richmond and make a direct connection to BART and transfer via the Coliseum(?) on to the airport,


Like aklrno already said, that's how you get to OAK, not SFO. To get to SFO from Richmond you get on the Millbrae train and just ride it all the way there, of you can get on the Fremont train and transfer at MacAuthur. If I was going straight to the airport from the train this is the option I would use.

3. Get off in Emeryville and use the bus connection to the above city locations to continue on to BART or possibly spend the first night in San Fran in the Financial District/Union Square area and continue on BART the following day.


If I was going to downtown San Francisco, this is what I would do unless BART got me closer to where I was going.

If you decide to stay downtown as others are recommending rather than near the airport what I would do is look and a map and determine whether your hotel is closer to a BART stop or one of the Amtrak bus stops, and chose the option that gets you closest to your hotel.
 
IADCA
Posts: 1825
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:24 am

Re: SFO Help - Train to Plane

Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:39 pm

1. Wouldn't be via Coliseum. That's the connector for OAK. Switch at MacArthur for any of the Daly City or Millbrae trains, all of which go through downtown SF.

2. Not sure what you're asking. This is basically the same as 1, except connecting to BART at a different point.

3. I'd probably use this one, just taking the bus to a hotel near the Amtrak bus. If you stay near Market, you'll be close to the BART to go to the airport, although if you stay north of Market within a few blocks the walk to the BART will all be down hill. The only one of those dropoff locations I'd definitely avoid would be Fisherman's Wharf. It's much more challenging to get down to SFO from that side of town. Ferry Building, Transbay, and Union Square would all be pretty easy to get BART the next day. At that point, it's a little weird because the way BART works down at the south end depends on the day of the week. If you mess up and end up at Millbrae, there's a bus on SamTrans that connects back to the airport. It has stops at each terminal as well, but this path obviously takes a little longer.
 
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DocLightning
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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:51 am

Re: SFO Help - Train to Plane

Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:14 pm

PI4EVR wrote:
1. Get off in Richmond and make a direct connection to BART and transfer via the Coliseum(?) on to the airport,
2. Get off in Emeryville and use a free shuttle bus to BART and connect via?
3. Get off in Emeryville and use the bus connection to the above city locations to continue on to BART or possibly spend the first night in San Fran in the Financial District/Union Square area and continue on BART the following day.

https://www.bart.gov/system-map

#1 is incorrect. One out of two trains leaving Richmond will be headed across the Bay in the direction of SFO but during normal hours, none of those trains will actually go to SFO so if you need an SFO train, you can transfer at MacArthur, 19th St., or Balboa Park (or really any station from West Oakland on, but the transfers are timed at those stations). Airport trains will say "SFO AIRPORT" on them. Going to Coliseum is how you get to OAK.

#2 is also an option but sounds like a pain in the neck if you have luggage.

#3 is the best way. If you're going to be here for two days, don't stay in Millbrae. Stay in the City. It's an amazing city and most of the city's transit is accessible from the Market Street BART alignment.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
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aeromoe
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Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2006 8:34 am

Re: SFO Help - Train to Plane

Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:22 pm

VC10DC10 wrote:
every other part of San Francisco other than the airport is beautiful and worth visiting.


Not a damn thing wrong with SFO and the surrounding environs from many perspectives...it all depends on what interests one holds.
AA AC AS BA BD BF BN BR BY B6 CO CP(2) DG DL EA EI EN FL FT F9 HA HP ICX JI JQ J7 KE KS LH MC NW OC OO OZ(1) OZ(2) PA PI PT QF QQ RM RO RV(1) RV(2) RW SK SM SQ S4 TI TS TW UA UK US UZ VS VX WA WN WS W7 XV YV YX(2) ZZ 9K
 
VC10DC10
Posts: 647
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 9:56 am

Re: SFO Help - Train to Plane

Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:25 pm

aeromoe wrote:

Not a damn thing wrong with SFO and the surrounding environs from many perspectives...it all depends on what interests one holds.



OK, fine, but so many neighborhoods of San Francisco, from Chestnut Hill to the Presidio, the Embarcadero, Sea Cliff, Sunset District, etc., not to mention not-in-city-limits Marin, Sausalito, Muir Woods and Beach, etc., all make San Francisco an extremely strong contender for the most beautiful, extraordinary city. Anywhere. Your mileage may vary. Enjoy the airport.
 
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aeromoe
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Re: SFO Help - Train to Plane

Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:23 pm

VC10DC10 wrote:
aeromoe wrote:

Not a damn thing wrong with SFO and the surrounding environs from many perspectives...it all depends on what interests one holds.



OK, fine, but so many neighborhoods of San Francisco, from Chestnut Hill to the Presidio, the Embarcadero, Sea Cliff, Sunset District, etc., not to mention not-in-city-limits Marin, Sausalito, Muir Woods and Beach, etc., all make San Francisco an extremely strong contender for the most beautiful, extraordinary city. Anywhere. Your mileage may vary. Enjoy the airport.


I was born on the peninsula in 1964. Quite familiar with the area...yes it is one of the most beautiful places on the west coast...anywhere for that matter as you say...no argument there. As an aside, I even got to see the JAL DC-8-62 after it landed short. I was a little kid, but I got to see it. I just happen to be an aviation enthusiast FIRST before all the other stuff out there...they're a close second. Glad you feel the same way as I do about the area in general. :thumbsup:
AA AC AS BA BD BF BN BR BY B6 CO CP(2) DG DL EA EI EN FL FT F9 HA HP ICX JI JQ J7 KE KS LH MC NW OC OO OZ(1) OZ(2) PA PI PT QF QQ RM RO RV(1) RV(2) RW SK SM SQ S4 TI TS TW UA UK US UZ VS VX WA WN WS W7 XV YV YX(2) ZZ 9K
 
futuresdpdcop
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Re: SFO Help - Train to Plane

Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:01 pm

If you arrive on a Sunday into the Bay Are, keep in mind you will have to transfer from Amtrak to Bart at Richmond. It’s about a 1000ft walk to transfer. You’ll want to hop on the only BART train serving Richmond that goes towards Fremont/Warm Springs. Then you will transfer at MacArthur to a Daly City/SFO/Millbrae train (the reason for this transfer is because of system upgrades on BART). Then ride towards SF. I tend to stay in Union Square whole in SF so you could hop off BART at either Montgomery or Powell.

Or if all that sounds like too much effort, ride Amtrak to Emeryville and hop on the Amtrak Thurway bus towards SF. I love trains and planes so I’d ride BART but YMMV.
 
PI4EVR
Topic Author
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:29 pm

Re: SFO Help - Train to Plane

Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:01 pm

Update. My thanks to all of you for the suggestions you've made for my trip. Everything is now confirmed.
I'll take Amtrak to Emeryville and make the Amtrak bus transfer to the Trans Bay Terminal. I'll stay
in the city now for 2 nights and the flight to HNL does not leave until 12N so plenty of time to get to SFO by Bart from Union Square area that morning.
I was concerned should the train be late arriving in Emeryville (it arrived 7 hours late recently at 11pm) I'd have issues using Bart at a late hour getting all the way to SFO for that evening.
So my birthday and reunion trip will span 2+ weeks. I'll fly to Chicago, overnight and continue on train. 3 nights in SFO and fly to HNL. 4 days later fly the UA Island Hopper to GUM and after 4 days continue on to Tokyo on JL and subsequently AA back home from NRT.
Thanks again everyone for your help and assistance. I'll hopefully pay the favor back for someone I can help.
Thomas

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