Stanford campus

Community Housing: Transportation and Maps

The transportation arrangements you select are determined, in part, by the distance you live from campus. There is limited public transportation, and an automobile is highly desirable. However, about 85 percent of commuting students find a place within five miles of campus, and about one-third regularly bike to campus. Stanford's famous sunny climate, relatively flat terrain, and miles of bike paths permit a bicyclist to live several miles from campus (though winter rainy periods can be difficult). For most students living within three miles of campus, the central campus (Quad) is less than a 20-minute bike ride away.  Stanford encourages alternative methods of transportation and provides incentives and perks such as cash incentives to leave your car at home, Zipcars, and emergency rides home.

Stanford's Parking and Transportation Services Web site offers maps, local bus and train schedules, Stanford's Marguerite shuttle schedule, bicycle information, a map of Bay Area transit accessible from Stanford, and information on purchasing parking permits.  They even offer commute planning assistance!


The City of Palo Alto has a map of mid-peninsula bike routes, including those near Stanford. Many Stanford affiliates use these bike paths to get to campus.

Stanford has a Campus Bike Shop that offers bicycle rentals, sales, and repairs.  The campus also has several conveniently located bicycle safety repair stands for quick repairs and adding air to tires.

Commuting by Train

Caltrain is a very popular commuting option. Employees ride for free and graduate students living off campus ride for a reduced price.  The Stanford Marguerite free shuttle runs between campus and the train stations. 

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) connects to Caltrain in Millbrae and travels through San Francisco and throughout the East Bay.

Commuting by Bus - local

While bus service may be limited, there are still a number of buses that operate in the Stanford area that can help you get around without a car.  SamTrans (San Mateo County Transit) and VTA (Valley Transportation Authority) have many options available. 

Commuting by Bus - from across the bay

If you don't mind a commute, one way to keep rental costs down is to live across the bay, in Fremont, Union City, or Newark.  There are buses that run from Fremont BART and Union City BART, which will bring you directly to Stanford, with multiple stops along the way, ending with the Ardenwood Park and Ride area, located just before the entrance to Dumbarton Bridge (on the border of Fremont and Newark).  The Marguerite Shuttle website has the full schedule (line AE-F) that shows both the Marguerite and AC-Transit schedules, and you can ride these two buses for free (just show your Stanford ID for the AC-Transit U bus).  From Union City BART, you could take the Dumbarton Express line to get to campus.  Parking & Transportation has an East Bay Transit Guide with the full schedule.


Another option is to carpool. There are many resources available from Parking & Transportation, including ridematching.