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Getting from Union Square to Amtrak Ferry Building

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adelaide
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Getting from Union Square to Amtrak Ferry Building

Staying at the Union Square Hotel in Powell St and need to get to the Amtrak station at the Ferry Building at about 7.00am on a Sunday morning - what is the best way? Will a taxi take such a short fare (they don't like to here) and where do we pick one up from? It looks a little far to drag luggage otherwise a walk might be nice...

Cheers

Pacifica, California
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1. Re: Getting from Union Square to Amtrak Ferry Building

You can take a short BART ride from the Powell Street station to the Embarcadero station. The Ferry Building is about two a blocks away from the Embarcadero station.

Bloomington, Indiana
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2. Re: Getting from Union Square to Amtrak Ferry Building

Presuming you mean "Hotel Union Square" (subtle difference in names, but I'm 99% sure that's what you're talking about), Google maps shows the walk as being a hair over 1 mile (1.1 to be precise) and estimate it at ~20 minutes. It's a very straightforward, level, walk so it's pretty much the time, distance & luggage to consider (rather than say a major elevation change). There's a little details on your walking option.

Public transit is the other option which means either BART (as simba pointed out) or MUNI. Either one will run from the Powell to Embacardero, so the walking there is identical (well, actually the BART tracks run underneath the MUNI tracks, so BART would have a little more elevation change, but it's really nothing to speak of).

Sunday means you don't have any rush hour considerations. If you're getting a MUNI Passport, I'd use it (if you still have a day on it) and take MUNI. If not, you might check the BART schedule and see when trains are due (BART runs very much on schedule) and how it fits in with your timing (and then see how it looks when you're actually ready to go). MUNI doesn't have a schedule as much as a "frequency" and, depending on the BART schedule might mean a shorter average wait. Don't have the MUNI versus BART fares in front of me, but I can't imagine the difference would be anything significant.

With the transit options you're probably taking a few minutes walking at both ends and maybe a 5-10 minute & ride. I'd say 10-15 minutes total if you take public transit.

Lastly and I don't know all the details, but I'm pretty sure that Amtrak buses make stops at a handful of hotels in the downtown area (in addition to the Ferry Building). You might check this out, it's possible you could catch the bus at one of these hotels and just have a couple of block walk rather than having to go all the way to the Ferry Building. (Which you might or might not want to do.)

Hope this helps,

hlo

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3. Re: Getting from Union Square to Amtrak Ferry Building

1. Amtrak has no direct train service out of San Francisco. Instead buses are used to transport passengers to Emeryville or Oakland for transfers to trains.

2. With (1) in mind, there's a closer pickup point to your lodging -- the "Shopping Center Bus Stop (SFS)" picks up passengers from the sidewalk outside of the Westfield San Francisco Centre located at 835 Market. See http://preview.tinyurl.com/3z7wdm7 .

3. If you do opt for the Ferry Building Amtrak station (which does have its pluses like an actual indoor waiting room, bathrooms and luggage storage for passengers) be aware that it's actually located in the first building "south" of the Ferry Building, not the Ferry Building (which is too high rent) itself.

4. As long as you're not excessively drunk or otherwise disorderly and can demonstrate that you have means to pay for your trip, licensed San Francisco taxis can't refuse to transport you, whether it be for 2 blocks or crosstown to an unpleasant neighborhood where they have no chance of catching a return fare. The best a taxi driver can do under such circumstances is cop an attitude or (more effective in my book) spend the trip sniveling miserably about how bad the taxi business is these days. If things get too bad you can file a complaint with their licensing authority the SFMTA; details can be found at www.sfmta.com/cms/xcontact/indxtxcont.htm .

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4. Re: Getting from Union Square to Amtrak Ferry Building

huntlawoffice writes>>....I'm pretty sure that Amtrak buses make stops at a handful of hotels in the downtown area (in addition to the Ferry Building)....<<

Amtrak does not provide hotel pickups, downtown or otherwise. In addition to their formal "station" (waiting room, agents, checked baggage, etc) Amtrak provides curbside pickup service ("virtual stations") at 6 locations where travelers may congregate, including Market Street near Union Square, Fisherman's Wharf, Civic Center, and the CalTrain depot on 3rd Street. You can find links to the different locations at www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer… under San Francisco.

Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: Getting from Union Square to Amtrak Ferry Building

Amtrak does offer bus/coach pick up at five locations in SF including Union Square. Go to Amtrak.com and download your train schedule. You will find the Amtrak Coach connections between Emeryville and /or Jack London Square(Oakland) on the schedule. Your ticket should include this Amtrak shuttle service. The Amtrak station is not in the Ferry Building. It is the Building to the south of the Ferry building. All pick-ups are curbside. If you wish to take a taxi do so. If they offer resistance be sure to take their number and report them. To heck with their attitude. Their job is to transport you from point A to B even if it's only a block away. FWIW: I've never come across this attitude in SF.

Edited: 21 May 2011, 17:54
Dublin, California
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6. Re: Getting from Union Square to Amtrak Ferry Building

If you have luggage it's best to take a taxi. It's not that short a ride. They may not "like" it but they can't refuse, esp. if you originate from a hotel.

adelaide
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7. Re: Getting from Union Square to Amtrak Ferry Building

Thanks for the tips. Are indeed staying at Hotel Union Square. Seems will be too early for BART (need to be there by 7.30am) and dont fancy juggling luggage onto and off of a bus so taxi it will be. the question is is it likely to be possible to hail one in the street at that time (7.00am or there abouts) or do we need a Taxi rank? If so, is there one near by or is it better to get the hotel to order one?

Cheers

Berkeley, California
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8. Re: Getting from Union Square to Amtrak Ferry Building

You should re-book your trip so it originates at the SFS (San Francisco Shopping Center) stop rather than the SFC (San Francisco Ferry Building) stop. The bus picks up from SFS at 6:50 a.m. on Sundays. The SFS stop is one block from your hotel.

P.S. BART doesn't start until 8 a.m. on Sundays. I'm surprised it was brought up!

9. Re: Getting from Union Square to Amtrak Ferry Building

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