Commuting from Sacramento to the East Bay

Parent Q&A

  • Davis or East Sac for job in Oakland?

    (11 replies)


    My husband accepted a job in Oakland and we will be moving from Southern California to well, not sure yet. A few of the people he’ll be  working with live in east Sacramento and commute to Oakland by train. Davis appears to have much better schools than any schools in Sacramento. We’re a diverse family (white and African American). We have a ten year old daughter and a four year old son. Question: 1. do any good, high-performing public schools in exist on Sacramento? 2. Davis schools are excellent across the board, but is Davis ethnically diverse? I’ve read that it isn’t. Sacramento I know wouldn’t have diversity issues - plus  I love the historic homes in east Sac. -  but not sure on the public schools. What I’ve read so far they don’t seem up to par. Thanks in advance for your input!!

    Davis public schools are really nice, and they are ethnically diverse because of the university. However, they are not very socioeconomically diverse so it can feel more homogeneous in Davis. It's still a long commute on the train from Oakland to Davis, but it's even longer if you have to go to Sacramento. Long commutes are no fun and really eat into family time. Feel free to contact me if you want to discuss:)

    I am not sure why you wouldn't look closer to Oakland? It seems odd to move to Sacramento area for a job in Oakland! Amtrak is nice but a long daily commute from there. I would suggest looking in Oakland, San Leandro, or Alameda for a rental so you can see something of your husband during the week!

    Diversity and test score info is available at Also, I would add that in my experience with having a current high school senior, that "high-performing" schools are not "all that." A school that has at least 20% of the students high-performing may not be overall high-performing, but will have diversity, including special education and demographics, and is more reflective of the real world while still giving a quality education.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Commuting to the East Bay from Davis

June 2007

I am frustrated with the schools in Oakland, and really want to consider a move to Davis to have better schools for my children. I can transfer my employment to Sacramento. My partner has a great job at UC Berkeley, and understandably does not want to give it up. Can anyone give us feedback about having lived in Davis and commuted to the East bay? How long did it take each day? Was it worth it? Any recommendations about whether to consider such an arrangement? Considering a move

I'm sure others will have more real experience. I just took the Amtrack (Capitol Corridor) to Sacramento, train stops in Davis. It was great. Very leisurely, not too slow, and I got a lot of work done. Think if you buy tickets in advance you can get a discount. Anon

One word - Amtrak. Take the train to the Berkeley station, then take the 51 up University to campus. Not fast, but oh so nice. anon

Hi. My husband commuted from Davis to Berkeley (very close to campus) for several years. It is doable, either by Amtrak plus BART or by car (and there is a shuttle that runs between UCD and UCB). It is nice if it works out to not commute at least some days each week. The days are long, it takes over an hour to commute each way and traffic can be bad. Amtrak can be great but it can also be unreliable. We loved life in Davis but the commute took a steady toll in the end. It became exhausting for my husband to commute such a long distance and try to make it home for our family time. We would have been happy to stay in Davis but not with the long commute. fan of Davis

My husband does this commute and it's terrible for us. He works in W. Berkeley (exit University) and spends at least 4 hours a day in his car. Sometimes more. It's so bad that we have our house for sale and are planning to move closer to the bay area (where we will rent a much smaller house). From Berkeley to the bridge is stop-and-go, and traffic through Fairfield is also very bad - usually many accidents because people drive crazy through the 680-12-80 merges.

About Davis: Davis is a very nice town with excellent schools. It has a lot of great activities for kids and a wonderful farmer's market Saturday in Central Park. I would recommend attending this to get a feel for the town. It is very hot here in the summer. We have been running our AC since April, no joke. Last summer we had two weeks where it never went below 110 degrees. My PGE bill was over $500. Davis has a similar (much smaller) group like this called mom's circle Davis - a yahoo group. It is very liberal here, they call it Berkeley East. You would probably be in the minority if you are not a super-AP type.

There is also an Amtrak station here and a stop in Berkeley. Even with all the perks of Davis, we will move ASAP. The commute is taking a toll on our family life. You might want to check out the Green Valley area in Fairfield - very good schools, not as liberal as Davis, though. Davis lover, traffic hater

My husband was in Davis and I lived in Berkeley when we were engaged. We dreaded the commute so we finally settled in a nicer part of Solano County. It is a little rural but close enough to the freeway. We have nice walks and friendly neighbors, but we still have to drive out of town for entertainment. Our commutes are now cut about 30 minutes to Davis and 35 to Berkeley and that is not bad! Fellow Commuter