Archived Q&A and Reviews
- BART Parking in the East Bay
- Parking at N. Berkeley BART
- When does the Lafayette BART lot fill up?
- What time do I need to get there to get a parking space?
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
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
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.
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