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Old 04-02-2013, 04:09 PM
 
1,082 posts, read 2,646,802 times
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Pondering a relo from NY to Northern Cal. Believe it or not, COL may actually be less in Northern Cal, though the housing market is still far from turning around here.

Can anyone comment on the commute, from an area like Novato, into San Fran? I'd prefer mass transit or even bike routes into town.

I'm trying to be realistic in what I can afford vs. the quality of life.
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Northern California
3,708 posts, read 14,165,744 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbathedog View Post
Pondering a relo from NY to Northern Cal. Believe it or not, COL may actually be less in Northern Cal, though the housing market is still far from turning around here.

Can anyone comment on the commute, from an area like Novato, into San Fran? I'd prefer mass transit or even bike routes into town.

I'm trying to be realistic in what I can afford vs. the quality of life.
The commute on Hwy 101 going south to the Golden Gate Bridge can be a horrible crawl during normal commute hours. The bridge toll is $6 one way (going south - free going north). Once you get into San Francisco, it's all city streets to downtown - no freeway! One option is the Golden Gate ferry from Larkspur to SF, but it's expensive. Golden Gate Ferry. They also run buses into SF.

If you were to live in the East Bay, you could take BART into SF or if you were to live on the peninsula (between San Francisco and San Jose) you could take Caltrain into SF. Caltrain allows bikes on the trains. BART - Bay Area Rapid Transit and caltrain.com
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:39 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
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It's actually possible to ride a bike from Novato over the bridge and into SF, but it would take a minimum of 2.5 hours and you'd have to take a shower once you got to work... there's a BIG climb out of Sausalito to the north end of the bridge.

On the other hand, it wouldn't cost anything.

If you're a fanatic about it, the bike commute thing might actually be viable if you move to Tiburon/Belvedere or Sausalito or Mill Valley. Otherwise, not so much.
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
3,987 posts, read 8,588,936 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pch1013 View Post
It's actually possible to ride a bike from Novato over the bridge and into SF, but it would take a minimum of 2.5 hours and you'd have to take a shower once you got to work... there's a BIG climb out of Sausalito to the north end of the bridge.

On the other hand, it wouldn't cost anything.

If you're a fanatic about it, the bike commute thing might actually be viable if you move to Tiburon/Belvedere or Sausalito or Mill Valley. Otherwise, not so much.
Lol..That would certainly wake you up in the morning and put you to sleep like a baby every night!
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:57 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
326 posts, read 506,118 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbathedog View Post
Pondering a relo from NY to Northern Cal. Believe it or not, COL may actually be less in Northern Cal, though the housing market is still far from turning around here.

Can anyone comment on the commute, from an area like Novato, into San Fran? I'd prefer mass transit or even bike routes into town.

I'm trying to be realistic in what I can afford vs. the quality of life.
Don't believe everything you read man. The commute from Novato IS far but it is by no means a deal breaker. I have friends that do it everyday. I would recommend you ditch the bus though and drive your car to work because it definitely shaves time off the commute.

Up until recently I used to commute from Marin and the only negative that I had was if I had to stay late at all the buses only came once an hour. With a car the commute is very reasonable imo.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:23 PM
 
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Thank you all, great information.

My present commute is about 4 hours door-to-door, to and from the city. Horrible, I know, but it's done by thousands here on LI. I'm swearing off extreme commutes, for so many good reasons.

Here in NY Metro, there are some suburbs that are commutable by bike, into the city. Unfortunately, LI, where I hail from, is just too dangerous to try the ride.

I'm very interested in the Tiburon area, though I'm not sure if it's within budget.

One last question: can anyone venture a guess how long the drive from Novato to downtown San Fran would be at peak rush?
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:23 PM
 
Location: South Korea
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1. Yeah you can bike to downtown SF from southern Marin, but that area of Marin is super expensive, like $2 million for a crap shack expensive. Novato is more affordable but still pretty pricey.

2. The East Bay has BART and it's generally more affordable compared with other parts of the Bay Area (or LI), though by rest-of-the-nation standards it's pretty damn pricey. You could probably live there at Novato prices and have a shorter and more comfortable commute. You can't take a regular bike on BART towards SF during commute hours but you can take a folding bike.

3. Another option would be the Peninsula, aka San Mateo County. It's kinda expensive but not as pricey as San Francisco, and if you're ok with an apartment it might be a good option. Caltrain goes straight to SOMA (4th and King) and each train AFAIK has a bike car where you can put your bike as you ride. So you can ride to your station near where you live, get on the train, then ride to work from the terminus in SF.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:03 AM
 
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Sounds like East Bay may offer more alternatives for mass transit. Would anyone know what the door-to-door would be from Walnut Creek to downtown SF?
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:37 AM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
326 posts, read 506,118 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbathedog View Post
Sounds like East Bay may offer more alternatives for mass transit. Would anyone know what the door-to-door would be from Walnut Creek to downtown SF?
East bay is very doable. I'm kind of biased against the East Bay in general but I know there are a lot of very nice neighborhoods there.

Berkeley is surprisingly affordable for a town of its stature and it has urban density and a direct subway to
SF. Door-to-door, if you live close enough it might be a 30 min commute or less even as far as I know.
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
28,234 posts, read 34,759,023 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbathedog View Post
Sounds like East Bay may offer more alternatives for mass transit. Would anyone know what the door-to-door would be from Walnut Creek to downtown SF?
Walnut Creek is about 40 minutes from BART to Downtown SF. But it could take you 15 minutes to get to BART via car.

I believe you mentioned you wanted to live somewhere suburban. Try Dublin, Pleasanton, Walnut Creek, Castro Valley or Pleasant Hill.

If you want less suburban, Alameda, El Cerrito or Albany.

If you want more urban, and transit friendly, try Oakland or Berkeley. (Feel free to shoot me a PM for neighborhood advice. Oakland is a loaded topic around here.)
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