Transit guide overview
Menu buttons in the “Transit guide” tab above lead to pages containing a descriptions of how to get from Santa Cruz to the place shown, using various public transportation modes (usually bus and/or rail), thus avoiding the need for a private automobile. There is also a schedule (updated in March, 2013) of the Highway 17 Express, showing useful Caltrain connections, along with a page describing how our remarkable Highwy 17 Express service was created.
Of course traveling by auto provides some conveniences. You can travel whenever you wish, and it may be the quickest method to get from where you are to where you want to go. You can alter your plans—you are not bound by any schedule.
However, public transportation modes have several advantages:
You don't have to worry about where you are going to park your car. Parking facilities may be scarce and expensive.
You can leave the driving to someone else, and avoid the stress of driving in traffic.
Public transportation modes are statistically safer than driving.
You can catch up on your reading, or use a lap-top for any purpose, or sleep, or simply enjoy the scenery.
You can use your bicycle to extend your range and get some exercise.
You'll reduce your carbon footprint. See this study from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
You'll save a lot of money.
Speaking of saving money, Clipper Cards are now available. They can be used on numerous Bay Area public transit modes—SF Muni, BART, AC Transit, Caltrain, Golden Gate Transit and Ferry, SamTrans, VTA and San Francisco Bay Ferry. Seniors (65+) and youths also benefit with significant discounts, especially on BART. To obtain a discount Clipper Card, you have to apply in person. The closest place is at the VTA Downtown Customer Service Center at 2 North 1st Street (at the intersection with Santa Clara Street) in San Jose. They're open 9 to 6 weekdays. See the above link for more details.