Ch 8—Transportation

With an estimated 12,000 rack spaces, a bike shop, and even a class dedicated to building your own bike, the University makes it easy to live on two wheels. Golf carts are tempting but permitted only for disabled students, conference-staff, and SURE escort-ees. A car is an option for going off-campus, but it’s not very logical (or environmentally friendly) for inner campus travel. The Marguerite works for both on and off-campus transportation and has a helpful website with a live-service map, so you know exactly when the shuttle will arrive at your stop. 



When biking, you won’t get in trouble for not wearing a helmet on campus, but here’s an incentive to wear one: oftentimes in White Plaza on Fridays Parking and Transportation representatives hand out $15 Cardinal Dollar gift certificates to those wearing a helmet. Also BUIs are real, as is the fine for biking without a light at night. Stanford has a TON of stop signs…and the fines are expensive when you don’t stop at them. The police are adamant about upholding this rule and no car (or bike) is safe. Basically, just abide by this rule…besides, it’s safer that way.


S  t  o  l  e  n     B  i  k  e  ?

Try contacting the Stanford Police Station, or (650) 723-9633, for help. Located at 711 Serra St (Campus Dr).


Parking and Transportation Services (P&TS)

(650) 723-9362

340 Bonair Siding

Hours: Mon–Fri 7:30am–5pm

The website above is the site to visit for all things transportation— local to distant, bikes to buses. It provides all kinds of helpful services, including: bike maps and registration information, info on carpools and vanpools, rules on car permits and parking, the EcoPass, which offers free transit via VTA (Valley Transit Authority) to all eligible parties, Marguerite schedules and maps, the Emergency Ride Home Program for freshman, info on Enterprise’s Rent-A-Car and Zipcar, and the Guaranteed Ride Home Program, by which all registered members are eligible for four free rides home via taxi or rental car in the case of an emergency.


511 Transit

An invaluable resource to help you find your way around the Bay Area, this site has traffic updates and driving times, information on ridesharing and resources for biking, a 511 phone option for when you’re on the road, and the TakeTransit trip planner, a free interactive tool that gives you the best public transportation routes.




While freshmen are not allowed to have cars on campus, some dodge this rule by finding an upperclassman with an unused parking pass (shh, you didn’t hear it here). If you do choose to bring your car to campus, though, remember…police are ruthless and quick to write tickets. Parking illegally, even for a few minutes, is a bad idea.

Parking on Campus

Resident student parking is divided into five areas: West, South, East, SJ, and Escondido Village. Each permit is valid only in its area. Parking permits for students living on campus are expensive (over $200 for the academic year). If you have guests over who want to park in a resident student lot, you should provide them with resident student daily permits ($12 each). You can buy these from the P&TS office ahead of time (5 per month). Check out the P&TS website for more details.



Anyone over 18 years old can rent a car from the companies listed


Enterprise Rent-A-Car

(650) 833-8060

360 Oak Road (inside Parking Structure 5, next to the Marguerite Shuttle Office)

This service is ON CAMPUS. They have special rates for Stanford students 21 and older.



(866) 4-ZIPCAR

Here is how it works:

Step #1: Apply for a Zipcar through the P&TS website (rewind to above), and pay a yearly fee (about $35, but you get $35 of free driving with your first year’s membership).

Step #2: Wait about 3 weeks to get your Zipcard in the mail (only have to do this the first time you apply for membership).

Step #3: Reserve a car online for as many hours as you’d like. You can reserve from a few months to an hour before you need the car. There are already 34 cars located all over campus.

Step #4: Drive your car! Simply use your Zipcard to open the car. The key is already in there. Comes clean with full gas. You don’t need to fill it up at the end. When you’re done, just leave the key in the car as you found it. About $8/hr $60/day to feel cool, green-friendly, productive, and not broke.


It turns out that using Zipcar is far cheaper than owning a car if you factor in maintenance, parking permits, gas, etc. While having a car is really convenient, Zipcar is a great alternative.



The Caltrain runs along the peninsula from San Francisco to Gilroy. Newly constructed line extensions connect Caltrain conveniently to BART, and Baby Bullet trains during the week make the commute faster and easier. The Caltrain has double-decker seating, large windows, and offers an inexpensive way to get between Stanford, San Francisco, and San Jose. $14 roundtrip to San Francisco. Bring small dollars or a card because the dispenser returns coins only. The major drawback to using the Caltrain to go to the city: the last southbound train leaves at midnight on Saturday and nine on Sunday.



The Bay Area Rapid Transit system is the closest thing you’ll find to a subway system in the area. BART is efficient, clean, and fast. To get to the East Bay, take the Caltrain to the City, transfer to the MUNI, and then pick up the BART, or transfer onto BART at the Millbrae Caltrain station. Expect the trip to take close to two hours. Alternatively, you can ride the Dumbarton Express to the Union City BART station. Alas, the BART is more expensive than you might expect.



The San Francisco Municipal Railway is the seventh largest public transit system in the United States. What makes the MUNI so unique is the fact that over half of the vehicles are electric. Note: Bring lots of quarters! Bus fare is $2.25, and the drivers don’t make change. Also, on J,K,L,M,N, and S, lines, retain your Proof of Purchase (POP) to show on board. On all buses and on the F-line, always remember to ask for a transfer, or fare receipt, which you can use during the allotted time period to gain entry onto other MUNI buses. Beware: the MUNI system is way more confusing than you might expect.


Airport Transportation

The most popular ways to get to the airport are through a friend with a car or an airport shuttle. Most Stanford students use SuperShuttle; you choose to, you can use the code T9X58 for a student discount, prices usually range from $15 to $30.


Public Transport to the San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

• Take the Marguerite X or Y line to Palo Alto

Caltrain Station.

• Take the Caltrain north to the Millbrae Station.

• Take BART from the Millbrae Station to the

shuttle at SFO.

• The shuttle stops on the upper level at both the

International Terminal and the North Terminal.


Public Transport to the  San Jose Airport (SJC)

• Take the Marguerite X or Y line to the Palo Alto

Caltrain Station.

• Take the Caltrain south to the Santa Clara station.

• Take the free Santa Clara Valley Transportation


Authority’s Airport Flyer (Route 10), takes you between the Santa Clara Caltrain Station and San Jose International Airport. It operates seven days a week from 5:30 am until midnight. Buses run every 10 minutes on weekdays and every 15 minutes on weekends.

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