Airports and Transport to Campus
When planning your arrival, you'll want to know about the nearest Airports and Transportation to Campus.
Comprehensive information about public transportation in the San Francisco Bay Area is available at 511 Transit. The local transit systems are:
- Alameda-Contra Costa Transit (AC Transit) operates buses in the East Bay and to San Francisco's Transbay Terminal in the San Francisco Financial District. Riding an AC Transit bus requires exact fare.
- Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is our local subway system, with trains running throughout the East Bay and through San Francisco.
- The Municipal Railway (MUNI) in San Francisco operates buses, trolleys, and cable cars throughout the city. You can purchase a MUNI map at some San Francisco bookstores.
Find helpful information about all aspects of bike ownership on the UCB Campus Police Department website.
Bicycle theft is common! Always lock your bike with a heavy-duty "U" shaped lock (recommended brands: Citadel, Kryptonite). Bicycles are subject to the rules and regulations of the California Vehicle Code; obey stop signs and red lights, and signal properly when making turns, or you may be ticketed by the police. Be smart--ride defensively, wear a helmet and be aware that most drivers are "blind" to cyclists
Trains and Long Distance Buses
Caltrain is a commuter train that runs from San Francisco to San Jose, stopping at many cities along the way.
- AMTRAK is the train service that operates across the United States, including many cities within California. They have some low cost special fares to certain destinations.
- Greyhound buses go throughout California and the United States from Oakland or San Francisco.
There are also private bus firms that travel to tourist destinations in the Bay Area, California and out-of-state. Check the internet under "Charter Buses."
Private taxi service is available in any city from several companies listed in the phone book yellow pages or online. Taxis are the most expensive form of transportation, but can be reasonable and convenient if there is a small group. Taxi drivers are generally tipped 10-15% of the fare.
Driving in California
California Driver's License
If you will be driving in California and or if you plan to purchase a motor vehicle (a car, scooter or motorcycle), you must get a California Driver's License. Most insurance companies will not provide coverage unless you have one, and having insurance is a legal requirement. Tourists may drive (rental cars) in California for one year as long as they have a valid driver's license from their home country or an International Driver's license. See the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for complete details.
When to Apply
Wait at least 30 days after your arrival in the U.S. before applying. This allows time for the government to process the data for your legal entry into the U.S. Your legal entry must be verified by the Department of Motor Vehicles before they can issue you a license.
How To Apply for the California Driver License
The DMV has the latest California Driver Handbook, forms, and instructions on how to apply for a California Driver License. Check out the helpful section in the handbook on frequently asked questions. It is highly recommended that you make an appointment to apply for the license beforehand so that your wait time at the DMV will be drastically reduced. Take the following documents (originals) with you: your passport, paper I-94 card or print out of the electronic I-94 record (if you received a passport admission stamp) and I-20 (F-1/F-2) or DS 2019 (J-1/J-2) form.
Buying a Car?
See our Buying a Car web page with helpful resources for buying a car in the U.S.