Commuter Carpools (Casual Carpooling)
Berkeley Parents Network >
Working & Careers >
Commuter Carpools (Casual Carpooling)
We are buying our first home in San Leandro. My husband and I drive into SF to
commute and always pick
up a carpooler. Are there any casual carpool locations in San Leandro?
new SL resident
I live in northern San Leandro, and as far as I know there
aren't any casual carpools south of High Street in Oakland.
I usually avoid the High Street location (it requires a
left turn and is located at a bus stop so ''parking'' can get
a bit dodgy). On my rare trips into the City these days, I
prefer to use the Fruitvale location. It's easy to exit at
Coolidge, drive alongside the freeway a few blocks, park in
front of the market, and then hop right back onto the
freeway at Fruitvale. There is usually a pretty good flow of
A few months ago, I posted a question asking about carpooling
from Berkeley to SF (specifically, from somewhere close to
Black Pine Circle which is located on 7th street and
University). I received advices that I could take a carpool at
the North Berkeley Bart Station and park my car in the
neighborhood (or even in the Bart's parking lot). I drove to
North Berkeley Bart this weekend to check out where I can park
my car. To my surprise, there are 2-hour only parking signs
just about everywhere in the neighborhood around the Bart
station. Yikes. Did I not drive far enough away from the Bart
station to find unlimited parking space? If you carpool from
North Berkeley Bart Station to SF, could you please share where
you park your car these days?
I checked out the possibility of paying for parking at the Bart
parking lot as well, but the monthly permit is expensive and
one cannot pay the daily $1 parking fee unless one buys the
Bart ticket and gets through the gate (which defeats the
purpose of carpooling).
Any suggestions you have are greatly appreciated
You live at 7th and University? And you want to DRIVE to the N Berkeley
#51 bus runs up University and stops at Sacramento, which is probably
closer than where you would need to park from the BART. It runs about
every 10 or 15 minutes during rush hour. You can check the schedule at
511.org. Save gas and aggravating hunts for a parking space and take
Dedicated bus rider
You need to go a bit further to park more than 2 hours without a permit.
Try heading west from the station down Virginia or Francisco St. Before
the $1 fee was instituted, I could find a space by the time I reached
Chestnut. (This was around 8:30
a.m.) But be mindful of street cleaning days!
Been there, done that
My daughter will start going to Black Pine Circle (7th street
and University in Berkeley) this fall. I would like to drop
her off in the morning around 8:00 and then park my car some
place safe and then take a carpool to work (in San Francisco).
It will be important for the parking place to be accessible
either by BART or by AC Transit from San Francisco so I can get
back to my car in the evening. Could anyone please educate me
on the carpool pick-up places and near-by parking lots in that
I have been using the carpool pick-up location on Pierce which
is around the Albany/Richmond border. I hope that I can find
something a little closer to the school so that my commute
won't be much longer.
Thank you very much
There is a thriving carpool at the North Berkeley Bart, on the
Sacramento side of the station. I don't know about car parking in the
BART lot, but do know that lots of people park their cars on the
unrestricted blocks below the lot which is troublesome for some of the
BART neighbors. However, perhaps BART has a pay to park option. Worth
My daughter is also starting at Black Pine Circle in the Fall, and my
son has been attending for two years. I also commute to SF everyday. The
North Berkeley BART station is a 3 min ride from BPC, and there is a
carpool line there. There are several blocks that have unlimited parking
space within walking distance (two or three
blocks) from the station. I usually park my car around there at 8:30 or
8:45 and I ALWAYS find a place within three blocks of the station
without having to look much.
The earlier you arrive, the easier it is to find a place, at 8 you may
even find a spot in the BART parking lot itself. I usually do not bother
to look there. It is safe and easy (except first Thursday every month,
where most of those above mentioned blocks have street sweeping, and
then it is trickier).
There's a casual carpool web page which you might want to check out:
It lists all the casual carpool spots in the Bay Area.
I think there is a casual carpool right there at University and 6th.
Casual Carpool used to have a website outlining its program and
indicating all pickup points. Surely AC transit returns past that busy
intersection. If not, North Berkeley Bart BPC Mom
These days you can park in the North Berkeley Parking Lot and still take
the car pool in to SF, or BART to SF. The carpool pick up is on
Sacramento Street right in front of the BART station. There is one line
for drop offs around Fremont and Howard (or closer to your work if that
is where the driver is going), and another shorter line for drop offs
around Civic Center. If you find that it is too crowded at 8 am (which
I don't think it will be), you can pay for the reserved lot (monthly ?
or annually?). I'm not sure how that works. The lot is rather safe.
Just use typical good sense, be aware and don't leave interesting items
in view in the car.
On the way home you can take BART or the H or J lines. Check the AC
transit web site. The J stops at Univ. and Sac. The H may be faster.
It comes up Gilman and stops at Hopkins and Sac Commuter Mom
I am trying to find someone to be a passenger on my daily
drive to Mills College and have no idea how to get started.
For background my son and I commute to the Children's
School from Kensington every day arriving between 8:30
and 9:00 and returning between 4:30 -5:15. We'd love to
find someone living in North Berkeley / El Cerrito / Albany
area who could help us take advantage of the carpool lane.
Is there something besides Casual Carpool that helps link
east bay drivers and riders?
Or maybe a message board for Mills students / Faculty /Staff
that I might be able to post on?
Perhaps you know someone who might want to share the
Any tip is greatly appreciated
I work at Mills College and recently saw a posting on our campus email
from a student looking to carpool from El Cerrito... She's given her
permission to me to post her email address, so here it
is. She'd love to hear from you ASAP! (The email
address you posted didn't work, FYI.) Carolyn
I have used the rideshare registration at 511.org:
I received several responses for a difficult Berkeley - Palo Alto
commute. This should be your first resource for finding a carpool.
Check out http://www.rides.org or 511 (or www.511.org).
I'd like to start taking casual carpool into the city, but don't
live a walkable distance to the nearby pickup spots (N. Berkeley
BART or El Cerrito at Central St.) Have others found away
around this? Are there non-permit parking spots near either of
those pick-up areas?
Another question, is casual carpool a pretty reliable way to
commute if you must be in the city by a certain time (i.e. have
to be in class at 9am). Thanks!
I know there are untimed spots within walking distance of both
N. Berk and the El Cerrito pick-ups. It may be three to four
blocks, but they are safe. I always found the carpool to be
very reliable for riders, and used it for about a year. Another
alternative that I really liked is the trans-bay bus, if it is
more convenient. Very good/new buses and a view crossing the
The carpool pickup spot at Claremont and Hudson (near Rockridge
Bart) has quite a bit of street parking and usually plenty of
cars waiting. Only bad thing is that it's not on the Richmond
line for coming back.
Is there a web site that tells where the carpool pick up places
are to travel into the City? I have been picking up passengers
across from Grand Lake Theater for eight years, but need to change
my travel route because I am dropping off my daughter at school at 43rd
and Shafter in Oakland.
Try www.transitinfo.org. They will link you to the
For updated info on casual carpool sites in the East Bay,
It will give you all kinds of info not only the
carpool pickup spots but also what highways have
commuter lanes and how many persons per car are needed etc.
[Editor note: URL updated Aug 2003]
I am not quite sure where 43rd and Shafter is, but there is a pick-up spot
on Fruitvale Ave. next to ALbertsons right off of 580.I had to change
carpool spots as well since my son started Kindergarten and I just found
The closest car pool pick up I'm aware of is at the corner of
Claremont and Hudson (just a few minutes from 43rd and Shafter). Just
continue straight up Shafter, cross 51st, go a few more blocks and
make a left on Hudson. You'll see the cars lining up on Hudson but it
usually moves pretty quickly. There is also an express SF bus stop
across the street.
this page was last updated: Jul 31, 2010
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website: BerkeleyParentsNetwork.org
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 © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network