IMPORTANT WEEKEND TRAVEL INFORMATION: If you are arriving or leaving on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, or after 8pm on a weekday, you will want to think carefully about taking public transportation from an airport to or from campus. Public transportation serves the Palo Alto train station, but at those times there is no transportation from there to the various locations on campus where you will be housed, and these are all a 25-30 minute walk away. Occasionally, there are taxis at the train station, but you should not count on their availability.
TRAVELLING FROM SFO TO CAMPUS:
Airport shuttles: The easiest and most cost-effective way to get to campus, especially on a weekend, is via one of the shuttle services such as SuperShuttle (1-800-258-3826 or local 650-558-8500) or South and East Bay Shuttle (1-800-548-4664 or local 408-225-4444). These shuttles are located on the DEPARTURE level of the airport terminal on the center island. The exact location varies from terminal to terminal, but is clearly marked. Tell a dispatcher for the appropriate shuttle service where you want to go and they will call a van for you. These shuttles take a number of people to their destination and stops on the Stanford campus tend to be the middle or final stops. Cost depends on the shuttle company and starts at about $26/one way. There is no need to make a reservation going from the airport to campus, but you do need to make a reservation going from campus to the airport. More information on shuttles for all major area airports can be found on sfoshuttles.com.
Bus: You can take the Samtrans KX express bus from the airport to the Palo Alto train station. The bus makes one stop at the international terminal and two at the domestic terminals; all are on the arrivals level. There are buses about every 30 minutes from about 6:30am to 9:30pm; consult the schedule for exact times. The fare is $4 one way; exact change is necessary and dollar bills are accepted. Travel time is about an hour. This is probably the easiest public transportation option, though see the weekend caution above.
Train: You can take BART from the airport one stop to the Millbrae train station, where you can catch Caltrain to the Palo Alto train station. On weekends there are Caltrain trains only once an hour at 24 minutes after the hour (except the last Saturday train); the trip to Palo Alto takes about 35 minutes. On Saturdays the last train is at 12:25am and on Sundays at 9:24pm. You will need to purchase separate tickets for BART and for Caltrain; cash or credit cards accepted at the ticket vending machines.
Taxi: We do not recommend taking a taxi from the airport to campus as the fare is likely to be over $75 one way (and most drivers are from San Francisco and don't know where they are going!). There may be some local taxi companies that have fixed fares to the airport from campus, but these will still be significantly more expensive than the shuttles.
TRAVELLING FROM SAN JOSE AIRPORT TO CAMPUS:
Airport shuttles: The easiest and most cost-effective way to get to campus, especially on a weekend, is via one of the shuttle services such as South and East Bay Shuttle. Follow signs in the arrivals area to ground transportation. Cost depends on the shuttle company. There is no need to make a reservation going from the airport to campus, but you do need to make a reservation going from campus to the airport.
Train: You can take the free VTA SJC Airport Flyer bus (line 10) to the Santa Clara train station, where you can catch Caltrain to the Palo Alto train station. On weekends there are Caltrain trains only once an hour at 5 minutes after the hour (except the last Saturday train); the trip to Palo Alto takes about 25 minutes. On Saturdays the last train is at 10:35pm and on Sundays at 9:05pm.
Taxi: We do not recommend taking a taxi from the airport to campus as the fare is likely to very high. There may be some local taxi companies that have fixed fares to the airport from campus, but these will still be significantly more expensive than the shuttles.
GETTING FROM THE PALO ALTO TRAIN STATION TO ON-CAMPUS HOUSING:
On weekdays between about 6:30am and 8:30pm, you can take Stanford's free shuttle service, the Marguerite, between the Palo Alto train station and on campus housing. For Roble use the B-line; for Rains and Escondido Village use the A-line; for Branner use either the A- or B-lines.
If you are at the Palo Alto train station at a time when the Marguerite isn't running and you are going to Escondido Village, you can take the Route 22 VTA bus towards Eastridge. This bus runs every 20-30 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, up and down El Camino Real. The fare is $1.75 and exact change is required. You should get off the 22 bus at Stanford Avenue, a short bus ride from the Palo Alto station. (Unfortunately, this bus will not take you any closer to Branner or Roble.)
More information about getting to the San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland airports can be found here.
The official Check-In period for all Institute housing is 2pm-5pm on June 30th. If you have signed up and paid for on-campus housing, you will be notified via email about the location of your housing. If you have been allocated housing in Branner or Roble Dormitories and you arrive during this period, you can check-in right at your dormitory. For those assigned to a two-bedroom apartment or a studio, you must check-in at the Escondido Village service center (see a map of the service center locations), where you will be given your exact housing assignment. At Check-In, you will receive a packet with information about Stanford, and about the Institute, an Institute ID card (for access to the library and other facilities), and a key for your assigned housing.
If you need to check in outside the official Check-In period, you can check in at the Service Center associated with your housing (which deals only with housing-related inquiries) between 8am and 10pm on the day of your arrival. If you will need to check in between 10pm and 8am, you MUST arrange this ahead of time with Institute staff. When you arrive on campus you should go to the Service Center associated with your housing and call the after hours on-call staff person to get your key.
For those of you who are staying in on-campus housing, your housing check-in also serves as your Institute check-in. If you are not staying on campus, you may check in for the Institute on Saturday, June 30, from 2pm-5pm, at the Institute Information Center in the lobby of Margaret Jacks Hall (Bldg. 460). You should enter Margaret Jacks Hall from the front doors, facing the Oval. At Check-In, you will receive a packet with information about Stanford, and about the Institute, and an Institute ID card (for access to the library and other facilities).
If you are staying in a residence and have administrative questions on your arrival, please come to the Institute Information Center, where we will have staff that can assist you.
If you are unable to pick up your registration packet on June 30, you may pick it up from the Institute Information Center from 8am July 1 on.