Advice about Casual Carpooling
Archived Q&A and Reviews
We are buying our first home in San Leandro. My husband and I drive into SF to commute and always pick up a carpooler. Are there any casual carpool locations in San Leandro? new SL resident
I live in northern San Leandro, and as far as I know there aren't any casual carpools south of High Street in Oakland. I usually avoid the High Street location (it requires a left turn and is located at a bus stop so ''parking'' can get a bit dodgy). On my rare trips into the City these days, I prefer to use the Fruitvale location. It's easy to exit at Coolidge, drive alongside the freeway a few blocks, park in front of the market, and then hop right back onto the freeway at Fruitvale. There is usually a pretty good flow of passengers. Niki
Hello there, A few months ago, I posted a question asking about carpooling from Berkeley to SF (specifically, from somewhere close to Black Pine Circle which is located on 7th street and University). I received advices that I could take a carpool at the North Berkeley Bart Station and park my car in the neighborhood (or even in the Bart's parking lot). I drove to North Berkeley Bart this weekend to check out where I can park my car. To my surprise, there are 2-hour only parking signs just about everywhere in the neighborhood around the Bart station. Yikes. Did I not drive far enough away from the Bart station to find unlimited parking space? If you carpool from North Berkeley Bart Station to SF, could you please share where you park your car these days? I checked out the possibility of paying for parking at the Bart parking lot as well, but the monthly permit is expensive and one cannot pay the daily $1 parking fee unless one buys the Bart ticket and gets through the gate (which defeats the purpose of carpooling). Any suggestions you have are greatly appreciated
You live at 7th and University? And you want to DRIVE to the N Berkeley BART? The #51 bus runs up University and stops at Sacramento, which is probably closer than where you would need to park from the BART. It runs about every 10 or 15 minutes during rush hour. You can check the schedule at 511.org. Save gas and aggravating hunts for a parking space and take the bus! Dedicated bus rider
You need to go a bit further to park more than 2 hours without a permit. Try heading west from the station down Virginia or Francisco St. Before the $1 fee was instituted, I could find a space by the time I reached Chestnut. (This was around 8:30 a.m.) But be mindful of street cleaning days! Been there, done that
Hello there, My daughter will start going to Black Pine Circle (7th street and University in Berkeley) this fall. I would like to drop her off in the morning around 8:00 and then park my car some place safe and then take a carpool to work (in San Francisco). It will be important for the parking place to be accessible either by BART or by AC Transit from San Francisco so I can get back to my car in the evening. Could anyone please educate me on the carpool pick-up places and near-by parking lots in that general location? I have been using the carpool pick-up location on Pierce which is around the Albany/Richmond border. I hope that I can find something a little closer to the school so that my commute won't be much longer. Thank you very much
There is a thriving carpool at the North Berkeley Bart, on the Sacramento side of the station. I don't know about car parking in the BART lot, but do know that lots of people park their cars on the unrestricted blocks below the lot which is troublesome for some of the BART neighbors. However, perhaps BART has a pay to park option. Worth checking out. Anon
Hi, My daughter is also starting at Black Pine Circle in the Fall, and my son has been attending for two years. I also commute to SF everyday. The North Berkeley BART station is a 3 min ride from BPC, and there is a carpool line there. There are several blocks that have unlimited parking space within walking distance (two or three blocks) from the station. I usually park my car around there at 8:30 or 8:45 and I ALWAYS find a place within three blocks of the station without having to look much. The earlier you arrive, the easier it is to find a place, at 8 you may even find a spot in the BART parking lot itself. I usually do not bother to look there. It is safe and easy (except first Thursday every month, where most of those above mentioned blocks have street sweeping, and then it is trickier). Maria
There's a casual carpool web page which you might want to check out: http://www.ridenow.org/carpool/ It lists all the casual carpool spots in the Bay Area. Lori
I think there is a casual carpool right there at University and 6th. Casual Carpool used to have a website outlining its program and indicating all pickup points. Surely AC transit returns past that busy intersection. If not, North Berkeley Bart BPC Mom
These days you can park in the North Berkeley Parking Lot and still take the car pool in to SF, or BART to SF. The carpool pick up is on Sacramento Street right in front of the BART station. There is one line for drop offs around Fremont and Howard (or closer to your work if that is where the driver is going), and another shorter line for drop offs around Civic Center. If you find that it is too crowded at 8 am (which I don't think it will be), you can pay for the reserved lot (monthly ? or annually?). I'm not sure how that works. The lot is rather safe. Just use typical good sense, be aware and don't leave interesting items in view in the car.
On the way home you can take BART or the H or J lines. Check the AC transit web site. The J stops at Univ. and Sac. The H may be faster. It comes up Gilman and stops at Hopkins and Sac Commuter Mom
I am trying to find someone to be a passenger on my daily drive to Mills College and have no idea how to get started. For background my son and I commute to the Children's School from Kensington every day arriving between 8:30 and 9:00 and returning between 4:30 -5:15. We'd love to find someone living in North Berkeley / El Cerrito / Albany area who could help us take advantage of the carpool lane. Is there something besides Casual Carpool that helps link east bay drivers and riders? Or maybe a message board for Mills students / Faculty /Staff that I might be able to post on? Perhaps you know someone who might want to share the ride? Any tip is greatly appreciated Susannah
I work at Mills College and recently saw a posting on our campus email from a student looking to carpool from El Cerrito... She's given her permission to me to post her email address, so here it is. She'd love to hear from you ASAP! (The email address you posted didn't work, FYI.) Carolyn
I have used the rideshare registration at 511.org: http://rideshare.511.org/ I received several responses for a difficult Berkeley - Palo Alto commute. This should be your first resource for finding a carpool. -Phil
Check out http://www.rides.org or 511 (or www.511.org). David
I'd like to start taking casual carpool into the city, but don't live a walkable distance to the nearby pickup spots (N. Berkeley BART or El Cerrito at Central St.) Have others found away around this? Are there non-permit parking spots near either of those pick-up areas? Another question, is casual carpool a pretty reliable way to commute if you must be in the city by a certain time (i.e. have to be in class at 9am). Thanks! Kathleen
Hi, I know there are untimed spots within walking distance of both N. Berk and the El Cerrito pick-ups. It may be three to four blocks, but they are safe. I always found the carpool to be very reliable for riders, and used it for about a year. Another alternative that I really liked is the trans-bay bus, if it is more convenient. Very good/new buses and a view crossing the bridge. Kean
The carpool pickup spot at Claremont and Hudson (near Rockridge Bart) has quite a bit of street parking and usually plenty of cars waiting. Only bad thing is that it's not on the Richmond line for coming back. Carolyn
Is there a web site that tells where the carpool pick up places are to travel into the City? I have been picking up passengers across from Grand Lake Theater for eight years, but need to change my travel route because I am dropping off my daughter at school at 43rd and Shafter in Oakland.
Try www.transitinfo.org . They will link you to the carpool site.
For updated info on casual carpool sites in the East Bay, see www.ridenow.org/carpool
It will give you all kinds of info not only the carpool pickup spots but also what highways have commuter lanes and how many persons per car are needed etc.
[Editor note: URL updated Aug 2003]
I am not quite sure where 43rd and Shafter is, but there is a pick-up spot on Fruitvale Ave. next to ALbertsons right off of 580.I had to change carpool spots as well since my son started Kindergarten and I just found this one.
The closest car pool pick up I'm aware of is at the corner of Claremont and Hudson (just a few minutes from 43rd and Shafter). Just continue straight up Shafter, cross 51st, go a few more blocks and make a left on Hudson. You'll see the cars lining up on Hudson but it usually moves pretty quickly. There is also an express SF bus stop across the street.