Want to rent somewhere in between St Helena and UC Berkley

I am a single mom who got a job at STHelena Hospital and my daughter will attend UC Berklety from this fall. I want to rent somewhere in between UC Berkley and St Helena so the commute for both is doable (as I want to stay with her and cannot afford dorm also). I want your insight in a possible area which can fulfill my requirements 

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You could try Vallejo, Richmond, Crockett or Martinez.  But I suspect the commute to/from UC Berkeley for your daughter will be unbearably long as in 1 to 2 hours each way and interfere with her valuable study time.  If the dorms are too expensive, try the COOPs, an apartment or shared room in a house.

You should be proud of your daughter for getting into Berkeley.  As a parent I can understand wanting to save money but as a UC Berkeley graduate having her live so far away from campus and wasting so much of her time in driving and it traffic will set her up for failure.  I would think the cost of gas, wear and tear on the car, insurance and parking would cost far more than having her live close to campus.  Not saying it can’t be done, but I just don’t think it’s realistic.

What about somewhere near the Richmond BART station?  Then your daughter can get BART to campus, and you can hop on the freeway and head to St. Helena.  Will she have a car? I'm not sure about the parking situation at Richmond BART, but assuming it's not too hard to get a spot, you could rent something further north of Richmond and she could drive to the BART station.  I would try to be within walking or biking distance of a BART station for her, because if she must drive, she will be stuck in commuter traffic, and she will pay big bucks for a parking permit on campus (there is literally no place to park near campus.)  Not sure about other public transportation options - go to google maps and get directions from St. Helena to UC Berkeley and then try out some of the points in between, using the public transportation option.

Good luck!

Dear Mom- Congratulations on your daughter attending UCB> Affordable housing - even mid-range housing is next to impossible sometimes. My youngest son who attends Dominican University in San Rafael recently moved to Hercules.  There's a large stock of rental condos in the area...rent for a 1,000 ft two bedroom condo with pool is about $2,000 a month which is a lot cheaper than here in Berkeley. You get a nicer place with a better commute for you to St. Helena. The weather can get hot there, but it is a SAFE community with lots of friendly people. OK-no fancy downtown with chic dining, but open areas all around. Everyone goes out for an after dinner walk and there's a lovely community park. It is one of those places where you have to be ready to grab the rental as soon as it comes up, but it's worth it.

El Cerrito would be a good choice!