Anyone Commuting out to SF Bay Area?
By - thiblonious
Oh hell no.
Husband did Sac to Walnut Creek for 2 years. Eventually ended up scheduling his shifts so he could work 3-4 days in a row and he would overnight at a hotel in the area. The daily commuting was ruining our relationship and was really fucking stressful for him. The commute from Walnut Creek to Sac ranged anywhere from 1 hr 45 min to 4 hr 30 min on Friday.
San Jose is farther.
I go to Alameda 1-3 times a week. Oakland isn't terrible (relatively). San Jose is way way worse.
How come SJ is worse? Just distance?
Farther sure but its also another chunk of traffic. It could be 2x the time to get home from San Jose than Oakland even though its only 20 or so more miles.
It’s a long 3 hour train ride. I used to do it about once a month. I can’t imagine doing it almost daily.
If you do end up doing it make sure to get a good unlimited mobile data plan with hot spot. The train does have wifi but it was not very reliable in my experience.
Distance and traffic.
Map may say 2 and a half hours but I end up getting there in 3 and a half lol
I commuted from Sac to Berkeley 4-5 times a week for several years. Gas, insurance, & wear & tear on my car weren’t worth it. Depends on salary & your car.
If you're needing to be in the Bay more often than not, you should move closer to the Bay (especially given needing to be in San Jose).
I used to run in to Sac residents working in the Bay on the Friday night Capitol Corridor party car, and they were dead inside. They hyped their "Sac COL with Bay Area wages", but due to the commute, they rarely saw their families, or had any time to do anything with their Bay Area wages.
That’s what I’m afraid of.
Is it possible to pickup a train in Rocklin after 8am go to like jack london square, and then return to rocklin before too late? I assume theres drinks being served on the "party car"?
Just move out there
I did it at one time and it was a draining two or three hour commute one way to Oakland (depending on traffic and weather conditions). I'll never do that again.
I live near where I work now and I cannot be more thankful for that.
Don’t do it. I commuted from fair oaks to Palo alto for 3 years, it almost killed me. Very stressful. And one accident happens your trip just got elongated by a few hours.
1-2 days a week, maybe.
4? That’s insane.
You'd have to move to at least Vacaville
capitol corridor plus an e-bike or an electric scooter
That’s actually hella smart lmao
I did 4-5 days a week to San Francisco for a while. Great money but had ZERO life outside of work. Would not do it again.
Don’t do it. It’s a trap.
I think 3 days a week max is the limit. Anymore and it’s not worth it (mentally).
Don't do it. We live in EDH and had to commute every week for a few years to Sunnyvale, then rent an apt because you can't drive over 6 hours a day without going insane.
The traffic on 580 and 680 is a standstill at rush hour. Even traveling during the off hours was a 2.5-3 hour commitment, one way. We even tried leaving edh at 4am and the roads were still packed.
On top of it all, the rainy season is the worst and most stressful, time to drive.
Good luck on your decision.
Thanks for contributing. Everyone’s $.02 is helping solidify my choice.
My dad did the SF commute in 90s for nearly 10 years, he left at 3 am, slept in his car until work started around 7am, worked 8 hours as a union painter, got home around 6pm. He was a hero, but it really made him cranky. He is a wonderful person, but it still caused a lot of stress and other issues. He also never drinks, so that helped. He retired as soon as he could.
My husband did the Doublin commute for a year, it was horrifying. He was never home, always exhausted, became very depressed. The money was amazing, but he was too tired to make good decisions. He burned out hard and a former boss offered him another job out of the blue and he took it. The former boss ended up not having a job for him and didn't even apologize, he was out of work for 6 months and we ended up worse off than before. That second part is rare, but I'm very sure he never would have taken that risk if he wasn't so desperate to stop the commute.
We tried looking into moving closer or getting a rental, but at the time, the money was amazing if you lived in Sacramento, but terrible if you lived in the bay area.
I've heard that some people have had success living in a van or SUV and staying in the work location during the week, but that's an entirely different kind of difficult, and they usually don't have spouses or families.
Wow! Your pops is a dedicated guy! That takes a lot!
Yeah, he was actually my step-dad, how amazing is that? My family really lucked out with him, super amazing dad who super commuted, supported a brand new family, and planned the best vacations. I still tell him he is the best dad. He seriously chose to be a great dad, I can't believe how lucky I was. But he ran himself completely ragged and somehow managed to supercommute full time, made dinner most nights, built science fair and art projects with us, took us to parks, arcades, mini golfing. As an adult, I don't know how he did it, I suspected cocaine once, but that's super unlikely with his personality.
I've done the Capitol corridor commute. I went by train to the Richmond BART and then into SF. I do not recommend it.
It is a LONG commute. I had to catch a train by about 6am to arrive at the office by 9am. Even if I left the office right at 5pm, I usually wasn't back until 8:30 or so because all trains are delayed by that time. There were very few days that everything ran on time and lined up perfectly, and I still spent at least 5 hours commuting on those days.
Driving is likely much faster, assuming that you do it early enough.
Thank you all, fellow residents and friends, for the advice! I appreciate the insight.
I am currently doing Sac to SJ one day a week every other week and it’s doable on that scale. I will caveat this by saying that 1) I leave before 6 am on a Tuesday and I’m in SJ by 8 am, and 2) the reverse commute suuuucks but is survivable if you manage to get over the Sunol Grade by 3 pm. Either that or just don’t plan to leave SJ until after 8 pm.
The other thing that makes it survivable is that it’s only every other Tuesday and my boss is super flexible. If I had to do the commute 2-3 days a week, I would probably be looking for a new job in Sac.
Mega bus is cheap, takes you to SF Caltrain station and you can get to Bart from there also.
I commuted to Oakland from West Sac 1-2 times a week from Sept of last year up until April of this year. It wasn't too bad and I listened to a ton of audiobooks lol. I don't know if I could stomach doing it 3-4 times a week tho. It would take about 1hr 15-20min if I left by 5:30am and my boss was cool with me leaving a little early to avoid traffic. So as long as I left by 2pm it would take about 1.5 hrs to get home. But I would never do that commute if it was like a 9-5 job.
Boyfriend commuted via train from Sac to Concord daily, for about 2 years. He had a car he left at Martinez train station to get him to/from job. It was a total of about 4 hours commute daily. He will never do that commute again. It wore on him.
In a world where WFH is gaining traction, it’s disappointing to read about this commute idea.
I would avoid that commute. For about 1 year, I would live in Oakland and work all over the Bay area during the week, then come back to my wife and house in Sac on the weekends. I quickly learned that I am NOT the only person who thinks getting an early start to the Monday morning commute will make things easier. It was unbelievable how many people are on the 80 west at 5:00am. Also, I know it's already been said, but when work took me to the San Jose area, the commute back to Sac was the absolute worst. So. F-ing. Miserable. It's never a question of whether or not you will encounter an accident on the road. It's a question of how many accidents you will encounter. I would not do that again, no matter the pay.
That painted a clear picture. Sounds awful. I don’t think I could make that happen.
If the job is very important to your career growth, a possibility is to rent a cheap commuter room closer to work for like $800 and stay M-Th and drive home on weekends. It'll be a lot better for your free time and mental health.
I commute to Hayward and it’s not so bad but only go in 2-3 times a week though.
I did it on occasion to SF. Capitol corridor is definitely the way to go. Hop off in Richmond to connect to BART if that gets you closer to your destination.
Strange but growing up my mom did pittsburg to sacramento for a couple of years.
Don’t do it.
Haha, yeah. This thread was an astounding “fuck no”.
I did the capital corridor with my own electric scooter. prob the best way to do it to save $ and time. After 4 months I was so stressed I wanted to quit.
I don't think Gig or Zip cars will be available enough to you to rely on. You could think about renting. There's a Hertz at the Emeryville Amtrak stop but they have weird ass hours. Does anyone know other easily accessible car rentals right off an Amtrak stop? I'd like to do this myself for pleasure trips into the city, I hate driving I-80.
FWIW, I've found apartments in Santa Clara for the same price as Sac. The commute can take up to 3 or 4 hours on bad days. I don't recommend commuting.
I've known a few people who made the commute once or twice a week, via private plane. For about 50 grand, you can get an instrument-flight-rules certified airplane, and for around 20 grand, you can get a pilots license and instrument rating. You'll save tens of times that in housing costs here, over the bay area, and the commute will be about 45 minutes.
I suspect your numbers are off. Planes like all hobbies have skyrocketed in price with covid and aren't exactly great pre-covid. Not enough people buy new and the aging fleet of single engine planes from general aviations golden age don't change hands enough. Saw talk just last night on reddit of plane prices being double or quadruple what youre quoting.
Plus your commute is 45 minutes… to the airport. Then you have to park your plane, get out of the airport, and get to your job
Wym once u park your plane at the airport u then get into your helicopter and fly the rest of the way to your job. Land on the roof and boom your at work.
Parking a plane and getting out of an airport as non-commercial flight isn't that big of a deal depending on the airport. Pilots will go park at FBOs. Orders of magnitude quicker then disembarking a commercial flight. You may need to speak with the fbo about fuel etc for a few minutes but don't need to. You can go from standing at your plane to on a public sidewalk in under a minute in most of the airports I've been at. (Assuming you alreasy spent a few minutes chocking the wheels and any other post flight checks you care about which usually isn't much.)
For example, if I flew out of Mather (which I have) I could land at San Jose in 45mins. Plane to public street is less than 2minutes. Than it just depends what the business location is. Traffic can be annoying to some of the big tech companies in Santa Clara. A good 15min drive in traffic. You might almost do better as one person suggested and bring an ebike.
Either way 45min flight and 15min uber/taxi or bike ride is >>> that fucking commute via car. The only negative is its expensive and if you're doing the flying you need to rely on your cognitive skills to fly which may depleted from working. The same can be said for driving. Both have hazards in failing to perform well. Driving has a lot more risk from other people performing poorly.
Edit: I misunderstood the first part of your reply. 45min commute to airport varies heavily with where you live. We have a ton of airports in the greater Sac area. You don't have to and definitely don't want to be flying out of Sac Intl (SMF.)
[This showed up on a quick Barnstormers search, for IFR airplanes in the area.](https://www.barnstormers.com/classified-1674951-PA28-161.html), and there's many more like it.
You probably know better than I. I just dabble in interest and happened to see a lengthy discussion on a flying post about the cost of planes these days.