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Rail Transportation

The San Francisco Bay Area is served by Amtrak (national rail service), Caltrain peninsula service, BART light rail on the east side of the bay and VTA light rail services in the southern regions of the bay.

For more information on any of these rail services, click on the name.

Amtrak runs along the San Jose to Oakland corridor and is useful if you will be traveling to or from outside the bay area. Amtrak connects with BART, VTA and Caltrain.

BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) is a light rail system based primarily on the eastern side of the bay. BART crosses the bay to connect to San Francisco and to SFO airport. BART service is available from SFO and OAK airports via a free local shuttle.

Cable Cars run three routes in downtown San Francisco. While popular for a fun ride, they can be a useful transportation option if their limited routes happen to include your destination.

Caltrain serves the San Francisco Peninsula. It extends from San Francisco south to San Jose with commute hours service beyond to Gilroy. Service is provided to SFO and SJC airports via free, local shuttles. A Transfer from Caltrain to BART can be made at the Millbrae station and to San Jose VTA rail at the Downtown Mountain View station.

Muni is San Francisco's transportation system. It includes buses, a light rail system and the cable cars. While locals complain about Muni, it really does a pretty good job of covering the city and will probably serve your needs while visiting.

VTA serves the South Bay including San Jose, Mountain View, Santa Clara and Milpitas. The VTA provides rail, shuttle and bus service. The rail service connects with free airport shuttles at the Metro station and with Caltrain at the Downtown Mountain View station.


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