San Francisco International Airport
San Francisco International Airport is glossy, modern and effective, transporting some 41 million passengers a year. The airport is 21 km (13 miles) from downtown San Francisco, about a 20-minute drive.
A rapid rail service with five lines covering the whole of the Bay area, BART's airport station is found on the Departures level of the International Terminal, in boarding area G. From other terminals take the free AirTrain to the BART station. SFO is on the BART Blue Line, which travels into the heart of downtown San Francisco.
Privately operated regular scheduled bus services operate between the airport and many destinations in the region. They depart from designated zones outside Arrivals at the International Terminal and Terminals 1 and 2.
A value option for travellers with no time constraints, shared-ride door-to-door vans will take passengers anywhere within the city from hotels to private addresses. Airport Express runs between 4.15am and 9.45pm. A one-way adult ticket costs US$17 (return US$30). Pick a van up outside Departures at all four terminals and be prepared for several stops as other passengers are dropped off at their destinations. Reservations are required if pick-ups are after 10pm. BayPorter Express shuttles run to destinations outside the city.
Taxis wait outside the Arrivals Hall of each terminal. Direct any queries to the uniformed advisor on duty between 7am and 1am. All cabs are metered and there is a US$2 surcharge for journeys from the airport. Expect to journey for around 20 minutes and pay about US$40 to the centre of town and roughly US$45 to Fisherman's Wharf, with up to five people sharing a cab. A tip of around 15% is expected. Limousines can also be hired at a slightly higher cost.
The AirTrain Blue Line stops at the SFO Rental Car Center, where all the major car hire companies have counters on the fourth floor. Book in advance to take advantage of online deals.