Please sign in to post.

Amtrak to BART to SFO?

Does anyone know how easy or difficult it is to get from Amtrak in Richmond (or somewhere else) to BART which then goes direct to SFO? Or, is it better to take Amtrak Sacramento to SF station and then Uber to the airport from there?

I'm looking to take public transport to SFO from Sacramento. Any help is appreciated. I leave in a couple days for Germany and my transportation has now changed.

Posted by
6 posts

Take a look at Megabus https://us.megabus.com/ which will take you from a stop near Old Town Sac to Cal Train Station 4th and Townshend SF. It might be easier to get to BART or SFO from there than in Richmond. Megabus certainly beats Amtrak for convenience and timeliness. Our daughter regularly uses Megabus when returning to and from college in SF.

Posted by
2879 posts

We’ve done this in reverse. When you buy your Amtrak ticket don’t choose the one train per day that is the Coast Starlight. It goes all the way up and down the coast and can be late at stations. Choose one of the Amtrak Capitol Corridor trains that run 11x per day instead of their pre Covid 16x per day. We just timed the transition of Amtrak to Richmond BART carefully. You arrive upstairs/outside and go downstairs/inside or vice versa. You can buy your Amtrak ticket online and load it on your Wallet, make an account with Amtrak first. Do you already have a Clipper Card for BART? If not allow for time to purchase a card at the Richmond station. Also there are two BART lines that stop in Richmond. Make sure you get on the one that goes to the west side of the bay and terminates at SFO/Millbrae at the international terminal. It is the RED line that has no other transfers. There is an alternate way to get there on the East Bay side but it involves a quick cross platform at McArthur, always timed to meet the southbound car. It’s actually quite relaxing if you give yourself plenty of time and only have the one transfer, Amtrak to Richmond BART.

Posted by
3136 posts

Oh boy! What sounds like a fairly simple question has a bunch of complications. I’m inclined to say that your 2nd alternative seems preferable; i.e., Amtrak Sac to Sf, then taxi/lyft/uber to SFO. My reasons are:

4th & Townshend is not close to the Powell St. Bart station several (?) blocks. Though, if you don’t mind hauling your bags along city streets, that may be the plan for you.
As far as I know, you can no longer buy single ride Bart tickets. You would have to buy a ticket with a large value for each of you.. (I have a clipper card, which refills automatically, so I don’t know the details.)
I would look into pre-reserving the SF to airport segment, though I’ve heard that option with uber is not terribly reliable. There are still some shared van services, but not to where I live, so I can’t give details.
I hope you are planning to sleep near SFO the night before your flight. I would never take a chance that nothing will go wrong with such a lengthy journey.

Posted by
5631 posts

If I understand you question you are seeking the public transport options from Sacramento to San Francisco International airport. Appears you’d like to take BART from the East Bay to SF and then to SFO.

IMHO flying is a good open. Not the cheapest

1.) From Sacramento to Oakland. I’d Uber to the Sacramento Airport and fly. Southwest Airlines has daily flights. Are you flying United cuz BART arrives at that terminal. Otherwise you’ll need to hop on a shuttle train.

OR

2.) AMTRAK to Richmond Station then BART under the bay to SFO. About 50 minute ride.

Posted by
1786 posts

I can drive Monte and his buddy to the airport Wednesday morning if need be. He was thinking it would easier to take Amtrak. I recall someone telling me years ago that they would get on Amtrak in Rocklin and go to Richmond, then hop on BART straight to SFO. If it were easy, then that would be awesome. I'd probably try it first before a trip just to make sure it goes well, but he doesn't have time for that. I was wondering if people had recent experience and if it was really that easy? His flight leaves at 2:00 so he should be there by 11:00.

Amtrak leaves at 6:00 (Rocklin) and arrives in Richmond at 8:09 and it looks like BART leaves every 15 to SFO.

Don't want to make a mistake!

Posted by
8231 posts

We took Amtrak from Roseville to Richmond and took BART to SF. We weren’t going to the airport. The Amtrak and Bart stations are next to each other. I would be concerned about potential delays. We weren’t trying to catch a flight, but if we were I would have been nervous. Our train sat on the tracks for awhile outside of Davis because another train had hit someone further up the line. That’s why I choose to fly out of SMF, even though we often have to change at SFO. If something happen with the flights they still have to get us there, though that has not happened so far.

Posted by
2879 posts

We also do this route—Davis to Richmond on Amtrak then switch at the station to BART for ballgames, plays, museums or other adventures in the city. Just give yourself enough time and it works. Amtrak and BART run tight schedules on these routes. I sent you a PM about our spare Clipper Cards you can borrow if you have time to come get them today or this week.

Posted by
1786 posts

Just BTW, they had a nice plan for transport prior to his buddy evacuating from the Caldor fire and now having to cancel his trip. So, this is last minute planning.

Posted by
3136 posts

Susan:
My rule of thumb on using BART to get to SFO for international flights is, if departure is in the afternoon, I go that morning. Morning departure, stay overnight near airport. Arriving in Richmond just after 8 should give plenty of time for getting to the airport by 11 or so. The only other possible complication is that they will be riding at peak commute time. The trains can be very crowded, to the point that it’s really difficult to get on with luggage. However, since they’ll be starting at the far end of the route they can situated before the crush ensues.

Posted by
2879 posts

Rocket I told Susan about the phone option too for the Clipper Card. She’s going to investigate. My issue up until I got a new phone last month was that you couldn’t load a card on an older phone and I had an iPhone 6S. Now I’m good to go. Also they’ll need to have ApplePay or Google Pay, more things for them to look into. Thanks for thinking of this option too for them.

Posted by
5666 posts

Didn't Kevin do this ??
BART trip planner says it's about 300' walk from Amtrak to BART at Richmond Station. On a Wednesday during the day there are two alternatives: direct is RED line to SFO-Millbrae, or if you just missed that one you can take ORANGE line towards Berryessa for 6 stops, change to SFO train YELLOW line at MacArthur. BART lets you off at SFO International Terminal.
We usually allow an extra hour coming from MacArthur "just in case"
Note that evenings and Sundays the RED line doesn't run to SFO.

Posted by
1786 posts

Thank you all!

Ok, it is set. Tickets purchased on Amtrak to Richmond, Clipper app downloaded, Apple pay downloaded, money loaded onto Clipper app, and he knows to take the red line to SFO. Done! Hope it goes easy and if so, we may make it our normal transportation to SFO. We'll see!