Monday, December 2, 2013

Visiting UC Berkeley

Visiting UC Berkeley

Here’s some useful travel info if you’re a colleague visiting UC Berkeley.

Hotels within walking distance of campus: Avoids traffic and parking-pass hassles if walking is an option for you.  Here’s a Google Map of suggested hotels within walking distance, including reservations links and phone numbers, also showing the campus itself, the BART (rapid transit) station, and the locations of Soda Hall (Computer Science) and South Hall (School of Information or iSchool).

Hotels you can’t walk to: Next best is to stay within a short cab ride, bus ride, or BART (train) ride, rather than driving.  There are some big-box hotels in Emeryville (Crowne, Doubletree, etc.)

If Armando is hosting you, you can also email for additional hotel advice, and (important) for parking passes if you will be driving to campus (not recommended if you can avoid it).

Driving/GPS: aim for “corner of Hearst and LeRoy, Berkeley, CA”, which is the entrance to Soda Hall.  Pickup your parking pass from Room 565 Soda Hall from Roxana Infante or Tamille Johnson, who will direct you to the parking structures.

Getting here without a car from Oakland International Airport (OAK):

  • Taxi: $50-60; 30 minutes + up to 15 minutes extra if heavy traffic

  • Public transit:  $6;  45 minutes + some walking time.  From the terminal take the “AirBART” shuttle bus ($3) to the BART (rail) station.  Take a Richmond train and get off at Downtown Berkeley (20 minutes).  The Google map linked above shows the location of the Downtown Berkeley BART station in relation to the campus and hotels. Trains run every 15-20 minutes.

Getting here without a car from San Francisco International airport (SFO):

  • Taxi: $85-95; 40 minutes + up to 30 minutes extra if heavy traffic

  • Public transit: $8.80;  55 minutes + some walking time.  Inside the airport’s International terminal is the BART (rail) station.  Trains leave every 15-20 minutes.  Take train marked “San Francisco/Pittsburg/Bay Point” and transfer at 19th Street/Oakland for Richmond train to Downtown Berkeley.  These transfers are timed and should add zero latency to your trip.

Getting here without a car from downtown San Francisco (financial district, Union Square, etc.):

  • Public transit, $3.85: Have your concierge direct you to the nearest BART (rail) station and take a train for Richmond or Pittsburg/Bay Point, whichever arrives first. (After 7pm and on Sundays, the only choice is Pittsburg/Bay Point.)  The Richmond train goes directly to Downtown Berkeley station (on Google map above).  If you took a Bay Point train, transfer at 19th St. Oakland to a Richmond train.  Trains come every 7 minutes during working hours and every 15-20 minutes outside those hours.

  • Public transit, $4.00: If you’re staying very close to the Transbay Bus Terminal (Howard St. between Beale and Main), the “F” line leaves at :10 and :40 after the hour and drops you off right at the corner of Hearst and LeRoy across from Soda Hall.  In light traffic, this is comparable to BART travel time; in heavy traffic, BART is faster but you have to walk from the BART station to Soda or South Hall (~15 minutes).

Getting here from San Jose Intl. Airport (SJC):

SJC is far away, and public transit is possible but takes a really long time. If you’re flying to SJC, rent a car.  Be advised traffic is quite bad at nearly all hours of the day on I-880, the main freeway connecting Berkeley and San Jose.  Travel time is about 1 hour 10 minutes, plus up to 30 minutes extra if heavy traffic.

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