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Exception to car/public transport advice?

Iowa
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Exception to car/public transport advice?

I'm flying into SFO for a 4 day stay; staying with a friend in Mill Valley. During my stay, I'll need to make two trips to UCSF. Then back to SFO for my departure. This visit is both person and professional, not really a sight seeing trip per se, though I hope to see a few things on my first visit to the area.

Given those distances, am I an exception to the standard advice that visitors don't need cars? My plan as it stands is to rent a car at SFO; best discounted rate I can find is $314 for the 4 days.

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Mill Valley
Mill Valley
Marin County, CA
San Francisco Bay
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1. Re: Exception to car/public transport advice?

Yes, if it were me, I'd have a car. Which campus of UCSF are you going to?

The fact that there are commuter buses from Mill Valley to SF would only get you so far, you'd then have to switch to a bus or streetcar to get to any of the campuses, so it would take a pretty long time to get there.

Most people in Mill Valley don't live anywhere a bus stop, too.

I'm sure that if you have some time, you'll be able to see a few things.

Just count on paying for parking anywhere in the City.

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Mill Valley
Mill Valley
Marin County, CA
Thousand Oaks...
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2. Re: Exception to car/public transport advice?

To me, I would think that having a car or a trip you describe would be advantageous.

If you decide against the car then your main option would be the Golden Gate transit system, specifically Route 4.

Seeing you are here on some business it would probably be pretty inconvenient and time consuming to do the bus thing.

Here is the current Bus schedule so that you can make an informed decision... goldengatetransit.org/schedules/…route_4.php

Regarding the rental price.....it seems pretty high but then again I never rented a car out of SFO. Maybe the locals can let you know if that rate is in line.

Enjoy SF

Dr. Z

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Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park
8,479 Reviews
San Francisco, CA
Santa Clara...
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3. Re: Exception to car/public transport advice?

Agree that a car is recommended for you. Let us know if you need help with parking should you decide to do some tourists stuff.

That rate seems high to me too. It has been 3 years since I rented from SFO, but I used Hotwire and got much better rates than that on both weekends and weekdays.

eta - since you need to cross the Golden Gate a few times, please read about the toll payment system. Basically you have to prepay as no toll taker anymore. Don't pay for the car rental transmitter.

Edited: 08 July 2014, 01:39
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Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park
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San Francisco, CA
Santa Cruz...
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4. Re: Exception to car/public transport advice?

For heaven's sake you need a car......yes you are an exception. Tourists who are staying in San Francisco and doing "the thing" are advised not to have a "car around their neck", as it were, because it is not convenient for sight seeing or going out to dinner, or anything else, and their hotel will charge them an arm and a leg to park it, and there are few public parking spots near most of the attractions, and there are one way streets to maneuver, and pretty awesome hills to drive. All of this does not apply to you. (There......deep breath.) Have a good visit.

The rate for the car does seem high.....

Edited: 08 July 2014, 01:41
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San Francisco
San Francisco
California
Iowa
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5. Re: Exception to car/public transport advice?

Thanks everyone. I suspect the rate for the car is less than stellar because the trip is less than a month away, couldn't be helped. When I search for rates in future months the rate goes down pretty dramatically.

Thanks again for the feedback!

San Francisco
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6. Re: Exception to car/public transport advice?

I truly hope you are going to the Parnassus or Mt. Zion campuses and not Mission Bay.

Edited: 08 July 2014, 03:32
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Iowa
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7. Re: Exception to car/public transport advice?

I think I am going to Mission Bay on one occasion. Is it harder to get to? Bad neighborhood?

San Francisco...
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8. Re: Exception to car/public transport advice?

It's harder to get to and more or less requires driving through downtown when coming from the golden gate bridge and the north bay. The other two locations are easier to get to from where you're coming from.

San Francisco...
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9. Re: Exception to car/public transport advice?

Well it is at one end of Sf close to AT&T park and the area around UCSF is fine. If you go there during the time there is a Giants game, that area will be packed with cars and people. Other than that you should be ok.

San Francisco
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10. Re: Exception to car/public transport advice?

The area is fine but getting there from the Golden Gate Bridge will require driving directly through downtown or taking a very circuitous route through the city. I would allow 40 minutes from the toll plaza.

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Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge
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