By Alex Eisenhart | @AlexOnTransit
As we enter the busiest travel season of the year, both on the roads and at 35,000 feet in the air, we want to remind travelers about the public transportation services available along the Peninsula and South Bay that can make your holiday season a little less stressful.
Holiday Bus & Train Schedules
Christmas Eve – Monday, December 24, 2018
Caltrain and SamTrans will provide regular weekday service.
Christmas Day – Tuesday, December 25, 2018
Caltrain will provide holiday service on Christmas Day between the San Francisco and San Jose Diridon stations, including two northbound and two southbound bullet trains. Shuttle bus service will operate between the San Jose Diridon and Tamien Caltrain stations. Trains will not provide service south of San Jose.
SamTrans will operate a regular Sunday service schedule on Christmas Day.
New Year’s Eve – Monday, December 31, 2018
Caltrain will operate a special event service in addition to regular weekday service to accommodate the New Year’s Eve fireworks show in San Francisco. The last train will depart San Francisco station at 2 a.m. early morning on January 1, 2019. Caltrain service will be FREE after 8 p.m.
SamTrans will operate a regular weekday service schedule on New Year’s Eve. Buses will be FREE after 8 p.m.
New Year’s Day – Tuesday, January 1, 2019
Caltrain will operate a holiday schedule, which includes two northbound and two southbound bullet trains and shuttle bus service between the San Jose Diridon and Tamien stations. Trains will not provide service south of San Jose.
SamTrans will operate a regular Sunday service schedule on New Year’s Day.
Getting to the Airport
For folks flying in or out of the Bay Area for the holiday season, there are plenty of public transit options to get you to and from SFO and SJC. Keep in mind that if you’re flying out of SFO early in the morning and the train schedule can’t get you to the airport in time, some SamTrans routes can accommodate such departure times.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
Since the launch of SamTrans’ Route SFO in June, taking Caltrain to the Bay Area’s largest international airport just got a whole lot easier. Simply take Caltrain to the Millbrae station (a regular stop for all bullet trains) and walk across the platform to the bus terminal along El Camino Real. Follow signs for Route SFO.
If Caltrain isn’t a viable option, SamTrans offers an array of bus routes to the airport from San Francisco and the Peninsula. For folks in San Francisco and North County, routes 292, 397 and 398 can get you to the airport from the Financial District at Mission & 1st going south along Highway 101 through Brisbane and South San Francisco. Central and South County residents can also take these routes from as far south as Palo Alto. These routes include early morning, mid-day, and late night service.
#ProTip: For those who need to drive to the airport, consider parking at the Millbrae station and riding Route SFO into the terminal. BART does not charge for parking at the Millbrae station after 3 p.m. on weekdays and it’s free weekends and holidays. You’d be surprised how much money in parking fees that can save you compared to parking at the airport.
San Jose International Airport (SJC)
Thanks to our partnership with VTA, taking the train to SJC is both easy and affordable.
Take Caltrain to the Santa Clara station and transfer onto VTA’s free Airport Flyer bus for service to San Jose International Airport daily from 5 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Buses depart every 15 minutes on weekdays and every 30 minutes on weekends. Check Caltrain’s latest service schedule to plan your trip to and from the airport.
Alex Eisenhart is a public affairs specialist with the San Mateo County Transit District’s Communications Department.