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Public Transportation to San Francisco

Tips for Getting In & Out of the City

Find out more about the public transportation San Francisco options including BART, Caltrain and other transit options for getting into and out the city.

golden gate transit

There are three great ways for getting into and out of the city by public transportation. This section provides some tips and information on these three options.  You can also learn more about the options for getting around San Francisco on the SF public transportation page.


BART is the Bay Area Rapid Transit system. It’s a light rail train that services most of the bay area. This is a great public transportation San Francisco option for those traveling in from SFO or the east bay.

BART runs from the east bay, through San Francisco and south to one of the main airports.  BART also travels to and from the city to Berkley, Oakland, Walnut Creek and other east bay locations.

It runs mainly underground in the city along Market Street. You can also use BART to get to and from Union Square to the Mission.  

The BART map below is the official map from their web site. It shows all of the routes and many of the main stops along the way. You can also plan your trip by visiting the official BART web site.

bart san francisco

The prices for BART vary from the location you board the train to the location you get off. You are automatically charge a set amount based on where you enter and leave. Fares range from around $1.75 to $11 per person.


CalTrain is another train system with two stops in San Francisco. It’s mainly used for those traveling to and from the peninsula and all the way down to San Jose.

It’s a great option for those coming to and from AT&T Park for games. It’s also used by those commuting in from San Jose or from SF down to San Jose.

The train station in the city is located in the South of Market area at 4th and King Streets. The trains run about once an hour both north bound and south bound on the weekend. They run a little more frequently during the week, specifically around the morning and late afternoon commute times.

CalTrain charges rates by zones and each station is listed in a specific zone. If you take the train from Zone 1 to Zone 6, the cost is around $11.25 per person one way. If you stay within one zone, the cost is only around $2.50 per person one way.

You are also required to buy your ticket before you board. CalTrain does not sell tickets on board and someone always comes around to check tickets to ensure people have paid before boarding. There are usually one or two kiosks in each station where you can purchase your ticket by cash or credit card.

Golden Gate Transit

Another option for getting into and out of the city is the Golden Gate transit system. This public transportation San Francisco option focuses on people wanting to get to and from Marin County, north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Transit runs several buses to and from Marin County. They also have their fares set up in zones, so it makes it easy to see what it will cost you to get around. Golden Gate transit also services a couple of stops in Sonoma County.

To get from the city to the furthest station in Sonoma, the cost is around $9.70. To get from stops in Sausalito or Tiburon, the cost is $4.15 one way, per person.

These are three great public transportation San Francisco options that will get you in and out of the city with ease.

> > Transit Into the City

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