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Most visitors arriving by plane choose to fly into
Oakland International Airport
(OAK), a relatively compact facility with two terminals served by several air carriers, most major rental car
agencies, and several public transit lines. Oakland is also accessible from San Francisco International Airport (SFO); refer to the San Francisco Arriving & Departing page for more information.
OAK has a consolidated car rental facility located a few minutes from the airport terminal. After exiting the terminal, walk across the street to the 4th island and take one of the free marked shuttle buses. Buses run every 10 minutes through the day, with on-demand service during overnight hours. The shuttle's one-way travel time is less than 10 minutes.
To reach Oakland, San Francisco, and elsewhere by public transit, you have two options:
1. After exiting the terminal, walk across the street and upstairs to the BART station entrance. The automated people mover runs every 5 minutes during the day (every 10-20 minutes during early morning and late evening hours) and goes directly to the nearby Coliseum Station in 8 minutes. Once you reach Coliseum Station, pay your fare (at the ticket machines using cash or credit/debit cards) and then continue your journey via BART's regular trains. Trains bound for Daly City serve San Francisco; trains bound for Richmond serve downtown Oakland.
2. After exiting the terminal, walk across the street to the 4th island and catch an AC Transit bus. Route 73 runs every 15 minutes throughout the day (every 30 minutes late at night) to the nearby Coliseum BART Station before continuing on to an unappealing part of Oakland. Compared to BART's people mover, the bus trip is longer (12 minutes instead of 8) and cheaper ($2 instead of $6). Buses are never crowded, and although they do not have luggage racks, luggage is permitted.
Other bus routes serving OAK include Route 21, which runs every 30 minutes to Alameda, and Route 805, which provides overnight service to Coliseum BART Station and downtown Oakland when BART and other bus routes are not in service.
Taxis, Shuttles & Limos
OAK has a plethora of permitted taxis, shuttles, and limos. After exiting the terminal, walk to the 2nd island to hail a metered taxi. Note that rates from the airport include special surcharges, and fares for passengers traveling to San Francisco will include the cost of the Bay Bridge toll. Taxis theoretically take credit cards, but cash (small bills) is recommended.
Shuttles and limos should be arranged in advance to avoid unnecessary waiting time, either for other paying passengers to board or for a vehicle to be dispatched, as OAK is not as busy as SFO.
Transportation network companies (Uber and Lyft) can be requested via smartphone once you exit the terminal. Drivers are authorized to pick up passengers across the street on the 2nd island only, so be sure to wait there rather than directly outside the terminal. However, drivers are allowed to drop off passengers curbside. Availability is very good at OAK and throughout the Bay Area; it is best to "shop around" to pick the cheapest and quickest option.
Intercity train service is provided by Amtrak, and Oakland has two stations. The main station, located at the south end of Jack London Square, is served by all trains on the Capitol Corridor, San Joaquin, and Coast Starlight routes. The second station, located across the street (via footbridge) from the Coliseum BART Station, is served only by select Capitol Corridor trains.
The Jack London Square station has a waiting room, ticket agents, and taxi stand. It is easy to request a ride from any of the three TNC's, and AC Transit Routes 58L, 72, and 72M terminate nearby. The ferry to San Francisco picks up from the dock on the north side of Jack London Square, which is a few blocks from the train station along the waterfront pedestrian street.
The Coliseum station is unstaffed. AC Transit buses can be caught on the main road between the BART and Amtrak stations, and taxis can be picked up from the stand on the far side of the BART station. All three TNC's pick up from the station, but Uber and Lyft have the best availability in this area.
Megabus and Bolt Bus pick up at West Oakland BART Station. Both services operate to Los Angeles. Megabus also drops off in Burbank en route, while Bolt Bus picks up in San Francisco and San Jose en route. West Oakland BART Station has multiple BART lines, AC Transit bus lines, and a taxi stand, and all three TNC's are readily available in the neighborhood.
Greyhound's Oakland depot is at the corner of San Pablo Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Way. The bus depot is a short walk away from the 19th Street/Oakland BART Station and most Uptown attractions. AC Transit Routes 18, 72, and 72M stop
on the street outside of the bus depot. The area
immediately surrounding the Greyhound depot is marginal to the north and west, so it is best to avoid walking around at night unless going to/from Uptown or the BART station (both of which are to the east). Taxis and all three TNC's are readily available in the neighborhood.