BART Parking

Parent Q&A

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  • West Oakland BART Parking

    (4 replies)

    Starting in about a month I will need to take BART every weekday from W. Oakland to SF. I'd love to hear your parking tips and/or parking to avoid. What time does the lot fill up? Private options? I am on the BART permit waiting list but I understand that could take years. Thanks!

    Hello Caroline.  The West Oakland BART lot normally fills up between 6:30 and 7 am.  There are a number of private lots in the area.  I normally use the Impark lot at 1357 5th Street.  It is $12 a day.  I arrive around 8:30 am and there is plenty of parking at that time.  There has still been parking when I have arrived closer to 10 am as well.  Hope that helps. 

    You can buy day-use permits at Bart's Select-A-Spot for $13.50/day, up to 10 permits at a time.  Day use permits do sell out, and they require physical permits that you have to print out and remember, but if you are organized and can plan ahead, they may be a good option.  With a day-use permit, there are parking spots you can use until 10:10 am.  Without a day-use permit, I use the lot at 533 Kirkham; there is also an entrance from Mandela.  It's $12.35/day using their payment app, no advance reservation necessary, all very convenient.  There are spots there until 9/9:30.  You can also park in the BART lot without an advanced reservation and pay with your Clipper Card inside the station ($10.50; you have to get an EZ Rider account and hangtag), but spots are only available before ~6 am, or after 10:00, when a new zone opens up for un-reserved parking.  At 10:00, however, you have about ten minutes to nab those spaces; there aren't many of them and people wait to grab them at 10 (including people without day-use permits who got stuck when their familiar private parking options filled at 9:30!).

    If you don't have anything that needs to stay in the car (such as a car seat), you could consider using Gig Carshare. They have dedicated parking spots at West Oakland station, and if those are all taken, you can park in any on-street spot that permits 2 hours or more.  The main downsides: there might not always be a car close to you when you want to leave, and there night not be one close to the station when you get back.  Still might be worth looking into. (Since you want to leave from W. Oakland, I'm assuming you live in or near the Gig "home zone"; if not, this won't help you).

    Might be worse now.  You'll need to arrive before 6 am   Oakland tickets, so if  you park on the street read the signs.  Or you can pay the $15 - $20 parking fee every day for a private lot parking.

  • Parking at Ashby Bart

    (6 replies)

    Hi! When does the non-permit lots at Ashby Bart fill up? The lots where you can pay the daily fee? 

    I get into the overflow parking lot a little before 9am and am often one of the last six or seven spots available.  If it's been raining or there's a big accident on the bridge - it might even already be full when I arrive.

    Depends on time of year but in the summer you can usually find a spot until 8:25 and on Fridays maybe as late as 9am. During the Fall/Winter it’s usually around 8:15 but if it rains you should go earlier. 

    According to the BART website, the fill time for this station is 8 AM:

    I've parked at Ashby on workdays intermittently over the last few years. I've found that the lower parking lot (immediately adjacent to the station) fills up around 8 or 8:30. I often got one of the last spaces, arriving between 8 and 8:30. The upper parking lot usually has spaces until around 8:30 or 9.

    I'm sure the neighborhood people don't love it, but when I need to go to Ashby I just park on one of the residential streets (south of the station in Oakland, there's no residential permit required). Then it's just a 5 minute walk or so to the station. 

    For occasional trips, you could also consider using a gigcar one-way carshare (unless you have a car seat or something that needs to stay in the car).  You can then park free in the dedicated spots in the BART lot, or, if those are taken, in any 2-hour spot on the street. Downside is that a car might not always be available where/when you want it.

  • BART from Orinda or Lafayette to SF?

    (1 reply)

    Hello!  I'm hoping there are some people on here either in Orinda or Lafayette or for some reason have good knowledge of the ins and outs of commuting from there... My family is entertaining the idea of moving to Orinda or Lafayette. We both work in SF. It seems like getting a parking permit for either the Orinda or Lafayette BART parking lot is not going to happen anytime soon. So for someone who has to commute in at high commute times (i.e. after the non-permit parts of those BART parking lots are probably filled up) and does not live walking distance to the BART station, what does one do? (One of us would need to drop kids off at schools, so both of us going in excessively early would not be an option). I'm sure there must be a bunch of answers (??), but would love to hear what the various options/experiences are. I know you can buy those daily parking passes in advance, but is that reliable/exhausting to have to keep doing?

    Thanks! Try it. 

  • West Oakland BART Parking Options

    (3 replies)

    My commute is changing and I will need to take BART from West Oakland.  What do people do for parking?  Is the gas station lot safe?  What time does it fill up?  Are there other nearby private options?  I have little hope for ever actually getting off the BART permit waiting list.  

    My colleagues pay the $10-$15 per day for parking.  They say it's safe as long as it's light and other BART passengers are around.  The area appears to be getting better but I still see a lot of broken car window glass on the ground which means cars are getting broken into.  To me the area is very unsafe day or night.  One other thing to keep in mind is there are no parking/street sweeping days.  Last time I parked there I received a $65 ticket.   The sign was missing an the entire block was filled with cars.

    Be extra careful parking there.

    I've been an occasional WOak BART parker for years, and over the last year I've become a couple-of-times-a-week parker there, usually showing up between 8:30 and 9.  I can tell you about the two choices I usually rely on. My first choice is the 533 Kirkham lot.  It's rarely full before 9, and just went up to $10/day ($10.35 if you pay by phone).  I've never noticed broken glass inside the lot, but they do also sell the street spots on Kirkham just outside their gate, for $1 less a day, and I often see broken glass there.  I've never noticed signs for monthly parking at that lot, but, then, I'm not currently in the market for monthly parking, so I may have glazed over them.  The pay-for-parking app they use makes it very convenient to pay (I should add that the 533 Kirkham lot also has a satellite lot with a separate entrance on Mandela, right across from the BART station entrance, which has about 20 spots in it. It fills up early, but you can get lucky there).  The "Mandela Lot," the giant one with the entrance on 5th St, does sell monthly parking, and the space they reserve for monthly parkers is the one that's closest to the station, with a ped entrance right on 5th and Mandela.  They open their monthly-reserved area to day-use parking usually around 9:30 or 10, when their other lot fills up, so it doesn't seem they have a problem with filling up. I've never felt personally unsafe walking to either of those lots, and I've done it plenty of times later in the evening/when it's dark (although everyone jaywalks across Mandela to get to the Kirkham lot, and that's an accident waiting to happen!).  One other option:  buying day use passes on the BART website.  I think it's more trouble than it's worth, keeping track of it all.  But I know people who do it.  And might as well put yourself on the waitlist.  A year ago I was 1800 something; now I'm 500 something. Some day!

    We've parked at or near the West Oakland BART for 15 years. 

    We like to get in at 6 am, so we're able to get a parking space in the non-reserved BART parking lot for $8 (which is going up in August). 

    If we start later - 8 - 5 or 9 - 6, we park in one of the four parking lots in the area (depending on which one has a space):

    1.  the gas station;

    2.  the one next to the gas station (ABM);

    3.  the large one on 6th Street; or

    4.  the one on 7th street near the The Crucible.

    We've had only one problem in 15 years parking on the street and have also seen broken auto windows.  Make sure you don't have person items out in the open.  The one time we had our passenger-side window broken, we had a shopping bag in the back seat with donations for Goodwill.  We paid $200 to have the window replaced (company came to us, cleaned the glass in our car and replaced window glass -- it wasn't the company that advertises on TV -- Satellite(?)'s estimate was the highest).


Archived Q&A and Reviews


BART Parking in the East Bay

 March 2016

We are thinking about moving to the East Bay and commuting to downtown SF on BART. Online, I've seen a lot of people saying that the wait lists for reserved parking at BART stations are long, but haven't been able to find out what people mean by long (a few months? or years?). I know it will vary by station, but can anyone give me an idea of how long they waited? Thanks very much! TK

I signed up on the waitlist for Rockridge, Macarthur, Orinda & Lake Merritt stations in November 2014. My waitlist #'s were in the 1000's or 2000's depending on station. I've moved about 1/2 way down on all the lists at this point. I think I'm looking at another year at least before getting a spot! That would be 2 and 1/2 years. anon

I can't answer your question about BART parking, but I can say this -- depending on which BART station we are talking about, you may be able to get away with not using BART parking. Pretty much everyone and his brother parks at El Cerrito Plaza (the huge shopping center parking lots) in order to use EC Plaza BART, as far as I have been able to figure out. When using EC Del Norte, I park on the street several blocks north of the station and walk on the bike trail to get to the station. Ditto North Berkeley; I park on the street several blocks away and walk. As long as you are able to walk, you should be OK. (I know that my solutions are perhaps not what EC Plaza shopping center and the good people of Richmond and Berkeley might endorse, but they get me on BART for most of my commute.) Folks from other parts of the East Bay (Lamorinda, etc.) may have similar tales to tell. BART rider

I signed up for the waiting lists at Orinda, Lafayette, and Rockridge stations when I started looking for a new job in May 2014. Nearly two years later, I am currently #1065, #1225, and #957 on those lists. You can always park in the non-reserved lots, but the Orinda one fills up by 7:30 am. Edna

There are other options to get from the East Bay to the city. BART can be crowded & parking is a huge problem. The wait list is years! Consider living near a transbay bus line or a casual carpool stop! There is also the ferry! C.A., East Bay

Since you didn't specify which part of the East Bay you are talking about, I will speak generally. First, while it's true that BART has a parking shortage, there are a lot of other options than driving to BART - depending on where you end up. There seems to be a misconception about this. You may live in an area by a bus that goes to BART or you could carpool to BART. Also, one little-known option is that you can usually buy daily BART parking passes (through ''Select-A-Spot'') - more expensive than the monthly pass, but much more obtainable. Also, wherever you end up looking, you should research BART alternatives, AC Transit has Transbay buses that go directly to SF from many parts of the East Bay. You may also have a ''Casual carpool'' spot near you and also there is the ferry. As an example, I live in Alameda. I used to take the Transbay O or W bus into SF, but now I live near the 51A bus that takes me right to the Fruitvale BART station. I also could take the ferry or casual carpool. Good luck! East Bay transit rider

It took me over 4 years of actively being signed up on the Walnut Creek reserved parking list--to finally get my permit there! (But one bright spot: there are a lot of professional office buildings around there, so you could just pay for monthly parking within blocks of that station, if you want guaranteed parking while you begin your waiting game.) Actually, that's what I did for a few months back in the day, until a friend put me in touch with her friend, who still retained and paid for her coveted WC permit (just in case...), but hardly ever used it anymore. I subleased the thing from her for most of those 4 years of waiting. So add your name to the waitlist NOW--and I would recommend you go ahead and add your name to multiple station reserved parking lists; why not? Some lines move faster than others, the farther away down the line the station is located. Sign up at BART's select-a-spot parking management website. --Waiter

Varies by station but we are talking years. I learned from a friend the premium overflow parking has well over a year wait also. Good luck. ANON

I waited 8 1/2 years to get off the waitlist at Lafayette. park like a rock star now, but it's expensive

Joined West Oakland BART parking lot list in Jan 2015 at 2,100. Now I'm in the 800s but I expect it gets harder as you get closer. I'm crossing my fingers that they decide to build a parking structure! (Although I haven't heard of any such plans, so not getting my hopes up too high.) Wishin' and Hopin'

I live in El Cerrito, and can get unreserved parking at the Plaza station as late as 8:15 if it's not rainy. However, I usually park on the street a few blocks away for free. Anon

Parking at N. Berkeley BART

Sept 2010

I am new to the Bay area and a little confused by the Bart parking options. My station would theoretically be N. Berkeley. I am on the waiting list for monthly parking. My question is, if I get there early enough (which I would), can I just park in any of the numbered spaces and then buy a daily parking pass? Or are these numbered spaces only for people who have a reserved monthly or daily pass? I don't want to reserve the daily pass ahead of time because it all depends on what time I get out the door, if I need Bart parking at all. Plus it seems reserving ahead of time costs $4 whereas buying it on the spot costs $1? Also a little confused on that. In order to make things quicker, do I get an EZ pass or a clipper card (I heard the system is transfering over to all Clipper). Thank you! Confused commuter

For parking at the N Berkeley lot you can generally pay $1 on a daily basis if you get to BART by about 8:00, without buying an advance permit. You park in the section of the lot that is NOT designated ''permit.'' You pay once you are inside the BART station, and either swipe your ez-pass or pay $1 at the add-fare machine (making sure to remember the slot number you parked in.) If you are riding BART on a regular basis it is much simpler to have an ez-pass, as it works for both your BART fare and your parking if you link the two bills together, which you do on the BART web site. It also refills automatically, so you really don't have to worry about it unless you have to change credit cards. It also avoids the ''de-magnetization'' of the paper BART tickets. I've only had two or three problems over several years with the ez-pass card - mostly with incorrect credit for paying for parking, while I had nearly monthly problems with the paper tickets, which demagnetize regularly. I used to save them up until I had a couple hundred dollars worth and then send them in for a refund.

I only buy the $4 advance parking permit if I'm going to get to the lot after 8:30 and before 10:00. This has to be done online, and you place the one-day permit on your dashboard. In that case you can park in the ''permit'' part of the lot. BART guarantees you a spot in that section of the lot until 10:00 am if they sell you a $4 parking permit. Between 8:00 and 8:30 is a bit of a crap shoot, but I seldom arrive during that time, and have always found a space in the lot or within a few blocks of the station. Just be careful not to block anyone's driveway, and to check the signs to make sure a local parking permit is not required.

With regard to ez-pass versus Clipper, my understanding is all Bay Area transit will convert to Clipper at some point, but right now, it is not possible to pay for BART parking with your Clipper card, so you would have to have two transactions, one for your BART fare, and a separate one to pay for parking. Consequently, I haven't made the switch, although I would like to because I sometimes use Muni in San Francisco and it would be nice to be able to use the same card.

Hope this helps. BART rider

When does the Lafayette BART lot fill up?

March 2003

I will be returning to work soon and will commute from the Lafayette station to the City. I am trying to plan dropoff time for my son's daycare. Can anyone tell me when the Lafayette BART parking lot fills in the morning? Thanks in advance!!
mom returning to work

I have found that you have to get to Lafayette Bart by 8:15am (sometimes earlier on Mondays) to get a place. The time has moved earlier I think because of the new plan to get people to pay for reserved spots, setting aside spots that are usually in the free-for-all area. There is on-street parking on Oak Hill Rd for $5 per day that I have used later in the morning and have had no trouble getting a spot. The only other option is the 10:00am parking area.

What time do I need to get there to get a parking space?

Feb 2000

BART parking: Apologies if this is not the right forum for this: my East Bay job is (sadly) becoming an SF job. Can anyone tell me what time one needs to arrive at the following BART stations to be able to get a parking space? MacArthur, Rockridge, West Oakland. Thank you. Jared

There are lots at the West Oakland BART where you can get in as late as 9 (cost approx. $5) or sometimes even later. The "Allright" lot is the biggest (but in rainy weather be sure to wear boots - it turns into a swamp) but there are also smaller lots directly across the station on 7th Street. Fran

My husband parks at West Oakland and had this to say: For West Oakland:

  • Bart parking lot - arrive by 6:15 AM
  • Street parking - arrive by 6:45 / 7:00 AM
  • Commuter parking lot ($2) - arrive before 7:30 AM
  • Private, parking lots ($4.50) - arrive by 7:45 / 8:00