Commuting from Alameda to the South Bay/Peninsula

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Alameda to Redwood City commute

Nov 2014

Do you commute from Alameda to Redwood City? Have you in the past? What's it like, and how long does it take? I have heard the East Bay to South Bay commute is a nightmare in general but not sure how bad Redwood City is. Right now my commute from Alameda into SF takes an hour door to door on public transit so I am wondering how that would compare. Anon

You should budget over an hour by car on normal commute days, and 'you can't get there from here' by public transit. techie

I've done the Oakland to Redwood City commute and I'm not gonna sugar coat it - it's terrible. On the best day it was an hour - but usually 1.5 each way. The morning usually better than the commute home. 880 is generally always bad, 92 can get backed up. If you can get someone to carpool with you that will help and save a lot of time. Sometimes I would pick up carpoolers, drop them off in SF then go down 101. If you can get on the road by 4:30, that helps too. Load up on audio books, and podcasts - it helps! Good luck! fellow commuter

My husband, who has commuted from Alameda to Oracle for years (thankfully mainly telecommutes) says you can count on 1.5 hours each way during peak times. There are multiple choke points - 880, the San mateo Bridge and then the 101. If you can off shift your hours, you can reduce that time.

A transit option is to take Bart to Hayward and the M bus or the new east bay ferry to the peninsula. Commuter spouse

Alameda to Fremont commute

July 2012

Hi all, We are planning a move to the bay area from Seattle. My husband will be working in Fremont but I will be at home with our two little kiddos (2 & 4 mos) for a few months before looking for work myself. I think Alameda would be a great fit for us but we are somewhat concerned about the commute for my husband. He really wants to maximize his time at home so an hour drive each way would be out of the question. A friend in the area told us she thought this would actually be a pretty reasonable commute but I thought I would check in to see if anyone here makes that same commute or has any thoughts on the matter. We have investigated the BART which would work fantastically if not for the hour-long bus ride from the BART station in Fremont to his office. Any input is much appreciated! Jen

I've done the Alameda to Fremont commute... I'm sorry, but it can be gruesome at times. The only viable route is I-880, and it is a busy freeway, with many trucks (they can't use I-580) and gets a lot of wear and tear, resulting in potholes.

Southbound I-880 congests quickly in the morning, south of the I-238 split, and then it's tough slogging through Hayward, Union City, etc.

If you're going all the way down to South Fremont, bordering on Milpitas, you bump into another bad stretch of people heading deeper into the valley - San Jose, etc.

And there are few alternative options - for much of the the way, there are no frontage roads to escape on to. An accident that closes a couple of lanes can cause horrendous backups.

Spend some time over the course of a week or two tracking traffic on I-880 on KCBS:

You might also consider living in Fremont near BART - many of the same good attributes of Alameda, but a shorter driving commute, and you can easily get BART into S.F. or Oakland for visits, your own job, etc. Road Warrior

The Alameda to Fremont commute is a tough one. Would your husband be able to off-shift and avoid peak commute hours? That will be key to making it viable for your family. Also, there is a carpool lane -- if your husband can buddy up with someone.

The I-880 corridor is always congested: there are two major bridges that it feeds (San Mateo and Dunbarton), which create back-up -- when there is an accident on one of the bridges it is even worse. Plus, this is the main corridor for people going from the East Bay to jobs in Silicon Valley (San Jose, etc).

If you want to check traffic conditions yourself, go to and you can see current driving times, as well as calculate other driving times ( - 'Get Driving Times'). I was always given the advice that when figuring out a commute, try it yourself in rush hour-- this site lets you do this without sitting in traffic.

Good luck! I live in Alameda and it is a wonderful community. But the first few years here, my husband had a similar commute (I-880 to San Mateo Bridge) and there were many times he got stuck in traffic. Marie

I teach in Fremont, live in Alameda and can tell you from experience the commute on 880 is horrible. I have been rearended twice, and the few times I drive now, plan on it taking an hour due to the stop and go traffic. I am now taking BART and then biking to school. If he can find a carpool, it would be easier. rachel