How much hassle is the cross-the-Bay commute?
There are great things about both sides of the San Francisco Bay, and you can find effusive residential charm aplenty in both San Francisco and Berkeley. But if the place you want to live is on one side, and your livelihood or education is on the other, what should you do?
If you live in the East Bay, but work in the city, or live in the city, but have a professional obligation in Berkeley, then you know what it takes to do the cross-the-Bay commute. Thousands of people do it every day.
If you’re feeling torn between the two, don’t despair. This is a solvable problem. But you should consider what it takes to get back and forth before you commit to doing so on a daily basis.
Here’s the breakdown:
Live within close proximity to a BART station. The traffic reality of crossing the Bay Bridge is that your number one priority should be avoiding your car. Public transport networks in both cities can get you anywhere you want to go, but if you don’t want to spend time on the bus and then BART, try to live within walkable distance of BART. Taking a bike on BART is doable, though not particularly fun, but if you hate the bus and have too far to walk to home or work it’s an option.
Have a car if you need it. There are going to be times when public transport isn’t the best option for getting across the Bay. BART staff could be striking, the weather might be bad, or your schedule might be unusual. Crossing the Bay Bridge at non-peak traffic times is quite fast and easy. Be sure you have FASTRAK to make it even faster.
Allow the time to get back and forth, with wiggle room. You’ll need to allow about an hour each way in order to do this commute. Probably the most significant hassle of all is the time spent waiting and traveling. Unfortunately, BART is not a bullet train – it does have to stop at each station to let people on and off.
If you are looking for apartments for rent in San Francisco where your work life and outside of work life are in close proximity, check out our rental listings on RENTCafe!