Air travel is often an unpleasant business, and once you land you want to relax and enjoy. That's one reason our favorite way to get into San Francisco from the airport is a pre-arranged private driver or shuttle transportation. Believe us, you don't want to rent a car to get around the city. Parking is a hassle and traffic is a pain. Besides, San Francisco is a compact city made for walking, with a few taxi rides sprinkled into the mix.
Here we present the top SFO airport transportation options — from BART, bus, commuter train, and shared shuttle, to a private luxury sedan (our personal favorite ). We appreciate a private driver waiting for us as soon as you exit the arrival gate. You'll be whisked directly to your hotel without a care in the world.
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Did someone say "luxury"? That got our attention! This is the perfect route to go if you're traveling with your family or a small group. The flat rate is based on 3-or 5-passengers. Choose from a luxury sedan for three people or SUV transfer for up to five passengers. After a long flight, your chauffeur will be waiting for you! Slip into the leather seats as your driver loads your luggage and ferries you away to start your SF city getaway. This private car service is surprisingly affordable.
Great service. Driver arrived within minutes of our advising we had arrived through security. Pleasant driver lovely car. A very smooth transfer after a long, tiring flight."
– 5-Star Review
We like this option! Instead of paying for a taxi, get to the city in a professionally-driven shuttle. The service is available 24/7. When booking, fill in your flight and hotel details and your transfer will be confirmed instantly. Just print-out your voucher and present it to the drive on arrival.
Easy to find upon exiting SFO. Only waited about 5 minutes. Driver was friendly, drove safely and was helpful to fellow passengers who had questions about the area."
– 5-Star Review
BART is the cheapest way to get to SF and much of the Bay Area. Trains arrive promptly at the airport every 15 minutes. It's just a short 30-minute ride to downtown and a one-way ticket costs less than $10. Children under 4 ride for free. All BART stations are fully accessible for people with disabilities.
The BART station is located in the International Terminal. From Terminal 1 or 3 it's a short walk or take the free AirTrain. Follow the signs to AirTrain, board the Red Line to the station and buy your BART ticket.
If you've already bought your ticket online, take the Blueline train to the International Terminal – G stop. Exit and walk right to the escalator down to the Information/BART Voucher Desk. Exchange your voucher for a BART ticket and continue to the station. There, board the train to your destination. From Terminals 1, 2 & 3 it's a short one to three minute AirTrain ride to the BART station.
There are four downtown San Francisco stations that are an easy walk or short cab ride to most hotels. BART shares these stations with San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (MUNI).
1. Civic Center. Access to Upper Market, Van Ness, the Castro and Civic Center.
2. Powell Street. Access to the Intercontinental, Parc 55, Hilton, Nikko and Union Square hotels.
3. Montgomery Street. Access to the Moscone Center, W Hotel, Westin, The Palace and Financial District and South of Market (SOMA) hotels.
4. Embarcadero (last SF stop). Access to Lower Financial District, Hyatt Regency and taxis to Fisherman's Wharf hotels.
Caltrain commuter rail serves SFO (take BART to Millbrae and transfer) with weekday commute-hour service to Gilroy. BART connects SFO to the Caltrain rail system at the Millbrae Station.
SamTrans is a 24-hour bus service that connects SFO to San Mateo and parts of San Francisco. Routes KX, 292, 397 and 398 stop directly at SFO terminals. Routes 140, 292 and 397 stop at the Rental Car Center.
To get to the Rental Car Center from the airport terminals, take the AirTrain Blue Line. AirTrain is a fully automated people mover and runs 24 hours daily. AirTrain stations are found in all the SFO terminals, including parking garages, the Rental Car Center, and the airport's BART station.
Many nearby hotels offer a free shuttle to and from the airport. Check with your hotel before you leave home. Here's a partial list of south San Francisco hotels that offer this service —
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