Planes, trains, automobiles, ferries—there is a reason Oakland is considered a hub of the West Coast. Centrally located on the east side of the San Francisco Bay, arrival to Oakland is easy, whether you’re coming by air, land or sea.
The Oakland International Airport (OAK) is the second largest airport in the San Francisco Bay Area, offering over 300 daily passenger and cargo flights. Oakland’s Amtrak stations are served by multiple trains, connecting to cities such as Sacramento, Reno and Bakersfield, as well as daily routes to Seattle, Los Angeles and Chicago. Regionally, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system offers service to and from the East Bay and San Francisco, and the AC Transit bus system includes citywide transportation and Transbay connections to San Francisco. A Greyhound bus terminal can also be found near Downtown Oakland.
A bustling port city, Oakland also offers transportation by the San Francisco Bay Ferry as well as guest slips for private boats along the estuary. If you’re traveling by car, driving to Oakland is a cinch, with multiple points of access along the I-880, I-580 and I-980.
The Oakland International Airport (OAK) is a breeze to navigate—it’s served by the new BART to OAK train, van shuttles, limousines, taxis and public transit buses. The airport is known for having some of the nation’s best on time arrivals and departures, meaning you’ll have plenty of time to spare to explore Oakland. flyoakland.com
Oakland is the hub of many of the Bay Area’s most commonly used interstate highways, providing a great base for exploring nearby cities such as San Francisco and Berkeley, wine regions in Napa and Sonoma County, and Northern California getaways to Tahoe and Yosemite. In addition to car rental offices located at Oakland International Airport and the Oakland Convention Center downtown, short-term rentals are available through City Car Share and Zip Car.
How popular is cycling in Oakland? To give you an idea, a local brewer delivers his kegs on two wheels. Not to mention, the city has been deemed one of America’s most bike-friendly cities. Rent a bike to explore Oakland’s many neighborhoods—Bay Area Bikes can be found in two locations, in Jack London Square and Uptown. Bicycles are allowed on ferries, AC Transit buses and BART trains—just check the websites for routes and any excluded times.
If you need to get somewhere in a fast, Oakland’s taxi drivers are an excellent resource. You’ll find cabs easily at most hotel locations, as well as at major events such as concerts or sporting events.
LOCAL PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
AC Transit offers frequent Transbay bus connections to San Francisco, as well as service within Oakland and to neighboring communities such as Berkeley. Local adult passes are $2.10 (cash or Clipper Card only), but be sure to check the AC Transit site for fare changes.
Bay Area Rapid Transport (BART) provides sustainable, all electric train service direct from Oakland International (OAK) and San Francisco International (SFO) airports to Oakland and cities throughout the East Bay. And to cities from San Francisco to the Millbrae/Caltrain station just beyond SFO. BART has 45 conveniently located stations throughout these areas. Visitors to Oakland and the Bay Area can find more information to get around on BART here.
BART Airport service is the convenient, fast, low cost way to get from OAK or SFO to any city served by BART. BART airport trains provide daily direct service to/from both airports. The SFO station in International Terminal G is easy to get to. The new BART to OAK station is conveniently located in the parking lot right across the street from Terminal 1. Go here for more detailed information on BART Airport service.
The San Francisco Bay Ferry connects Oakland with San Francisco and Alameda, offering commuters and visitors a scenic way to cross San Francisco Bay in less than 20 minutes. Snacks and a full bar are available on board, and free parking is available with validation.
The Broadway Shuttle or “the Free B” offers fast, free connections from BART, San Francisco Bay Ferry and Amtrak Capitol Corridor to downtown Oakland offices. Hop on and hop off the Shuttle wherever you see a sign with the green “B on Broadway” logo.
Travelers can reach Oakland by train at Amtrak’s sleek modern station in Jack London Square with a 20% discount. Ride the scenic Coast Starlight route along the West Coast or the San Joaquin route from the valley. Oakland is also a stop on the Capitol Corridor line, providing frequent connections between Sacramento and Silicon Valley.
Clipper Cards are available for use on BART and AC Transit in Oakland and several other Bay Area transport systems, Clipper® is an all-in-one transit card that keeps track of any passes, discount tickets, ride books and cash value loaded onto it.
Not sure how to go from here to there? Dial 511 or go to 511.org, the free travel planning site.