On the Move – Route SFO: Up, Up, and Away

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By Dan Lieberman, @LiebermanTweets SamTrans launched Route SFO back in May, and it’s been a hit ever since. The route takes riders from the Millbrae Transit Center to all terminals at SFO in about nine minutes, and makes a return trip afterwards. Every half hour for up to 18 hours a day, this bus will be on hand to get you to your plane on time. While I’m not leaving town any time soon, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, so with our intern Mahala Herron in tow, I headed to the San Carlos Caltrain Station and proceeded north. Millbrae was gorgeous, as it always is in the summer. I won’t pretend the Millbrae Transit Center is a beautiful piece of architecture, but it looks pretty good with a big blue sky behind it. We stood around for a few minutes until the bus arrived. We grabbed a seat and hoped that someone would get on board before our departure. Our hopes were met by David and Stefanie. David was flying to New York City for the weekend to visit his folks, taking the route for the first time after seeing an ad for it onboard Caltrain. Stefanie is a regular rider, as she works at Gate Gourmet. She had been taking BART, but saw a SamTrans brochure while at work and found that it fit her schedule better. She told us that many airport employees were taking advantage of the route due to its affordability and frequency, a sentiment our driver echoed. After dropping our new friends off at the terminal, we met a few more. Bernadette had just finished her shift at the duty free shop and was taking the bus home to Millbrae. She was delighted to hear about it from her coworker, as it was about as convenient as a bus route could be. Monica had finished a long day of doing customer service for United Airlines flyers, and caught the southbound Caltrain after talking to us, just as a fresh batch of riders boarded the bus. Alan was headed back to Boston after attending a lovely wedding. He hadn’t been to the Peninsula before, and just followed his phone to the bus to get to the train to get to his hotel. John was meeting his sister and her family who had flown in from Portland and had a layover before their flight back home to Australia. He was planning on taking BART that day, but the guy working their counter recommended Route SFO for a faster trip. The last person we spoke to was Lee, an electrician working on the new terminal, who’d been taking the bus every day since starting his work on the project. As a San Jose resident, he found the easy connection from Caltrain to work too good to say no to. So the next time you’re leaving on a jet plane, or if you have visitors coming in from out of state, remember Route SFO. It’s cheap, fast and easy, and you might just get to meet me while you’re on it.   On the Move is a monthly blog feature highlighting places to go and things to see on SamTrans bus routes. If you have a suggestion for a future route, please email Public Affairs Specialist Dan Lieberman at liebermand@samtrans.com