Commuting on BART
Berkeley Parents Network >
Working & Careers >
Commuting on BART
Has anyone figured out which is the most efficient downtown SF
transfer point to go from the BART train to MUNI underground?
I'm going to start a new commute and will need to transfer
either at Embarcadero, Montgomery, Powell or Civic Center to the
J MUNI train, and hoping someone can share any thought they've
put into figuring out if any one station works best.
Civic Center. For two reasons.
BART trains generally run faster than MUNI Metro. So, on the way
to SF, if you stay on until Civic Center, you might overtake a J
car that you would miss if you transferred at Embarcadero. In
the other direction, if you stayed on until Embarcadero, you
might get overtaken by a BART train that you could have taken had
you transferred at Civic Center, so that is why you should
transfer at Civic Center on the way home.
As a bonus, you will almost always get a seat on BART on the way
home by getting on at Civic Center. I don't think that there
will be a difference as far as getting a seat on the J if you
transfer at Embarcadero or Civic Center in the morning.
My experience from back when I lived and commuted in the city is
that you want to transfer at the earliest possible point. This
will allow you to potentially get a seat on your second train. If
you delay 2 or 3 stations whichever transportation you get on
last has a chance to fill up. You shouldn't have too much trouble
once you get to the J in the morning as it will be a reverse
commute, however it could be a big factor in whether or not you
get a BART seat on the way home. -- former muni rider
Depending on the time of day you are commuting, I would recommend the
Embarcadero. The station can be very crowded, but you are at the
beginning of the line for MUNI. You are more likely to get a seat, or
more importantly get on a train. During busy commuting hours trains fill
up and it can be hard to even get on one. On the way home you may want
to transfer at the Civic Center station to get on the BART before it gets
to the more crowded stops.
My theory is that since BART is faster, take it as long as you can and
then transfer to MUNI. I transfer at Civic Center all of the time and
always get a train within minutes. I haven't transferred at the other
stations, but I imagine they come quickly there as well.
When going westbound BART to Muni, transfer at Embarcadero.
When going eastbound Muni to BART, transfer at Civic Center.
You are more likely to get a seat in each direction if you transfer at
the earliest possible station.
I would transfer at Civic Center. I think the transfer would be
equivalent at any of the downtown stations, but the BART trains generally
are faster than the MUNI trains so I think its best to stay on the BART
train as long as possible. On the way back, switch as early as possible
to BART because they go faster. Chris
I make this trip (BART-MUNI/MUNI-BART) in some form or another
daily. In the morning make your transfer from BART to MUNI's J
line at Embarcadero; in the evening make your transfer from
MUNI to BART at Civic Center. This is the best way to ensure
you get a seat.
My family is moving to a new place about half-way between the
N.Berkeley BART and the downtown Berkeley BART, and I'm trying
to figure out which one is going to be better to use. Is it
safe to walk through Ohlone Park when it's dark? If I end up
driving to the N.Berkeley BART station, what time does that
parking fill up? Anyone have a preference for either of those
two stations, for whatever reason?
looking forward to my new neighborhood
The North Berkeley lot has a section of the parking lot at the northeast corner that
is reserved for people who come after 10 a.m. (You line up in the lot at the south east
corner, and they let you in at 9:55 a.m. to catch the 9:58 Fremont train).
I'd say it's a toss-up. I've lived near both stations. The area
around N. Berkeley is rather deserted at night, and I never felt
too comfortable walking around by myself (though I've done it
many times). There are always more people near downtown Berkeley,
but not always the ones you want to run into. I would not walk
through Ohlone park at night by myself. I don't know about
parking, but I'd probably bike to downtown berkeley -- they have
bike parking in the station. You should probably try both and see
where you feel more comfortable.
I live west of North Berkeley BART. We do have intermittent
problems with crime around the BART station. In the 18 years I
have lived in this neighborhood there have been several muggings,
''jumpings,'' a few rapes, other random attacks and robberies.
These usually seem to happen within a few days or a week of each
other and then all is calm until another shady character decides
to come to our neighborhood. I do not think walking through
Ohlone park at night is a great idea. It's VERY dark, and there
are lots of places for people to lurk. Okay, I sound paranoid,
but when I was growing up in Berkeley I was never worried about
crime. In the last 18 years, though, I'm a little nervous about
walking anywhere at night. Crime has increased dramatically and I
think there are a lot more Big, errant teenagers and wacky
(desparate) adults out there with bad attitudes, a lot of
bravado, and apparently nothing to lose.
If I had some form of transportation I'd probably go with North
Berkeley because you can park there. If I had to take public
transit from Bart to home, I'd go with the Downtown Berkeley
Station, which has much more lighting, busy bus stops and a lot
more traffic so it feels, and probably is, safer. That's not to
say that things don't happen on Shattuck Avenue, but at least
there are places to go into if you suspect you will be the target
of malice, and it's closer to BPD.
If you are a woman, I strongly advise you not to risk walking
from the N. Berk. Station at night alone. There's no point in
making a target of yourself, and we have had a recent (and I
think still at large) rapist on Delaware (at San Pablo), the main
route to and from San Pablo Ave. and the BART station.
To tell you the truth, I almost never walk in this neighborhood
at night anymore without a man with me, even with my 80 pound
bulldog at my side, and I'm really not very timid.
Ohlone park is relatively calm at night, but isolated. Some find
downtown Berkeley creepy at night, but it is busy and active.
You'll really have to try both. If you can bicycle your choice
is similarly split: there's free secure parking downtown (
http://www.bikestation.org/ ), but the streets are less crowded
to North Berkeley. Bike theft is very high at North Berkeley BART.
I will be returning to work soon and will commute from the
Lafayette station to the City. I am trying to plan dropoff time
for my son's daycare. Can anyone tell me when the Lafayette
BART parking lot fills in the morning? Thanks in advance!!
mom returning to work
I have found that you have to get to Lafayette Bart by 8:15am
(sometimes earlier on Mondays) to get a place. The time has
moved earlier I think because of the new plan to get people to
pay for reserved spots, setting aside spots that are usually in
the free-for-all area. There is on-street parking on Oak Hill Rd
for $5 per day that I have used later in the morning and have
had no trouble getting a spot. The only other option is the
10:00am parking area.
Hi, I am hoping that folks might have experience walking home
from N.Berk BART late at night and have a general feel for the
safety of the neighborhoods around Sacramento St. We're looking
to buy a house there and would be walking (slowly) to/from with
baby. thnx so much.
I live just east of the BART station on Delaware and I've never
felt ill at ease walking home in the dark.
I don't have any direct experience here, but you should go to
the police department and look up their crime reporting stats.
They are also on-line, back to last Summer at
. Good luck.
I used to live on Dwight at Sacramento, about 7.5 years ago. I loved the
neighborhood and I felt very safe there. I walked to BART regularly, and,
when I worked as a bar tender, I would walk home from downtown Berkeley
(BART was closed, so I took the bus) and NEVER had any problems. The bad
areas seem to be further south, around Ashby. North Berkeley around the
BART station is very nice, or it was when I was living there. I would love
to live there again!
Fan of N. Berkeley
BART parking: Apologies if this is not the right forum for this: my East
Bay job is
(sadly) becoming an SF job. Can anyone tell me what time one needs to
arrive at the
following BART stations to be able to get a parking space? MacArthur,
West Oakland. Thank you. Jared
There are lots at the West Oakland BART where you can get in as late as 9
(cost approx. $5) or sometimes even later. The "Allright" lot is the
biggest (but in rainy weather be sure to wear boots - it turns into a swamp)
but there are also smaller lots directly across the station on 7th Street.
My husband parks at West Oakland and had this to say:
For West Oakland:
Bart parking lot - arrive by 6:15 AM
Street parking - arrive by 6:45 / 7:00 AM
Commuter parking lot ($2) - arrive before 7:30 AM
Private, parking lots ($4.50) - arrive by 7:45 / 8:00
this page was last updated: Apr 7, 2009
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network