Commuting from Piedmont to San Francisco

Parent Q&A

  • Commuting from Piedmont to SF

    (2 replies)

    i work in downtown San Francisco and am hoping to move to piedmont for the schools. I was wondering if someone could help me understand commute options. I understand there is casual carpool in the morning but wondering where you catch it and what hours it happens. Also wondering how you get back to piedmont at night. Really appreciate any information. Thank you!

    RE: Commuting from Piedmont to SF ()

    The casual carpools are on Oakland Avenue and Park Boulevard (the latter if you live toward the southeast end of town). Carpool hours for the bridge are 6-10, and people are in the lines from 6:30-9:30ish. AC Transit has transbay service in the morning and afternoon. AC to BART is possible, too, though longer.

    RE: Commuting from Piedmont to SF ()

    Casual carpool is at the corner of Oakland Avenue and Monte Vista. Seems to be busiest from about 730-830.

    I have enjoyed taking the Transbay bus line, P. Gets you into FiDi/SOMA in anywhere from 20-40 minutes. Return trip is usually closer to 20 minutes.

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Commuting to SF from Piedmont vs. from Orinda

Feb 2006

We are considering moving to either Piedmont or Orinda. I work at San Francisco. How is the commute in the morning and evening? Which one is better, Piedmont or Orinda? What's the best way--driving, bart, carpool, bus(if there's any)? Lisa

Piedmont (where I live now) and Orinda (where I've spent a lot of time in a living-there sort of way) are both great communities. But after experiencing both, I find Piedmont a much easier place to live.

If you're going to drive to SF every day, Peidmont is much easier. Where you get on the highway in Piedmont is one of the last exits before the Bay Bridge, versus Oridna, where you have to suffer through getting through the Caldecott Tunnel and snailing through 24.

But Piedmont also has a great casual carpool going, so if you're going to work in downtown SF you can just catch a ride with fellow Piedmonters and speed right through all the bridge traffic as the car pool lane starts right after the Piedmont highway onramp. Downtown SF in about 15 minutes by carpool.

And for coming home there's a bus that goes straight from downtown SF to Piedmont.

If you want to BART you can buy a parking space at the Rockridge BART station only about a mile from Piedmont.

In contrast, Orinda has it's own BART, though the lot fills up around 9amish. And their carpool shares the same negative as just regular commuting as the carpool lane is far, far from Orinda, so you crawl through a lot of traffic before you get the benefits.

Aside from that, in Oridna you're going to drive EVERYWHERE, and it's kind of a pain because you're sort of out there. In Piedmont, it's 15 minutes to downtown SF (off coummute hours), 15 minutes to the Oakland airport, 10 minutes to the huge shops/malls/theatres of Emeryville, and you can walk to the park, schools, town center, Piedmont Avenue....Let's just say that in Oridna you're always getting on that highway again, and in Piedmont it's like everything you need is right down the street.

But both towns are full of friendly, interesting people, so you can't really go wrong either way. Andrea

Unless you are going to live walking distance from the Orinda BART station, I'd say Piedmont is easier. Getting through that tunnel at rush hour is just brutal. If possible, take the Transbay bus from Piedmont - I used to take it from Montclair to downtown SF and it was wonderful - plush, clean seats (and plenty of them, unlike on BART), many stops so there was one walking distance from my house, and you get dropped off near the Financial District in SF. A lot of days I did the casual carpool to SF in the morning and the bus home. You can find great bus (and other transit) info at - try their TripPlanner at JP

Hi- My husband commutes from Piedmont to San Francisco every day (we are at the Piedmont/Oakland Border area). He takes the Transbay bus (line C or P), and says that is the best way (as long as you are communting between (5:30-8:30 ish in the am & 4:00-7:30 ish in the pm). Go to for specific schedules. Average commute time 30 minutes, but it can vary as traffic varies (both am/pm commutes). We've lived in the Piedmont area for many many years now, so I think we are partial to it. We looked into Orinda when we were house- hunting, very lovely area, but if I recall correctly our main reason was that it would add to hubby's commute time (if that it a consideration). From there I believe it's Bart. I'm sure you'll get some responses from people in the Orinda area! a satisfied piedmont commuter family

I can't speak for Orinda (other than knowing that BART goes there), but Piedmont, depending on where you live, has casual carpool options as well as AC Transit trans-bay bus service. Whether those would work for you depends on where in the city you work. For driving, Piedmont is cleary better, since you only have to deal with the bridge, and not the tunnel.

Check out for various commute options. A transportation geek :)