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Old 01-11-2020, 03:03 PM
 
2 posts, read 761 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi everyone,

I'm wondering if the SF to Oakland commute is bearable, and if so do people usually use public transportation or drive? I'm moving out to the bay area as a traveling speech therapist, and I'm debating a couple of different placements. I'd like to live in SF because the traveling salary will allow me to do that, and it's not permanent so might as well experience it. However, most jobs are in Oakland. Other options are in Colma, Redwood City, Sunnyvale, and Petaluma. When I look at traffic on google maps, they all look pretty rough.

Also considering just living in Oakland and taking an Oakland contract, so feel free to sell me on Oakland. I'm from the east coast and know basically nothing about the bay area. I'm a 28 year old woman, LGBT, and enjoy urban settings.
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Old 01-12-2020, 12:39 AM
 
652 posts, read 1,753,615 times
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Depending on where you live in SF and where you need to go in Oakland, it can be very easy or painfully awful. It is a reverse commute driving inasmuch as that still exists, but it just barely does. It would be a lot more pleasant on transit, but then you need to live in an SF neighborhood accessible to BART and your job needs to be close to BART on the other end (unless you are open to biking or a longer commute). Does your job site stay the same, or does it move between all those places? If it moves, you probably want to be in SF since those are commutes in a bunch of different directions and SF is a bit more central.

If you have options of just a single job site in Oakland, I might consider just living in the East Bay if you need to drive, and using the money you'll save over SF rent and BART fares or bridge tolls to do more trips throughout the region (and to go into SF regularly).
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Old 01-12-2020, 07:22 PM
 
2 posts, read 761 times
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It would be one location! Those are some of the options, and I have a pretty good say in where I go.
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Old 01-13-2020, 12:53 AM
 
Location: Richmond, CA
635 posts, read 585,314 times
Reputation: 778
Oakland has a notable lesbian population, and as SF continues to get more expensive, a lot of the cultural appeal once found in SF has since moved to Oakland. I would bypass SF altogether to be perfectly frank, as the transit-accessible SF neighborhoods are currently suffering from a bad case of homelessness and drug problems. Oakland is warmer, cheaper, and allows for a variety of commutes like biking, walking, etc.
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:48 PM
 
Location: America's Expensive Toilet
1,366 posts, read 890,326 times
Reputation: 2976
SF to Oakland is fine, not nearly as bad as the opposite. However, you gotta live next to a transit hub. My husband did SF to Oakland for 6 years but we lived very close to one of the downtown Bart stations. Oakland is seeing a lot of development. I have never lived there but it has pockets of decent areas.
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Old 01-16-2020, 03:17 AM
 
Location: Pac Heights San Francisco
349 posts, read 143,782 times
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Where your office is in Oakland will make all the difference.

I live in SF (Pac Heights) and work in Oakland, fairly near the ferry terminal. The reverse commute is pleasant, using the ferry to cross the Bay. I'm less enamored with BART, but glad that it's there as a more frequently running option whenever needed. If your commute is confined to normal commute hours, you won't have any issues with the ferry.

I actually have 3-4 really great options for making this commute, and it's quite easy, though not necessarily very fast. My favorite option (even compared to driving my personal car) is to combine the cable car and ferry and takes a little less than an hour each way, door-to-door, including all walking and transit connections. I have this option because of where I live, though. If you don't live in Pac Heights, Russian Hill or Nob Hill, the cable car probably wont work for you. Likewise, if your work isn't a comfortable walk away from the ferry landing in Oakland, you're also screwed, as Oakland transit options are terrible, in my opinion.

Another option I'd highly recommend is a biking/ferry combination. The weather here generally favors this option and there's always BART (bikes allowed, too) as a fallback. Biking can speed you through the City often faster than a car and corrects for if your work is not close to the Oakland ferry landing.

In any case, it's an easy commute to make. It's relaxed, not crowded, scenic and pleasant. You can even have a glass of wine in the evenings (or, mornings, I suppose ) on the ferry. The ferry portion of the commute costs about $1.00 more than BART and is much more civilized, but admittedly slower.

Great choice on the "live in SF, work in Oakland" idea! I enjoy it! Like you, I like urban living and have a great job in Oakland. The urban lifestyle in Oakland offers very little to me and I prefer SF for living. However, many things about Oakland are actually very interesting at times--the art scene, restaurants, First Fridays, etc.--so, it's the best of both worlds.

Good luck!
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Old 01-16-2020, 02:35 PM
 
Location: New to the BA & l o v e it
2,684 posts, read 621,289 times
Reputation: 1995
Quote:
Originally Posted by splizzard View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm wondering if the SF to Oakland commute is bearable, and if so do people usually use public transportation or drive? I'm moving out to the bay area as a traveling speech therapist, and I'm debating a couple of different placements. I'd like to live in SF because the traveling salary will allow me to do that, and it's not permanent so might as well experience it. However, most jobs are in Oakland. Other options are in Colma, Redwood City, Sunnyvale, and Petaluma. When I look at traffic on google maps, they all look pretty rough.

Also considering just living in Oakland and taking an Oakland contract, so feel free to sell me on Oakland. I'm from the east coast and know basically nothing about the bay area. I'm a 28 year old woman, LGBT, and enjoy urban settings.




Welcome to CD Splizzard!

I can't sell you on Oakland myself.....but I know of a couple that talk about areas around Oakland they like from women that used to live there or they commute to Sf because it can be cheaper to live there than Sf. You really need to look closely tho.....& if I was you, I'd want to get as close to work & an urban setting as your budget is going to allow you...which probably means Oakland IMO on a speech therapist's income...if you're working in Oakland. Even if a commute takes an hour on a good day...by public transportation or driving.......you have to think about crowds...rain...& delays so you are going to have to add extra time to make sure you get there on time IMO.

Many people like Oakland...& if you like urban areas & your job is going to be there anyways........I dunno why you would ask about a commute from Sf to Oakland.. Any paycheck differential you get is going to be eaten up by the commuting & the higher price you're going to pay to live in Sf anyways......& wouldn't they also pay it if Oakland is your base anyways?
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Old 01-16-2020, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Pac Heights San Francisco
349 posts, read 143,782 times
Reputation: 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by TashaPosh View Post
Welcome to CD Splizzard!

I can't sell you on Oakland myself.....but I know of a couple that talk about areas around Oakland they like from women that used to live there or they commute to Sf because it can be cheaper to live there than Sf. You really need to look closely tho.....& if I was you, I'd want to get as close to work & an urban setting as your budget is going to allow you...which probably means Oakland IMO on a speech therapist's income...if you're working in Oakland. Even if a commute takes an hour on a good day...by public transportation or driving.......you have to think about crowds...rain...& delays so you are going to have to add extra time to make sure you get there on time IMO.

Many people like Oakland...& if you like urban areas & your job is going to be there anyways........I dunno why you would ask about a commute from Sf to Oakland.. Any paycheck differential you get is going to be eaten up by the commuting & the higher price you're going to pay to live in Sf anyways......& wouldn't they also pay it if Oakland is your base anyways?
"Crowds, rain and delays" can potentially be dismissed without much of a thought, depending on the modes you choose in a reverse commute, particularly if the ferry is involved. In the reverse commute direction (mornings from SF-Oakland) the ferry has about 10 people on it. In the evenings, there are a few more people, but it's never even remotely close to crowded. There is nothing to delay it, either. It runs like clockwork.

Muni is a different story, but still pretty manageable, depending on which line you're considering. I'd use the bus and/or BART only as a backup on a rainy day (as was the case this morning with the deluge). Muni was packed coming into the Financial District, but I made it on time to catch the ferry.

A note about rain--about 7-8 months per year, the area gets little to NO rainfall to mess with commuting. That's why I can't recommend a bicycle/ferry (or even bicycle/BART if you must) commute enough. It is so convenient and rivals a personal car in terms of time door-to-door.

I can't get behind the idea of living in Oakland, if you are someone who loves urban living. While Oakland has a lot going for it in terms of urban amenities like interesting restaurants, bars and a few arts attractions, its best places to live are rather suburban. Oakland's urban core is also pretty dismal and disappointing to people who enjoy the type of walkable, dense and dynamic urban environment that SF has. It does retain lots of the problems you'd find with a much larger city, though, so you'd have all the negatives, with only a few of the positives.

I like hanging out with friends in Oakland after work some evenings, or checking out First Fridays, but am happy I live in SF.
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Old 01-16-2020, 04:52 PM
 
Location: New to the BA & l o v e it
2,684 posts, read 621,289 times
Reputation: 1995
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanoSF View Post
"Crowds, rain and delays" can potentially be dismissed without much of a thought, depending on the modes you choose in a reverse commute, particularly if the ferry is involved.








BUT she hasn't chosen how she will be commuting yet.....she hasn't even chosen where she is going to live yet.... A N D so commute time & delays with public transportation or a car is very real stuff to think about............don't be silly.

IMO she really doesn't have to live in Sf if her work is in Oakland tho.....or do that commute & add all that time to her day every day. I know what speech therapists make since I work in the medical profession in the area.....& commuting costs money too.......

It's amazing that you like your commute so much Deano.....but I like staying warm & dry........& you have said you don't work every day but for anybody full time, IMO it would be unneccessary to do that when she could just live closer or around Oakland.....lots of people like Oakland or areas around it.......some even like it better than Sf!!!

e d i t: & the weather......the rainy season here is winter time....like November to March..........so if you aren't slowed down cause of tourists, you get slowed down cause of rain.....we can't win so IMO pick closer to where you work. You'll be happy you did.....

Last edited by TashaPosh; 01-16-2020 at 06:19 PM..
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:04 PM
Status: "Often (poorly) imitated - never duplicated" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: San Francisco
3,287 posts, read 813,637 times
Reputation: 1939
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanoSF View Post

I can't get behind the idea of living in Oakland, if you are someone who loves urban living.
Most people don't have a choice if they are looking for a cheaper living and (more realistic) commuting situation - especially if they are going to work in Oakland and/or value their time.

It's called a 'reverse commute' for a reason (as seeking cheaper housing in Oakland and commuting to SF is far more common and necessary/unavoidable).
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