Traveling to San Francisco

Copyright (c) Constantine Kulikovsky +1(650) 802-8646


San Francisco International Airport was named as the Best Airport in North America based on passenger survey results released in July 2008 by Skytrax, the aviation industry’s leading independent quality research organization.

SFO ( offers non-stop links with more than 30 international points on 26 international carriers. The Bay Area’s Airport of Choice connects non-stop with more than 65 cities in the U.S. on 21 domestic airlines, including more than six times as many non-stop flights to the New York area than the other Bay Area airports combined.

Number of passengers (data is for 2011): 40,800,352
Ranking in world airports: 12th largest in US/25th largest in World
Longest non-stop flight Sydney (7,412 miles)
Number of US airports served non-stop: 74
Number of weekly nonstop flights domestically: 3564
Number of International airports served non-stop: 31
Number of weekly nonstop flights internationally: 534
People’s Republic of China (HKG/PEK/PVG) 49
Japan (NRT/KIX) 42
United Kingdom (LHR) 38
Germany (FRA/MUC) 31
Most frequent domestic flight: Los Angeles area (74 daily flights)
Second most frequent domestic flight: New York area (38 daily flights)
Third most frequent domestic flight: Chicago Area (30 daily flights)
Fourth most frequent domestic flight Washington DC area (18 daily flights)
Length of longest runway: 11,870 feet
Floor area of the new International Terminal: 1.8 million square feet
Carriers Operating 2012


San Francisco International Airport (SFO) lies just 13 miles south of downtown San Francisco. Approximate time to downtown ranges between 20-30 minutes depending on the time of day and mode of transportation.

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)
Arrive in downtown San Francisco in just 30 minutes for $8.10. See next page for details.

Door-to-Door Van Services
Nearly a dozen door-to-door van services operate from all terminals at SFO. Fares average $15-17 per person.

Taxi service is available from SFO to downtown. Approximate fare to a downtown destination is $40-50. Taxis may add a $2.00 pass-through fee to all airport fares leaving SFO. Voluntary ride sharing for two or more persons with a maximum of three destinations is permitted.

Car Rentals
Auto rental counters are located in the centralized SFO Airport Car Rental Center. Shuttle buses to the Rental Center depart from the Upper Level outside curb every five minutes. The SFO AirTrain (an intra-airport people mover system) provides transportation to the Rental Center.


San Francisco is served by a network of buses, cable cars, street cars and light rail vehicles. There is also the 103-mile Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART) which includes eight San Francisco stations offering service to SFO, the peninsula and the East Bay via a transbay tube.

Bay City Guide 

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA)

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is composed of the San Francisco Municipal Railway and the Department of Parking and Traffic. Muni is one of America’s oldest public transit agencies, the largest in the Bay Area and seventh largest system in the United States. It currently carries more than 200 million riders annually. Operating historic streetcars, modern light rail vehicles, diesel buses, alternative fuel vehicles, electric trolley coaches and the world famous cable cars, Muni’s fleet is among the most diverse in the world.

San Francisco has one of the highest per capita transit riderships in the United States. The fare is only $2; cable car fare is $6. Route information is published on the Web site or may be obtained by calling 311. Tickets may be purchased in bulk; however, there is no discount.

Cable Cars
Cable cars operate along three routes: the Powell-Hyde line which begins at Powell and Market Streets and terminates at Victorian Park near the Maritime Museum and Aquatic Park; the Powell-Mason line which also begins at Powell and Market but terminates at Bay Street just three blocks from Fisherman’s Wharf; and the California Street line which runs from the foot of Market Street to Van Ness Avenue.

Muni Metro or Light Rail Vehicles
Muni operates underground downtown and on the streets in the outer neighborhoods. Six lines are involved: J(Church), K(Ingleside), L(Taraval), M(Ocean), N(Judah) and T(Third). Historic streetcars (F-line) operate along Market Street beginning in the Castro District and

Muni Metro or Light Rail Vehicles
Muni operates underground downtown and on the streets in the outer neighborhoods. Six lines are involved: J(Church), K(Ingleside), L(Taraval), M(Ocean), N(Judah) and T(Third). Historic streetcars (F-line) operate along Market Street beginning in the Castro District and

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)

BART provides an easy, comfortable 30-minute ride to downtown San Francisco from San Francisco International Airport (SFOP) or Oakland International Airport (OAK). The rapid transit train service from SFO or OAK to San Francisco is the most convenient, inexpensive and fastest direct to downtown train service in the United States. Riding BART is great for the Bay Area environment and saves attendees time and money too! BART fare from the SFO International Terminal to downtown San Francisco is $8.10. The OAK service from the Coliseum station costs only $6.80 including AirBART.

Convention planners can now purchase blocks of tickets in advance for staff and/or attendees and earn additional revenue. Here’s how the BART Meetings and Conventions Program works:

Group Purchase – Purchase tickets directly from BART and include them in your registration fee. The purchase includes a net 10% fee that is subtracted from the ticket price. The ticket is sold at the regular price to the conference delegates.

Optional Group Purchase – Include BART tickets as an option on your meeting registration form. Tickets are distributed to a select group of attendees. The attendees purchase the tickets in advance and you earn 10%.

BART Support Services

  • – helps attendees plan their trip with a link from your site to ours. The BART website provides fares, train schedules, information on local attractions and directions to hotels from each stations. The site also features basic information about BART in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese (2 dialects), Japanese and Korean.
  • Marketing Inserts – informs your attendees about BART airport services and how to purchase tickets on their own. Insert a BART ad or pamphlet on your meeting website or in materials.
  • Blast Email – is an easy way to tell attendees about taking BART to San Francisco; BART staff will even write copy for you. All you do is send it. Many meeting planners are using email to help members get to San Francisco faster, easier and cheaper on BART.

For meeting planning assistance and information or to purchase BART tickets for your meeting contact: Imara Yokely at

For complete information on airport transit, visit the website for San Francisco International Airport, or visit and click on San Francisco International Airport.

Golden Gate Transit
This bus service links San Francisco to Marin and Sonoma counties via the Golden Gate Bridge.

AC Transit
AC Transit operates the bus service to communities in the East Bay (Berkeley/Oakland, Treasure Island and other cities in Alameda and Contra Costa counties via the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

The San Mateo County Transit District offers bus service from San Francisco to San Francisco International Airport and communities on the Peninsula as far south as Palo Alto.

Water taxis depart from several points around San Francisco and go to the following destinations: Alameda, Larkspur, Oakland (Jack London Square), Sausalito, Tiburon and Vallejo. Excursion service also operates between San Francisco and Alcatraz and Angel Islands. During home games, ferry service is available from AT&T Park.


From San Francisco International and Oakland International Airports, there are frequent and affordable flights to Southern California and other state destinations. Amtrak connects to even more points of interest; shuttles stop at several points in San Francisco including the Westfield San Francisco Centre, Pier 39, Ferry Building and the Hyatt Regency to the Emeryville train depot. Caltrain at Fourth and King streets operates daily to San Jose and points along the Peninsula. A BART connection from San Francisco International at Millbrae connects with Caltrain.