Public transportation is generally good in San Francisco and in the surrounding Bay Area. There are buses, streetcars, cable cars, trains, and ferries that transport people throughout the San Francisco Bay. As soon as you arrive, be sure to purchase a copy of the “Official San Francisco Street & Transit Map”, available at the UCSF Bookstore in Millberry Union on the Parnassus campus for approximately $2. This map is very detailed and outlines the routes of every mode of transportation within the city. You can also check the websites listed below for trip scheduling and maps.
San Francisco Municipal Railway (MUNI)
24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
The MUNI system includes streetcars (trains), buses, and cable cars that run within the city of San Francisco. These are all surface lines except for streetcars, which serve both the street level and underground level of Market Street downtown. You must have the exact change. Please remember to always get a transfer (ticket) from the driver when boarding buses and overground streetcars, or from a vendor when passing through turnstiles at underground stations. Passengers who are caught riding MUNI without a transfer may be fined at a starting price of $75. Transfers are valid on any MUNI mode of transportation for no longer than 90 minutes.
Monthly MUNI fast passes are sold at the following UCSF outlets:
Mission Bay Campus:
Parking Transportation Services Cashier Office: located on the 1st Floor of the parking garage on Owens Street
Parking Transportation Services Cashier Office: located on the G level, Room 26.
Passes go on sale the last week of the month for the following month. Weekly and daily passes are also available.
Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART)
BART is a subway-type system that serves the entire Bay Area. Stops include the San Francisco Airport (SFO), Daly City, downtown San Francisco, and East Bay cities such as Oakland, Berkeley, Fremont, Richmond, and Concord.
BART runs seven days a week. Fares vary according to the distance to be traveled. When you enter a BART station, you must buy your ticket from a ticket machine before boarding. You will receive a small card which you will then insert into a machine marked “enter.” Remember to keep it until you arrive at your destination. When you leave the BART station, you insert the card again in the machine marked “exit.” If there is any money left on your card, it will be returned to you, otherwise, the machine will keep your card. Children 12 years old and under are eligible for special discount tickets available at BART stations. No monthly passes are available, but you may buy prepaid cards at Millberry Union Bear Snacks Store on the UCSF Parnassus campus. Please check the website for additional vendor locations. BART tickets are also on sale at the UCSF Cashier. The BART system travels from Daly City to the East Bay. For more information, contact the Campus Transportation Services Office at (415) 476-1511 to obtain maps and schedules.
All BART stations and trains are wheelchair accessible. All MUNI rail stations, some rail street stops, and several bus routes are also wheelchair accessible. For more information about wheelchair accessible MUNI transportation, call (415) 923-6142. People with disabilities can obtain a Regional Transit Connection Discount Card.
The monthly paper passes are transitioning to the Clipper. The Clipper card is a convenient and secure way to manage your Bay Area transportation fares and transfers in an easy-to-use, all-in-one, reloadable card. Currently, the Clipper card is accepted on all MUNI vehicles, including cable cars for monthly pass holders, BART, AC Transit, VTA, SamTrans, Cal Train, and Golden Gate Transit and Ferry.
For additional information and how to obtain a Clipper card, please visit:
Cal Train is a high-speed diesel rail service that serves the peninsula from San Francisco to San Jose. The San Francisco Cal Train terminal is located at 4th Street and Townsend Street. The fare varies depending on the distance traveled. Monthly passes are available and are also priced by zones. For daily commuters, the cost of a monthly pass provides substantial savings. For fare prices please visit the website.