BART question for San Francisco

May 11th, 2019, 01:07 PM
  #1  
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BART question for San Francisco

We will be arriving at SFO mid afternoon on a Tuesday in June. We plan on taking the BART into SF. Our hotel is near Fisherman's Wharf. It appears that we need to transfer to the F line street car to get to the wharf. My question is what is the best station to exit BART to catch the streetcar? Google and Rome to Rio suggests the Embarcadero Station; but I am thinking the street car might be pretty full by then and perhaps we should access it earlier. Any suggestions?
Thanks

Last edited by giro; May 11th, 2019 at 01:09 PM.
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May 11th, 2019, 01:23 PM
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>>but I am thinking the street car might be pretty full by then and perhaps we should access it earlier.<<

People get on and off the street car at every stop - so it wouldn't be more crowded than many other points. They are not easy with luggage since they are mostly small-ish historic/antique/heritage cars. However I personally would not do that journey. Even with minimal luggage it would be a slog. I'd just take a taxi or uber from SFO to your hotel.
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May 11th, 2019, 02:00 PM
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If nothing else, take BART to the Embarcadero and get off. Come up to street level and get a taxi THERE to Fisherman's Wharf. You can easily get one at the Hyatt hotel which you will see when you come up to street level.
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May 11th, 2019, 02:06 PM
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>>If nothing else, take BART to the Embarcadero and get off. Come up to street level and get a taxi THERE to Fisherman's Wharf.<<

That is another option for sure - and the one I first considered recommending. With the BART fares and the walks involved, I just thought a taxi/uber from the airport to the hotel would be easier and wouldn't cost much, if any, more. But yes - BART to Embarcadero and taxi from there is doable.
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May 11th, 2019, 03:56 PM
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You will not have a "happy" taxi driver to take you on the 3 min drive from BART to the Wharf. He/she "may" take you on a roundabout/$$$$ route to get there, instead of the direct way along the Embarcadero.

Options

- Taxi all the way. Walk out of the baggage claim area, across the road to the taxi stand, hop in a taxi, arrive at your hotel. (recommended by me). You can catch Uber up one level at SFO.

- BART/Taxi. Walk or take a shuttle to the international terminal to catch BART. Figure out how to purchase a BART ticket (not easy). Wait 10 to 20 mins for a BART train. Pay $9.65 per person. Get off at the Embarcadero station. Take one of the escalators up 3 levels to the street level. Or stairs if the escalators are not working. Walk 1 block to the Hyatt Regency hotel to catch a cab. Get a hassle from the taxi driver when you tell him/her to take you to a Wharf hotel.

- BART/F-Market. Same BART as above. Wait 10-20 mins for F-Market. Pay fare & struggle with bags. Figure out which stop to get off. Walk N feet, yards, or blocks to your hotel.

Stu Dudley

Last edited by StuDudley; May 11th, 2019 at 04:24 PM.
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May 11th, 2019, 04:18 PM
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>>You will not have a "happy" taxi driver to take you on the 3 min drive from BART to the Wharf.<<

Which is just another reason I suggested taxi from the airport
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May 11th, 2019, 06:02 PM
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Thanks for all the “optimistic” replies. Having travelled to many foreign cities I will deal with figuring out the BART ticket machine.
Having driven a taxi during my college years I will consider it pay back but will give the driver a good tip...unless of course I am given a scenic tour....
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May 11th, 2019, 08:22 PM
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You say 'we' . . . how many is 'we'? BART will cost $9.65 per person. (I didn't say anything about figuring out the BART tix machine -- they are semi-easy. That was just stu trying to scare you ). But BART will take a little over 30 minutes, then you have to catch a taxi -- and . . . the drive from the Hyatt to the Wharf will take a good deal longer than stu's '3 mins'. It is about 2 miles and will take 10 to 15 minutes. The drive in from SFO will take about 30 mins total unless it is during commute hours.

Really - just take a taxi.
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May 11th, 2019, 09:45 PM
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Stu you have given a good reason to choose Uber from the Hyatt for this particular instance: Unlike a taxi, Uber is not metered. And the driver knows your destination when he or she accepts the ride. A good tip would be nice.
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May 11th, 2019, 10:24 PM
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>> It is about 2 miles and will take 10 to 15 minutes<<

When I drive that route along the Embarcadero at 3 pm or so, I can do better than 8-12 miles an hour. And after having lived for 44 years in the Bay Area and taking BART to The City about 1-2 times a month from near SFO, I've had trouble with the ticket machines before I purchased a senior Clipper Card when I turned 65. As I pass others purchasing tickets - they seem to spend a lot of time doing it. It is not a 20 min event - but perhaps a frustrating 5-8 mins at the worst. And the 3 levels of escalators with luggage will be a challenge if you have anything larger than carry-ons.

Take a taxi/uber from SFO, unless you are a single traveler and trying to save money.

Stu Dudley

Last edited by StuDudley; May 11th, 2019 at 10:35 PM.
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May 12th, 2019, 01:05 PM
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Thanks for the input. Perhaps I am a bit unusual but, believe it or not, I (my wife too) actually enjoy using mass transit. We will have carry ons and don't mind the "hassle" of dealing with crowds, machines, maps etc. Having done it for months at a time in NYC and Paris I don't think it will be a big deal. Also, it is not like we will be there on business and need to get somewhere in a hurry. I will consider using Uber/Lyft once in the city.
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May 12th, 2019, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by giro View Post
Thanks for the input. Perhaps I am a bit unusual but, believe it or not, I (my wife too) actually enjoy using mass transit. We will have carry ons and don't mind the "hassle" of dealing with crowds, machines, maps etc. Having done it for months at a time in NYC and Paris I don't think it will be a big deal. Also, it is not like we will be there on business and need to get somewhere in a hurry. I will consider using Uber/Lyft once in the city.
I get it. We like mass transit too.

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May 12th, 2019, 02:43 PM
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I'm sure that you are aware that most of the BART trip from SFO will either be underground or on ugly stretches of above ground. We take buses in Paris all the time, and really enjoy them (we spend 2-3 weeks in Paris about every other year). I will often design a route around Paris using 3-4 connecting buses and spend 2-3 hours on this route looking out the windows. We'll often uses this route on an hop-on-hop-off fashion when we see something we want to explore. We do the same in London. You can do this with the SF bus system. But not with BART because it is underground in SF once you get to the SF/Daly City border.

The taxi ride is actually quite scenic once you get near Hospital curve on 101 or 280 and get a view of downtown.

Stu Dudley
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May 12th, 2019, 04:06 PM
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You are missing a great opportunity by taking BART.

While you are traveling underground through San Francisco, those taking a taxi will be experiencing a very scenic drive into the City. When I took my Danish cousin on this drive 2 years ago, he took a video all the way into SF to Pier 39.

Almost immediately after leaving SFO, taxi passengers will be next to the water with nice views of the San Francisco Bay, across the bay to Oakland, and the Oakland hills behind the bay - if it is not foggy. Then you will get on 280 with dramatic views of the downtown skyline. After 280 ends at King Street, you will pass AT&T park (where the Giants play) on your right - with a statue of Willie Mays in front of the park. Then you will be on the fabulous Embarcadero drive along the Bay. You'll pass a small boat harbor to the right, a couple of upscale restaurants on the water, and then you will be rewarded with a wonderful view of the Bay Bridge. Then you will see some interesting architecture on your left in the SOMA area - the old YMCA building and the Audiffred building near the foot of Market. But just after passing under the bridge, you will also see the beautiful Ferry Building. I think Tuesday is farmer's market day at the Ferry Building - and they might have some stuff remaining from the market still there. Once past the Ferry building, you will see the same stuff you will see from a taxi/uber that you pick up at the Embarcadero BART station IF the driver chooses to take the Embarcadero route to the Wharf. Even if he takes the Embarcadero route, you may miss the Ferry Building (if he enters the Embarcadero from Washington St) and the Bay Bridge unless you remember to look behind you when you get on the Embarcadero.

If anyone decides to follow my recommendation, make sure you tell the taxi/uber driver to take the AT&T Park and Embarcadero route to the Wharf from SFO.

Stu Dudley

Last edited by StuDudley; May 12th, 2019 at 04:36 PM.
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May 12th, 2019, 04:29 PM
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Here are my recommendations of stuff to do & see in the San Francisco area. This will keep most people busy for weeks. Nothing about Fisherman's Wharf

San Francisco - Stu Dudley's Recommendations

Stu Dudley
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May 13th, 2019, 08:30 AM
  #16  
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Thanks again for all the suggestions. We have been to San Francisco several times in the past so we will consider our options when we arrive. I appreciate your taking the time and effort offering suggestions.
best wishes
giro is offline  
May 13th, 2019, 12:59 PM
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I enjoy taking public transportation also when travelling. We did take the BART from SFO but we got off at Powell and only had a short walk to the hotel. We had two big bags, and two carry-on's. As you say you are on vacation, and no need to be anywhere in a hurry.
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May 13th, 2019, 05:15 PM
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>> you are on vacation, and no need to be anywhere in a hurry <<

Underground on BART and in the stations with all the transients hanging out is not where I want to spend ANY part of my vacation.

Stu Dudley
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May 13th, 2019, 09:38 PM
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Subways are a real novelty for me, don't even have a normal railway line where we live.
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May 14th, 2019, 07:13 AM
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I take mass transit often when arriving in a city. The issue here is simply that Fisherman’s Wharf is not easy to reach via mass transit (doable but not easy).

BTW, I agree with Stu about the complexity of the BART machines (which are identical to those in Washington DC). They are not easy to decipher.
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