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Commuting to and from Alameda

Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Working & Careers > Commuting to and from Alameda

Alameda to Fremont commute?

July 2012

Hi all, We are planning a move to the bay area from Seattle. My husband will be working in Fremont but I will be at home with our two little kiddos (2 & 4 mos) for a few months before looking for work myself. I think Alameda would be a great fit for us but we are somewhat concerned about the commute for my husband. He really wants to maximize his time at home so an hour drive each way would be out of the question. A friend in the area told us she thought this would actually be a pretty reasonable commute but I thought I would check in to see if anyone here makes that same commute or has any thoughts on the matter. We have investigated the BART which would work fantastically if not for the hour-long bus ride from the BART station in Fremont to his office. Any input is much appreciated! Jen

I've done the Alameda to Fremont commute... I'm sorry, but it can be gruesome at times. The only viable route is I-880, and it is a busy freeway, with many trucks (they can't use I-580) and gets a lot of wear and tear, resulting in potholes.

Southbound I-880 congests quickly in the morning, south of the I-238 split, and then it's tough slogging through Hayward, Union City, etc.

If you're going all the way down to South Fremont, bordering on Milpitas, you bump into another bad stretch of people heading deeper into the valley - San Jose, etc.

And there are few alternative options - for much of the the way, there are no frontage roads to escape on to. An accident that closes a couple of lanes can cause horrendous backups.

Spend some time over the course of a week or two tracking traffic on I-880 on KCBS:

You might also consider living in Fremont near BART - many of the same good attributes of Alameda, but a shorter driving commute, and you can easily get BART into S.F. or Oakland for visits, your own job, etc. Road Warrior

The Alameda to Fremont commute is a tough one. Would your husband be able to off-shift and avoid peak commute hours? That will be key to making it viable for your family. Also, there is a carpool lane -- if your husband can buddy up with someone.

The I-880 corridor is always congested: there are two major bridges that it feeds (San Mateo and Dunbarton), which create back-up -- when there is an accident on one of the bridges it is even worse. Plus, this is the main corridor for people going from the East Bay to jobs in Silicon Valley (San Jose, etc).

If you want to check traffic conditions yourself, go to and you can see current driving times, as well as calculate other driving times ( - 'Get Driving Times'). I was always given the advice that when figuring out a commute, try it yourself in rush hour-- this site lets you do this without sitting in traffic.

Good luck! I live in Alameda and it is a wonderful community. But the first few years here, my husband had a similar commute (I-880 to San Mateo Bridge) and there were many times he got stuck in traffic. Marie

I teach in Fremont, live in Alameda and can tell you from experience the commute on 880 is horrible. I have been rearended twice, and the few times I drive now, plan on it taking an hour due to the stop and go traffic. I am now taking BART and then biking to school. If he can find a carpool, it would be easier. rachel

Alameda to San Rafael commute

Nov 2010

We're considering a move to Alameda, but are wondering about the commute. It will be a great/easy commute for me, but my partner works in San Rafael. From Albany, Berkeley, or Richmond it's an easy commute to San Rafael, just over the bridge, as it's against traffic most of the way on the 580, so half hour or so even at 8am. But I'm wondering how much yuckiness is involved in getting from Alameda to the 580 west, through the maze I guess. Not sure if some areas of Alameda would be more advantageous on this front. glad he's doing the commuting, but still

I work in San Rafael, and live in Albany. Definitely not a bad commute, as driving commutes go.

But getting from Alameda to the 80/580 split is a slog. I had to do it from Rockridge for a while and it was really wearying. I think Alameda would be the same or worse, with potential jams and delays getting off the island as well as through the maze. No matter how I did it, it seemed to take forever, and traffic is almost always thick on 80 through Berkeley, at all hours.

Alameda's a nice town, so it may just be worth it...but you are right to be concerned about that commute. Holly

My husband had this commute for awhile. In the morning (because he left very early-- usually no later than 7am) it took 35 minutes to get to San Rafael, providing there were no accidents, and it was not raining. We live closer to the east end so he would use the Park St. Bridge. The ''tubes'' on the West end are OK to use that early in the morning too, but beware: they get *very* backed up after 8am most days, and also after 4:30pm coming back in to Alameda. The afternoon commute was a different matter. It usually took him 45 minutes to an hour to get home, but if there was inclement weather or an accident, it could take much, much longer. Once it took him nearly 2 hours! He now has a job he can get to by using BART, and he's a happier person for it. Kristen

Commuting between Alameda and Lafayette

Nov 2005

We are planning to move next summer to Alameda, and my son currently goes to a preschool (which he loves) in Lafayette. We are considering the possibility of keeping him there after we move. Can anyone give me an idea how long it would take to drive from Alameda to Lafayette - his program is 8:30am to 5pm? We may alternatively take Bart or change preschools altogether, but your input would definitely be helpful. Thanks in advance. Susan

I live in Alameda and both my children went to public preschool here given by the city Parks & Rec dept. You also have plenty of time to look around, ask neighbors, etc. for recommendations. If you're going to move all the way to Alameda, why commute your child? Any online map website will tell you how long it takes to drive there (at least 30 mins. door-to-door), but my question is why come to live in a new community if you're not going to be part of it, use what it offers? The question is not just going to a good preschool here or in Lafayette, but that you will meet families with children your child's age and begin to form friendships and networks among them, which will affect your whole famiy's life here in Alameda for the duration. What will you do when he/she is sick? The fact that your child will be gone from home for 9-11 hours each day is not conducive to taking advantage of your new community, making this a real home where you know people, know the schools, etc. There are so many good home daycare people here, and good preschools, public and private. The only reason I would continue in Lafayette is if you work in Lafayette so you need to be near the child care facility, and you're commuting there anyway. Even still, that's a terribly long day away from home for a child. In Alameda for 13 years
It's a long drive, not only to and from pre-school, but for playdates, birthday parties and other weekend and after-school events. If it were me, I'd really want to meet people in the new community through preschool before my child started kindergarten. Good luck! anonymous
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