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So BART from OAK is a 2-part process?

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Eugene, Oregon
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So BART from OAK is a 2-part process?

You go outside of baggage claim and get on a bus. That bus then takes you to the train station. You get on the correct train (Daly City for SF?). You get off (we'll be getting off at Powell St.).

Do I have this right so far?

My big question that I can't seem to find, is if there are any STAIRS involved with this process? Or is it all one level or elevators/escalators? Barring the fact that at escalator might be broken, etc., for normal times will there be any stairs we'll have to lug our suitcases up or down?

NoCal
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1. Re: So BART from OAK is a 2-part process?

There are elevators from the BART platform to street level. Look for the small elevator sign, normally in the middle of the station. Also, stairs, escalators and elevator from BARTplatform to gate area, then another elevator from gate level to street level. All have escalators, if they are working. If you walk to one end of the station, you don't see the escalator up or down, it's normally on the other end of the station.

San Francisco...
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2. Re: So BART from OAK is a 2-part process?

Yes, this is a two part process. $3 for the airBart bus (in cash or buy a ticket at the airport curb machine). Then buy Bart tickets to get to downtown San Francisco at the station.

All Bart stations have escalators and elevators, though they sometimes have problems or are out of service. The coliseum station in Oakland is an elevated station so you will need to go up the escalator or elevator to take the train.

On the Powell end you will need to take the escalator up one level to exit the paid area and then up another level to street level.

San Francisco
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3. Re: So BART from OAK is a 2-part process?

And when you return, be aware that while the AirBART bus accepts BART tickets, it will eat the entire ticket regardless how much money you have on it. It does NOT operate like a BART fare machine, deducting the $3 and returning the ticket.

When you purchase your BART ticket for the return trip to OAK, load the BART ticket with $3 more than the BART fare to Colesium.

I think in this era of the ADA, any facility with multiple levels will have an elevator, escalator or both. However, BART stations have multiple exits and not every exit has two escalators. Those that have only one will change the direction of the escalator depending upon time of day. But there will be an exit somewhere in the station heading the direction you want to go.

Eugene, Oregon
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4. Re: So BART from OAK is a 2-part process?

Ok. Let's see. I did not realize it was 2 separate fares. I will have to read the website more carefully. My husband is 65 so I think he pays $1 (IIRC). We'll have lots of singles for exact change.

In case we decide to splurge, on the OAK website they had 2 taxi companies listed (with phone numbers) and about a zillion limo services.

Are taxis just lined up outside OAK like at most airports? Are they metered or fixed fares into SF?

San Francisco...
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5. Re: So BART from OAK is a 2-part process?

The taxi fares will be metered from OAK. I looked at TaxiFareFinder.com from Oakland airport to Union Square area and it calculated around $70 with tip. I wouldn't be surprised if it could be a bit more than this if there is traffic on the bay bridge.

A shared shuttle such as SuperShuttle says it charges $27 for the first passenger to go into San Francisco and $15 for additional, so it would cost you about $42 plus tip.

The trip from OAK to downtown San Francisco isn't particularly difficult, though SFO is a bit more convenient for going to San Francisco since you do not have to cross a bridge and the airTrain to the BART station is free and frequent from that airport.

Edited: 24 December 2012, 17:54
Eugene, Oregon
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6. Re: So BART from OAK is a 2-part process?

Yeah, I wish I had known that SFO was easier (we used to live in So. Cal so would usually drive up to the Bay Area all the time - daughter went to school up there - so we have flown to SF very, very seldom. But for some reason I had always heard that OAK was "better" because you had less chance of fog, etc. Plus, our flight to OAK is a direct flight so no chance of missing a connection which has happened to us when the inbound was delayed (all the flight to SFO were connections), and the times were so much better than the SFO flights. So oh well. There are always pros and cons.

I also thought that BART was a direct airport to city one train ride like it is in PDX and SEA (I know, don't assume anything).

Like I said, there seemed to be a ton of sedan/limo companies. We'll be arriving at rush hour (4:45 pm touchdown) so either a shuttle (which I don't like usually since they take forever dropping people off) or we'd consider a sedan at a fixed fare (we don't mind the money if it's more convenient) since there might be a lot of traffic which would push the fare up in a taxi).

So any recommended limo companies?

San Francisco...
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7. Re: So BART from OAK is a 2-part process?

Just a note about BART fares that it will not be easy to get a senior discount on them since I think they have moved to using Clipper and require a Regional Transit Commision (RTC) ID to use the discounted tickets (seniors pay $9 for $24 value on BART with these things).

Unless you do all this, you'll probably pay $3.85 each for the BART ride from the Oakland Coliseum station to Powell Street for each person.

The AirBART bus is likely to be more flexible since the driver will probably give you the senior discount ($1 instead of $3), though I don't have direct experience how that would work.

San Francisco
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8. Re: So BART from OAK is a 2-part process?

I use Pleasant Limo -- www.pleasantlimo.com -- their website says $75 OAK -> SF (that would be before tip). Not bad if a cab is $70 ... and as you're arriving at rush hour, I'd expect there to be delays heading to the Bay Bridge. (That would be for a curbside pickup, there is some additional charge if you want them to meet you inside and assist with luggage.)

I realize OAK has its fans, but I'm not one of them. The bridge crossing is so often a bottleneck. And while there are often weather issues at SFO, there are a whole lot more flights.

Eugene, Oregon
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9. Re: So BART from OAK is a 2-part process?

Yeah, regretting OAK now, but oh well.

But a limo would be stuck in the same traffic as a taxi or shuttle. I had already looked on Yelp before you mentioned them, and Pleasant has tons of good reviews, thanks.

I think we might end up doing BART anyway just because of that, since we're arriving at rush hour.

On the other hand, we're not really in any RUSH since we have no plans that first night.

But I'm still trying to picture how big these stations are...like above when someone said "if there's not an escalator/elevator at one end, there will be at the other" - are we talking a whole lot of walking if we go the wrong way first? And as far as the escalators going one direction, since we're arriving in the evening I'd think we'd be going AGAINST them since most people would be headed to the stations FROM work, not coming out of them.

Take money out of the equation...for convenience, if you were 2 seniors, what would you do?

San Francisco
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10. Re: So BART from OAK is a 2-part process?

Here's a map of the Powell St. BART station (ticketing level, not rail level): http://bart.gov/stations/powl/map.aspx

(If it's hard to read, increase the zoom on your browser.)

There is a double escalator from Hallidie Plaza to Powell Street. That's probably the most convenient to your hotel. With the Stockton Street entrance closed due to street level construction the only other escalator available is after you enter the Westfield Center.

Me? I'm almost a senior but I'll still carry my bag up a couple of flights of steps (but I live on the 3rd floor, so I'm used to it).