Caltrain -- San Jose to San Francisco

Apr 29th, 2007, 07:47 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 61
Caltrain -- San Jose to San Francisco

Would anyone on this forum have any suggestions re. transportation between San Jose and San Francisco. We arrive in San Jose in early July by plane, and want to spend 6 days in San Francisco, before going back to San Jose to rent a car. We will then continue for about 6 more days with a car rental (Monterey, Big Sur, Cambria, etc.) before flying out of San Jose. We do not want our rental car in San Francisco because public transit is the way to travel in the city and parking is prohibitive.

Is the Caltrain our best bet? Any other options? We are a family of four people.
craiginowensound is offline  
Apr 29th, 2007, 08:15 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Yes, Caltrain is a good option. There are regular trains and also 'baby bullets' that have more limited stops so are faster, so keep that in mind when looking at the schedule. You can take a taxi in San Francisco to wherever you are staying. You can normally catch them across the street from the Caltrain station. If you happen to be staying at a place far away from the station, you could also get off the train at the Millbrae transit center and take Bart into the city. You might want to take a look at a map of the city and figure out which would be better. You probably don't want to walk too far from a Bart station with 4 people and luggage... Keep in mind the temperature in July is about 20 degrees warmer in San Jose than it is in San Francisco!
pam3k is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 02:52 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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I recommend you rent a car in San Francisco the day of your departure rather than taking CalTrain to San Jose, schlepping your bags on the shuttle bus to the terminal, then another shuttle bus to rental car depot. Every company has location in SF city proper. In my experience Dollar has the best rates.

There should be no fee or added cost to drop off at SJC.

J62 is online now  
Apr 30th, 2007, 06:23 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 17,106
"There should be no fee or added cost to drop off at SJC".

This isn't always true. So, make sure you specify that you will be picking up in San Francisco and dropping off at San Jose Airport and ask if there is an added drop off fee.

Otherwise, Caltrain is not a bad option.

The only "schlepping" you have to do is to get to the area where all the buses stop. Everyone has to shlep that distance anyhow whether taking the buses, the taxis or the shuttles.

You take the #10 bus (free, every 15 minutes, 5am to midnight) to the Santa Clara Caltrain station. The bus will drop you right off at the train station. Ask the bus driver if he is going to the Santa Clara station as I forget whether you should be taking the eastbound or the westbound #10 bus.

The only thing I would warn you about the Santa Clara train station is that there aren't too many people there, so arriving or departing too late at night is not a good idea, even tho Santa Clara is a pretty safe city.

Safe travels!
easytraveler is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 08:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,108
I agree with the others. Caltrain into SF is a good option. I would also rent the car in SF when departing if the fee to drop off in SJ isn't going to be much.
J_Correa is offline  
May 2nd, 2007, 07:39 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 61
Thanks for the info. Though I don't look forward to renting a car in SF and driving in a city I've never visited, I'll check out that car rental option. Our hotel is the Hotel Nikko, roughly two to three blocks from the nearest BART station, I believe.
craiginowensound is offline  
May 3rd, 2007, 09:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,108
Since you will only be driving out of SF rather than around in SF, it shouldn't be bad. Just get good directions from the people at the rental office.
J_Correa is offline  
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