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3 College Student

Transportation: Everything is out of the way.

3 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Transportation: Easy not to have a car here.

8 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Transportation: Transportation on campus exists, but most students choose to ride bikes instead.

7 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Transportation: Unless you have your own car or a Zip car, it's quite difficult to get off campus. BART doesn't reach this part of the bay, while CalTrain doesn't offer convenient or flexible locations and hours of running. Campus shuttles are free and efficient, but often have limited hours of service.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Transportation: There are various options for transportation at Stanford. Most people use bikes to get around, but cars can be handy after freshman year. The marguerite (campus bus) is free and can take you into Palo Alto, but most people find it easiest to just bike, since it doesn't usually take more than 15 minutes to do so. If you're interested in going in to San Francisco, the CalTrain is a reasonably priced option and runs until fairly late at night. Most often, though, you will have a friend with a car who can drive you.

2 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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On campus, the only public transportation is the Marguerite Shuttle. Students don’t find this service particularly useful, but a lot of carless freshmen use it to get downtown or to go to the Stanford Shopping Center. Opinions on Bay Area transportation vary. Few students use the buses, but many take Caltrain to get to the airport or to San Francisco. In general, it will take at least an hour to get to the city, and it will cost about $9 round trip. San Francisco itself has great public transit, including MUNI buses and the BART subway system.

The Bay Area has a reasonably developed public transport system, but Stanford is a bit too isolated to take full advantage of it. You can take the Marguerite Shuttle downtown or to the mall, but you can’t get to a standard grocery store. Ultimately, most Stanford students realize the necessity of having a car. You can get by without having one, but expect to spend a lot of time on campus.

Facts & Statistics

Best Ways to Get Around Town
  • Bicycle
  • Car
  • A friend with a car
  • Marguerite Shuttle
Best Ways to Get to the Airport
  • Drive north from campus on Route 101 and get off at the SFO exit. Or take Route 280 North, then follow Route 380 over to the airport. It takes 30 to 60 minutes, depending on traffic.
  • Take a shuttle and be picked up and dropped off right at the airport (costs $25).
  • Take Caltrain from Palo Alto to Millbrae ($5), then take the free shuttle in Millbrae to the airport. It takes about an hour if you time it correctly. Take a shuttle (South and East Bay Airport Shuttle is the cheapest) and be picked up and dropped off right at the airport. It takes about an hour and costs $30.
  • Take Caltrain from Palo Alto to Santa Clara ($5), then take the free shuttle to the airport. Takes about an hour if you time it correctly.
Did You Know?
The Caltrain runs right next to campus. If you want to go to the city, you can take the train; it runs on the hour and is very cheap and convenient if you do not have access to a car.

Safety Escort ServicesWhat's This?

5-SURE (Students United for Risk Elimination)
(650) 725-7873
Daily 9 p.m.-1:45 a.m.

Campus ShuttleWhat's This?

Marguerite Shuttle

This shuttle runs around the perimeter of the Stanford campus, and it also travels out to the shopping mall, the medical park, and other popular areas. Most lines run from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the week. Additional lines run 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. all week, and as late as 2:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. It is free to Stanford students and the general public.

(650) 736-1619

(650) 724-4309 (Lost and Found)

Monday-Friday 6 a.m.-8 p.m.

Saturday-Sunday 6 a.m.-2:30 a.m.

Public TransitWhat's This?

Santa Clara Valley Transport Authority (VTA)

Buses serve the entire Silicon Valley area.

(408) 321-2300

(800) 894-9908

(408) 321-2330 (TTY)

3331 N. First St., San Jose


Train services run along the peninsula from San Jose up to San Francisco.

(650) 508-6200

(650) 508-6448 (TTY)

(510) 817-1717 (information from all other area codes)

1250 San Carlos Ave., San Carlos

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)

Subways serving San Francisco, Berkeley, and the East Bay areas.

(510) 464-7134 (comments and complaints)

(650) 992-2278 (South San Francisco/San Bruno/San Mateo area phone)

(510) 464-7090 (Lost & Found)

Nearest AirportWhat's This?

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

SFO is located 22 miles north of Stanford.

(650) 821-8211

Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC)

SJC is located about 17 miles south of Stanford. Drive south from campus on Route 101 or 280, and take the exit for Route 87. Follow Route 87 to the airport. Takes 30 to 60 minutes, depending on traffic.

1701 Airport Blvd., San Jose

(408) 392-3600

Nearest Passenger BusWhat's This?


San Jose is about 30 minutes from Stanford.

70 S. Almaden Ave., San Jose

(408) 295-4151

Nearest Passenger TrainWhat's This?


The nearest station is located in Santa Clara at the Great America station, about 15 miles south of Stanford.

5099 Stars and Stripes Dr., Santa Clara

(800) 872-7245

Student Polls

How convenient is the campus-provided transportation?    Based on 83 responses

  • 52% Easily accessible, runs frequently and has many pick-up locations.
  • 33% Somewhat accessible with a schedule that usually parallels class times.
  • 10% Moderately difficult to utilize, the pick-up times and locations are far and few between.
  • 4% Extremely difficult to utilize-it's not reliable nor is it convenient for a student's schedule.
  • 2% Nonexistent.

How necessary is it to have a car on campus?    Based on 82 responses

  • 5% Campus is isolated, so students rely mostly on cars to get them where they need to go.
  • 10% The shuttle/bus service often fails to meet student needs, so a car is very practical.
  • 67% Students usually walk or take the bus, but cars are nice for venturing outside the bus line.
  • 13% Cars are totally pointless. Everything you need is within walking distance.
  • 5% You can't have a car here.

Rate the cost of the following transit options    Based on 39 responses

  • Campus shuttle
  • Public transportation
  • Taxis
  • Zip cars

Rate the convenience of the following transit options    Based on 39 responses

Very convenient
  • Campus shuttle
  • Public transportation
  • Taxis
  • Zip cars

Rate the convenience of long-distance transportation to travel between home and school    Based on 38 responses

Very convenient
  • Airport
  • Passenger bus
  • Passenger train
  • Ride sharing

How easy is it to get around town?    Based on 82 responses

  • 27% Very easy.
  • 48% Fairly easy.
  • 23% Fairly difficult.
  • 2% Very difficult.
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