So many options!
Most students use a wide variety of transportation methods to get around Palo Alto and the Bay Area.
Palo Alto is extremely cyclist-friendly! The vast majority of students here use bikes to get around campus and Palo Alto. Stanford has its own bike shop as well as bike repair stations at various locations across campus. Additionally, you can find used and new bikes at Bike Connection and Cardinal Bicycle Shop, both of which are across the street from campus. The Stanford Department of Public Safety also holds an abandoned-bike sale approximately each quarter, the dates of which are announced here. Finally, keep an eye on SUPost for used bikes and equipment that students on campus are selling. Remember to register your bike when you purchase it!
On campus – Marguerite Shuttle
The Marguerite Shuttle circles campus and also stops at the Palo Alto Caltrain station. The shuttle is free, and the SPOT app provides live tracking of the shuttle lines.
The Caltrain travels from San Jose to San Francisco and stops at all of the main towns (Mountain View, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Redwood City) in between. The Palo Alto and California Avenue train stations are closest to campus. Students who live off-campus receive a Caltrain Go Pass, which allows unlimited travel on the Caltrain between all zones. Additionally, you can register a Clipper card to pre-load cash or transit passes for all Bay Area public transportation.
The BART travels between San Francisco (you can transfer to/from the Caltrain), Berkeley, Oakland, and Fremont. You can use a Clipper card if you so choose.
Buses are a pretty efficient way to get around Palo Alto and San Francisco, particularly if you load money onto a Clipper card. There are multiple apps available that track bus lines, which makes navigation easy. Buses are also free on certain nights such as New Year’s Eve.
If you bring a car with you, you’ll likely want a campus parking permit, which are now sold strictly online at this link. Parking in places like San Francisco is often a struggle, so public transportation is often a preferred way to go for trips up to the city. If you do not own a car and would like a means of getting out of town or making larger grocery trips, options such as Zipcar are available on campus.
Stanford Commute Club
If you live off-campus, you can join the Stanford Commute Club and receive benefits from using sustainable means of transportation. Perks include up to $25 per month for every month you’re a member, as well as free Zipcar credits and other incentives.