Commuting from El Cerrito to the South Bay

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Commute/carpool from El Cerrito to Cupertino

March 2016

I just accepted a contract job at Apple and at this point am not eligible to ride the shuttle. So do you know of any creative ways to carpool there from El Cerrito? I would need to leave El Cerrito at 6 a.m. Thanks
Now that's a commute

I don't know about carpools, but based on decades observing Bay Area traffic I'd like to suggest that you actually do leave at 6 am, and try to have an early schedule so that you go home at 3 like many others with early shifts. Former Commuter.

Do you utmost to be able to use the Apple bus. It is really magical as it stops on campus and then you can take the minibus from there to your building. Otherwise, I'd take BART to CalTrain. There must be a way! Try calling the Apple transportation people; they know best. Been There, Done That

Only way is to leave at 5:30 am and get out of Apple by 2:30. Your other option is to leave for Apple at 10:30 or 11 and leave Apple at 7. (But the last couple of times I tried this the there was still traffic. This has to be the worst commute in the Bay Area, I know I did it. Best advice I can give you is to rent an apartment in the south bay and stay there week days. (Hope you don't have any kids.)

I tried CalTrain once. It's an hour to get to SF to catch the train, 15 min walk/bus to the train. Train ride is just over an hour. And then it will take another 15-30 minutes to get to Apple. (If there are no delays it's about 3 hrs. each way.

The tech economy is doing better every day so expect traffic to get much worse.

I hope you are being paid incredibly well as over half of your day or more will be commuting. That's equivalent to a 50% reduction in pay and that's not even including the gas or the 100 miles per day of wear and tear on your car. You'll be filling up about twice a week. ANON

Just wanted to correct some misinformation in one of the previous responses. It no longer takes quite as long to connect to Caltrain from the east bay as it used to. Now, you can take a Millbrae bound BART train, get off at Millbrae, and then it is just a short walk within the the same station to the Caltrain tracks. I imagine the trains are also timed with some of the BART runs so the wait isn't too long,

It is still a long ride: El Cerrito Plaza to Millbrae BART, 1 hour 2 minutes; Millbrae Caltrain to say, Mt. View Caltrain, 30 to 45 minutes depending on type of train; then you have to get to Apple. So not sure if it's practical, but it's not quite as horrible as it used to be.

Probably very expensive as well, don't know if you can get a transit subsidy from your employer.

Cupertino is far away from El Cerrito

Commuting from El Cerrito to San Jose State Univ.

August 2005

My husband will be teaching at San Jose State University in the coming school year. We live in El Cerrito. If he took Amtrack or Caltrans (combined with BART) it would take at least 2 hours each direction. Is there an alternative that folks are using for quicker transportation to SJSU and back? Such as a local carpool that goes to SJSU? Amy

The road commute is a brute, even with carpool. I did it some years ago, and it can be very tiring. I know the train is no picnic either. I'm afraid to say that a lot of people get a room down there - I understand this is not an attractive option, but the strain of the two way commute is too much after a while. Yes, wouldn't it be grand if the geniuses that plan things in this area had thought to put a loop rail system round the bay 40 years ago. Nick

More Recommendations

Nov 2008

RE: Commute from N. Berkeley to San Mateo

I've been doing the El Cerrito to Foster City commute for 3 years now. Whether pursuing public transportation or carpooling, I recommend leaving early and coming home early. I find that getting through the maze either Bay Bridge or San Mateo Bridge bound is best if I go through it before 6:15 a.m. If you take BART, parking fills up fast, so you have to get there early as well. anon

Aug 2005

RE: Public transportation between Oakland and Palo Alto?

I used public transportation to Palo Alto VA when I was doing my residency. I live in El Cerrito. It was long but great for naps. I took Bart from del norte and got off at Union City. From there I took the Dumbarton Express bus to Palo Alto. There's 2 DB buses, the DB will get you to downtown Palo Alto and closer to Stanford. DB1 is better for getting to the Page Mill area and the VA. It took about 1.5-2 hours usually. I always thought going this way was cheaper than going through the city via Caltrain. But it could've been offset by getting Commuter checks through work and using them to get BartPlus tix which gives you a free ride on all buses(samtrans/AC transit/muni), and a discount on dumbarton express. Occasionaly I'd take Samtrans KX to downtown SF then walk a block to BART but I don't remember if this was faster. It all depends what time you get off of work too. Good luck! Cindy