Getting to SFO and using the SFO AirTrain
SFO is my primary home airport and parking at the airport ranges from an exorbanant $18-45 per day depending on the area you choose to park (http://www.flysfo.com/to-from/parking). Over the past few years I’ve taken CalTrain, parked at Millbrae BART, ridden SuperShuttle and utilized Uber car service to reduce my cost.
$5 each way from Palo Alto to Millbrae + $4.25 Millbrae to SFO via BART
Roundtrip based on a weekend trip: $18.50 plus cost to get to Caltrain
Pros- No driving, Work while on the train
Cons- Need to find parking or live near a Caltrain station, Trains can be limited and slow
Parking at Millbrae BART:
$6.50 per weekday bookable via APLT permits by clicking the link above (weekends & holidays are $0) + $4.25 each way to/from SFO via BART
Roundtrip based on a weekend trip: $8.50 plus cost to get to Millbrae
Pros- BART runs often, covered parking garage
Cons- You have to drive to Millbrae which might have heavy traffic during rush hour
$26 each way from Palo Alto to SFO (search Google for discount codes)
Roundtrip based on a weekend trip: $52
Pros- Door-to-door service, can prebook in advance, excellent option for long trips (7+ days)
Cons- Can make multiple stops to pickup other passengers, traffic has an impact
$60 each way via UberX (as of Nov 2013)
Roundtrip based on a weekend trip: $120
Pros- Fastest method, comfortable, door-to-door service
Cons- Can’t prebook in advance, most expensive
The best option in my opinion is parking at Millbrae BART based on the value of my time and out of pocket cost. One major benefit is that if you are taking a weekend trip the parking costs nothing. They don’t charge for parking from 3PM Friday until 2AM Monday.
SFO AirTrain is the best way to get around between terminals, the rental car center, parking garages and BART. There are 2 lines (blue & red) which operate in opposite directions. It’s a free service. More details can be found here: http://www.flysfo.com/services-amenities/getting-around-sfo
Tip: If you are arriving at Terminal 2 which houses Virgin America and American then you can take the Blue line to BART which is 1 stop faster than the Red line. All the signs state to take the Red line but it takes longer.
Stay tuned for my post on SJC (San Jose Airport), my secondary home airport.