Berkeley to Santa Cruz: a journey via public transportation

For the time being I am continuing to work with my client in Santa Cruz during the two weekends a month that he is in town. I know that it may seem crazy far but I so love public transportation and I am glad to use it.

The night before I was a bit nervous as I planned my trip and drew out maps and notes to myself. This wasn’t my first time doing it but I had tweaked with my route a bit and wanted to have the timing perfect. I was set to leave the house by 10am the next morning.

I decided to ride my bike ride downtown to the Berkeley Bart Station because I had so much stuff and figured it would be the quickest. Also I arranged for a friend to come and pick up my bicycle later so it wouldn’t be there all weekend.

Bart trip from Downtown Berkeley to Powell Street, San Francisco. This costs about $3.50 and you magically end up at Nordstroms. I had money on my Bart card already so this part was easy.

Walk down 4th Street to CalTrains Station. I had a hard time remembering my plan was to get to S.C. because I was lured in by Anthropologie and the Container Store along the way. Also Whole Foods is on 4th – a good place to stop and refuel.

CalTrain trip from San Francisco to San Jose Diridon Station. This was $7.50 and you can pay with your credit/debit card. This is definitely the longest part of the journey (taking 1.5 hours) but the train is comfortable and I have never seen it full. By the time I got to the station I remembered that I needed cash for the bus. Thank goodness they do have an ATM at the Diridon Station.

Hwy 17 bus from Diridon Station to San Cruz metro. $4 cash (one dollar bills are easiest). This took longer than expected because traffic over the hill was slow.

I made it with plenty of time to get to work. The timing went well and I had books to read and my iPod to keep me company. I am not sure that I will enjoy doing this quite as much on the return trip because I will be exhausted from the long weekend, but I appreciate not having to rely on someone else for a ride, or needing a car of my own.

0 thoughts on “Berkeley to Santa Cruz: a journey via public transportation

  1. Do you think if you had a car it would be easier? The time f travel would be cut in half. I am not sure about gas, though. The trip is around 80 miles or so, so for one person it could be comparable in price.

    I guess the hustle and bustle of following a schedule is the real expenditure of energy here. Maybe if you could somehow cut back on how much you carry, such as having a set of clothes in Santa Cruz. Then you could just carry a backpack.

  2. The thing about a car is, you have to factor in car insurance as well.. And that ends up being a couple bucks a day too. Plus you’ve got a financial investment in something that won’t hold its value.

    I own two cars, yet I drive maybe 200 miles a month. I’d rather not need it at all.

  3. There is some stress involved in traveling this way. Missing a connection means more time added to the trip. Financially I think it’s worth it for just me the limited number of times a month that I do it. But honestly, I may not be keeping my job for much longer.

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