Berkeley Public Transportation Systems

Public transportation: because it's hip to be green, and considering the time you took to find a parking spot and how far it is from your destination, you probably could have walked after all.


Getting Started

Included in student fees is the cost of a Class Pass, a sticker that allows registered students to ride the AC Transit Bus System for free. Class Passes may be picked up at from the Cal 1 Office, located in Lower Sproul Plaza, on weekdays from 9am~5pm. Remember to bring your student ID. Note that Class Passes cannot be picked up for other people even if you have their ID. The best bet to beating the line is to go before or a week after the term starts (you can no longer request the class pass online).

Lost Class Passes may be replaced for $60 during the first half of the term, $30 thereafter. Stolen Class Passes will be replaced for free upon receipt of a police report.

If you will be riding the BART, which is rather likely, you may consider signing up for the Clipper Card, a card with an electronic chip that keeps track of the balance remaining and auto-loads from your credit card account when the balance dips low.

In addition to receiving the 6% discount associated with high-value tickets, in the event that the Clipper Card is lost or stolen, you may call to have the card cancelled (which cannot be done for normal high-value tickets).


Planning

When planning an outing in the bay area, visit
http://transit.511.org
to find out how to use public transportation to get to your destination.

Tricks for finding the best/fastest route include

  • Using the address of your favorite BART station as the starting point
  • Increasing the maximum walking distance between points, or
  • Clicking "next best itinerary" once an itinerary is suggested, a good idea in general.

Service Providers

AC Transit

AC Transit is a bus system that services Alameda and Contra Costa areas. AC Transit buses may be ridden for free by students who have an up-to-date Class Pass. As information on AC Transit is included in Transit 511 Site, you may access schedules and maps from there or from the AC Transit Website.

The more commonly used local lines are the following:

  • 51, 1/1R, 7, 9, 18 (daytime service. 51 and 1/1R run in ~15min intervals).
  • 851 (all-nighter that runs along College Ave to the Berkeley BART station).
  • All-night hourly transbay service from SF to Berkeley is available via the 800 line. The 800 stops along Market St or can be caught from the Transbay Terminal near 1st St and Natoma St (south of Mission St).

Amtrak

Amtrak routes are not included in transit.511.org, but you may find information at the Amtrak Website. The closest stops are in

  • Berkeley (accessible by the 51 bus. Note that the train merely stops; there is not a station building, but you can purchase tickets from the automatic kiosks there)
  • Emeryville (closest stop with a station building)
  • Oakland (at Jack London Square), and
  • Richmond (both a BART and Amtrak station).

BART

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) routes are included in transit.511.org and further information can be found at the BART Website.

The most important point to note for those late night escapades into San Francisco is that the last train to Easy Bay leaves shortly after midnight (e.g., 12:16pm from 24th St Mission BART station).


BearTransit

BearTransit is UC Berkeley's shuttle service that students may use for free upon display of a valid ID. BearTransit routes are not included in transit.511.org; further information may be found here.

For late night options, relevant notes are that A & N lines will provide to-your-door service, while D & E lines are fixed.

When staying late on campus, call (510) 642-WALK to reach BearTransit offices and find out where the shuttles are. Also, visit the Bearwalk 2.0 website. Depending on the time of night, walking or driving escort services are also available from the same number. (also see campus and city safety page for more late-night transportation information)


Caltrain

Caltrain is a train service that runs between San Francisco and San Jose. The routes are included in 511.transit.org, but further information may be found at the Caltrain Website.

The most common use of Caltrain is for getting to Stanford over the weekend (see “Tips for getting to common destinations” for further information regarding traveling to Stanford).


LBNL Shuttle

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) has a shuttle service with routes from Berkeley to the lab for researchers who show valid ID (e.g., LBNL employee badge).

When riding to LBNL to obtain a badge, or otherwise be allowed onto the shuttle without a badge, you will need to be escorted onto the shuttle with someone who already has one. If this is not possible, reach your main LBNL administrative contact to provide you with a temporary pass or make some other special arrangement for you.


Tips for getting to common destinations

Airports

General tips:

  • When booking return flights, try to return in the afternoon/evening so as to be able to use public transportation even when your flight experiences 3-hour delays.
  • Super Shuttle (1-800-Blue-Van) is a shared-ride van service that operates at all hours and thus is a good back-up option to keep in mind for night arrivals. When leaving from SFO, reservations are not necessary, but reservations are required for Oakland.
  • If the prices and number of stop-overs are similar, flying out of Oakland Airport can be more convenient; it is a far shorter ride than to SFO and thus convincing a friend to drive or paying for a shuttle or taxi is easier.

San Francisco

For getting to/coming back from SFO, check potential flight times with BART operation.

Arrivals at SFO:
Earliest possible-- 5:30am during the week, 7:07am on Sat, 9:15am on Sun
Latest possible-- 1:30am every day

Departures from SFO:
Earliest possible-- 4am during the week, 6am on Sat, 8am on Sun
Latest possible-- 11:53pm every day

Oakland

Oakland airport is also accessible by public transportation via a BART ride to Oakland Coliseum and short shuttle ride on AirBART (bring exact change of $3 for the shuttle).

In the event that somehow all other late-night options for getting back from the airport fail, AC Transit bus service using the 805 and 800 will get you back to the Berkeley BART station in an hour and twenty minutes.


Davis

During weekdays, the Davis-Berkeley intercampus bus is a fast and cheap way for UCB and UCD faculty and students to travel between the two locations and the bus leaves twice a day.

Departure time and ticket information can be found online. Reservations can be made at any time, but tickets (they are neither time nor date specific and may be thought of as vouchers) can only be purchased in person during business hours, so plan accordingly. For travels over the weekend, Amtrak is probably the best option.


Stanford

For travels during the week, the Dumbarton Express, provides fast and convenient service between the Union City BART station and the Palo Alto area.

For travels over the weekend, take the BART to the Millbrae station and transfer to Caltrain. Board the southbound (San Francisco to San Jose) train to the Palo Alto Station. From there, you will have a bit of a walk to Stanford campus, or you can take Stanford's free shuttle, the Marguerite.