Health risk travelling on bus and train

Old May 12th, 2022, 06:32 AM
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Health risk travelling on bus and train

I plan to travel from San Diego to San Francisco without flying. I am considering traveling on a night train or night bus.

With safety (covid health risk in particular) in mind, which would be a better choice for me? Would there be any difference if I travel during daytime?

Any comments and suggestions are appreciated.

hw20chan

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Old May 12th, 2022, 07:31 AM
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I am pretty sure covid comes out at night as well as daytime and I doubt it has a preferred method of travel either. Ergo, I cant see it makes any difference either way
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Old May 12th, 2022, 07:51 AM
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Your Covid (and cold) risk is higher on a bus than on an Amtrak train. Any way that you go you will be riding on at least one bus. I would choose the route that takes you to Bakersfield on a bus and then the San Joaquin train from Bakersfield to Emeryville with a bus over to San Francisco from Emeryville.
The bathrooms on trains are much nicer than the ones on the buses.
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Old May 13th, 2022, 09:31 AM
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Is the train one where you can get a private sleeper cabin?
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Old May 13th, 2022, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by suze View Post
Is the train one where you can get a private sleeper cabin?
The only train with sleepers going north out of Los Angeles is train 14 (Coast Starlight) It leaves Los Angeles Union Station at 9:51AM daily.
To get to LAUS from San Diego you have to ride a Pacific Surfliner train. The Coast Starlight drops off passengers going to San Francisco in Emeryville with a bus over to San Francisco after 10PM. Th cost for a roomette from Los Angeles to Emeryville is $344 vs. $84 for a coach seat.
In May 2021 I rode on a bus from Los Angeles Union Station up over the Grapevine to Bakersfield to get on the San Joaquin to Martinez. Every seat on the bus was full and the guy next to me had a cold. Getting on in Bakersfield there are a few solo seats if you get onto the empty train quickly. The San Joaquin train got to Martinez more than 2 hours before the Coast Starlight which we had missed by more than an hour in Los Angeles.
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Old May 13th, 2022, 12:33 PM
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I would guess bus also just because trains are divided into cars, so you are only near a limited number of people for so many hours. Also, where I live on East Coast, Amtrak claims they have some new air filtering equipment in the trains. I'm sure buses don't.

Lastly, surely the bus will take longer, won't it? So more time to be exposed to others. I also think you could be closer to someone on the bus, I think the seats are closer together but not sure.
I don't think the nighttime, daytime question is silly but maybe the issues are unstated. I would say it depends on how long each route takes. Sometimes night trains take a whole lot longer than day trains. And for buses, traffic might be a consideration and lesser for the night trains. Schedules should tell you that. Then there is the crowded issue, which I have no idea on those vehicles. I personally would never take a night bus/train between those two so thought maybe others wouldn't either, but I really have no idea. Costs could affect that also, if one ticket is a lot more expensive than the other.

Last edited by Christina; May 13th, 2022 at 12:35 PM.
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Old May 13th, 2022, 03:22 PM
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I'll just add that 3 hours spent on a plane/ in an airport is probably a lot safer than 14 hours on a bus or train, not to mention the amount of time that you'll have to wear your N95 mask if you're worried about covid. Also the train doesn't go into San Francisco, you have to deboard in Emeryville and take a bus into San Francisco.
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Old May 13th, 2022, 08:00 PM
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{cost for a roomette from Los Angeles to Emeryville is $344 vs. $84 for a coach seat.}

Thank you tomfuller. I knew it would cost a lot more, if even available. Might be worth it for the privacy for someone with concerns about traveling during the Covid Pandemic.

I also believe a flight would be safer than either the bus or the train simply because of more limited time exposure to the public, but they did not ask about that.

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Old May 14th, 2022, 03:28 PM
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Hello HW20Chan,
I did just take a flight from Oakland to San Diego and the the whole flight was packed, and the airport was packed. This was two days after the mask requirement was waived, and approximately 50 to 60% of people did not wear masks. I am guessing the trains and business will have similar mask use.

If it were me, I would take the train versus bus. There is just far more space and air around you. If you can stay off Amtrack buses, and do pure train rides, that would be best. FYI you can take the ferry from the Oakland Jack London Square train station. It is a 4 minute, safe, walk. https://sanfranciscobayferry.com/oakland-alameda-ferry-route.


4 min walk train to ferry Oakland Jack London Square

Lastly, you could call an UBER or LYFT if you didn't want to get on a bus or ferry.
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Old May 14th, 2022, 03:34 PM
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I double mask since a study came out that it was 84% effective for the wearer.
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