How to ride BART to the airport

With access to world-class international airports, Bay Area travelers are lucky jet-setters. But, if you're not in the know, it's easy to miss out on the tips that could help you start your trip on the right leg.

To help you travel like a first-class passenger—without spending first-class bucks—we’ve put together a complete airport guide to make your trip a seamless one.

It’s easy to ride BART to the airport. You can take the train directly to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Oakland International Airport (OAK). Plan your trip and find fares by using BART’s online Trip Planner.

SFO vs OAK – which is better for your trip?

SFO

  • More flights options than OAK, but often long security checkpoint lines
  • Trip cost: SFO > Embarcadero - approximately $10 and 32 minutes
  • Often flight delays due to fog and rain

OAK

  • Fewer flight options than SFO, but shorter security checkpoint lines as a result
  • Trip cost: OAK > Embarcadero - approximately $11 and 35 minutes
  • Fewer delays than SFO due to its location on the sunny side of the Bay

San Francisco International Airport

The BART station is located outside the International Terminal, a short walk from Terminals 1 and 3.

You can also take the free SFO AirTrain from all terminals directly to the BART station. Follow the signs to the AirTrain and board the train to the BART station.

If you fly into the International Terminal, turn right when leaving customs, and take the escalator up to the departures level. Walk straight ahead and turn left at the art exhibit and you’ll see the station entrance.

To Downtown San Francisco

  • Board an Antioch train to one of the four downtown San Francisco BART stations. From there, it’s an easy walk to most San Francisco hotels and the Moscone Convention Center.
  • Find your hotel on this map of downtown San Francisco.

To Downtown Oakland

  • Board an Antioch train to the 12th St/Oakland City Center station and you'll be right in downtown, a few blocks from Chinatown and Jack London Square.

Returning to SFO

  • If you are in San Francisco, take any SFO-bound train from any station. If you are in the East Bay, you may have to transfer to an SFO-bound train. Use BART’s online Trip Planner for more details.
  • Upon arriving at SFO, go upstairs to take the AirTrain to Terminal 1, 2 or 3 for domestic flights. You can also walk to your terminal without taking the AirTrain. The International Terminal entrance is on the platform level of the station.

Oakland International Airport

The Oakland Airport BART station is located just across from the Terminal 1 baggage claim area and a short walk from Terminal 2.

To/from Downtown Oakland 
Take BART from OAK to Coliseum station. From Coliseum station, transfer to a Richmond-bound train. It takes about 12 minutes to get to the 12th Street/Oakland City Center station, right downtown, a few blocks from Oakland Chinatown and Jack London Square. To return to OAK, take a Warm Springs/South Fremont-bound train to the Coliseum station and go upstairs to transfer to an OAK train at Platform 3.

To/from Downtown San Francisco
Take BART from OAK to Coliseum station, then board a San Francisco/Daly City-bound train to one of the four downtown San Francisco BART stations. From there, it’s an easy walk or short cab ride to most San Francisco hotels and the Moscone Convention Center.

To return to OAK, take a Warm Springs/South Fremont or Dublin/Pleasanton-bound train to the Coliseum station and go upstairs to transfer to an OAK train at Platform 3.

Find your hotel on this map of downtown San Francisco.

Learn more about taking BART after you arrive at Oakland International Airport with this “How-to” video below. 

BART Fare

  • For ease and convenience, we recommend that passengers purchase a regional Clipper card. Clipper cards are like debit cards with stored value. Use the fare calculator to determine how much value to load onto your card. Clipper cards can be used on all major Bay Area transit systems. You also save $.50 per BART trip and get discounts with other transit agencies. 
  • Children 4 and under ride free.
  • Find more information about paying your fare.

BART Schedule

Use the BART Trip Planner to look up BART departure and arrival times.

BART Weekday Airport Service Hours (approximate)

  • Mon-Fri: 5am-11:53pm

BART Weekend Airport Service Hours (approximate)

  • Sat: 6:30am-11:53pm
  • Sun: 8am-11:53pm

Sunday morning, SFO Airport trains from downtown San Francisco start at 8:45am. Please make alternative airport travel plans if you need to catch an early morning Sunday flight.

Luggage and Accessibility

Luggage may be stowed under your seat or held in your lap. Please keep the doorways clear. Some cars have space near the doors to accommodate wheelchairs, bikes or strollers. If the space is not being used, you may store your luggage there, but please keep it under your control at all times.

All BART stations have elevators and extra wide faregates for large luggage and for use by people with disabilities.

Airport/Long-term Parking 

Airport parking can be a hassle and is always expensive, except at BART stations. We offer inexpensive long-term parking at many stations with easy online reservations. Visit the Long-term Parking section for more information.

Want more? Read our article "Visiting San Francisco? Here's how to get around (without a car)".

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