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How to get to Berkeley

There are three routes to Berkeley from Santa Cruz using public transportation. Below are descriptions, listed in order of increasing fares, which range from $5.10 to $25.10, depending on the route and (senior) discounts. Each one takes roughly three hours. You can easily walk (or ride your bike) to the Campanile from the Downtown Berkeley BART station. (The photo above is courtesy of the Haas Business School on the UC campus.)

  1. This is the least expensive (and often the fastest) route. For example, if you leave Santa Cruz at 7:30 a.m. on a weekday, you'll arrive in Berkeley at 10:17 a.m. (2 hours and 47 minutes), with a fare of $13.35 ($5.10 for 65+).
    1. Take the Highway 17 Express to the San Jose Diridon Station. The fare is $5.00 ($2.50 for 62+).
    2. Take the VTA 181 bus to Fremont BART. The fare is $4.00 ($1.00 for 65+). The bus typically runs every half hour on weekdays. Detailed schedule and fare information is available here.
    3. Take BART (the Richmond bound train—not the Daly City bound train) to the Downtown Berkeley Station on Shattuck Avenue. Detailed schedule information is available here. The fare is $4.35 ($1.60 for 65+ using a Clipper card).
  2. Here are details for a second route, which involves a Caltrain link instead of the VTA 181 bus. For example, if you leave Santa Cruz at 7:30 a.m. on a weekday, you'll arrive in Berkeley at 10:39 a.m. (3 hours and 9 minutes), with a fare of $16.85 ($7.80 for 65+).
    1. Take the Highway 17 Express to the San Jose Diridon Station. The fare is $5.00 ($2.50 for 62+).
    2. Take Caltrain to the Millbrae Station. The fare is $7.00 ($3.50 for 65+) for travel within 3 zones.
    3. Take BART to the Downtown Berkeley Station. On weekdays, it will be the Richmond bound train. On nights and weekends it will be the Pittsburg/Baypoint train, involving a timed transfer at 19th Street/Oakland to the Richmond bound train. Detailed schedule information is here. The fare is $4.85 ($1.80 for 65+ using a Clipper card).
  3. Finally here's a third route, which makes use of the Capitol Corridor train. If you leave Santa Cruz at 7:55 a.m., you'll get to Berkeley at 10:52 a.m., a trip taking 2 hours and 53 minutes. The fare for this one is higher, at $25.10 ($18.85 for 65+).
    1. Take the Highway 17 Express to the San Jose Diridon Station. The fare is $5.00 ($2.50 for 62+).
    2. Take the Capitol Corridor train to the Berkeley Station. The fare is $18.00 ($15.30 for 65+). Capitol Corridor schedules are here, and a chart of fares is here.
    3. For the final link, take AC Transit's 51B bus up University Avenue to Downtown Berkeley or beyond. The fare is $2.10 ($1.05 for 65+). The bus goes every 10 or 20 minutes, with schedules here.