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July 13, 2024 12:21pm
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San Rafael Transportation

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Traveling to San Rafael

Traveling by car is the easiest way of getting around San Rafael. You can drive to San Rafael from the neighboring areas of the San Francisco Bay Area on Highway 580 or the I-101. There are also public transportation options.

Public transportation

Busses are a popular mode of transport for traveling to San Rafael and its neighboring towns. There are several routes run by Marin Transit in partnership with local and regional bus operators.

Marin Transit

The Marin County Transit District (Marin Transit) provides local transit bus service within Marin County. Marin Transit providers include local bus and paratransit services – Golden Gate Transit, Marin Airporter, MV Transportation, and Whistlestop Wheels.

If you are going to San Rafael take Route 49 which specifically serves South Ignacio, Hamilton, Marin Civic Center, and San Rafael.

For a full listing of all the bus routes, please see this schedule from Marin Transit.

Golden Gate Transit

Golden Gate Transit (GGT) is considered a regional fixed-route bus service in San Francisco, and in Marin and Sonoma counties. Bus service is available between San Rafael in central Marin and the El Cerrito del Norte and Richmond BART Stations in western Contra Costa County.

West Marin Stagecoach

West Marin Stagecoach serves the city of Marin and the area to its northwest including San Rafael. This helpful map will make it easy for you  to plan your trip.

Driving Directions to San Rafael

From the North

Interstate 101 takes you all the way to San Rafael. Take I-101 South towards San Francisco and take exit 452 to San Rafael.

From the East Bay

Take I-580 W over the Richmond San Rafael Bridge to I-101 N. Take exit 452 toward central San Rafael.

From the South Bay

If you are coming from as far south as San Jose and Gilroy you have an option of driving through the East Bay via I-880N and I-580 W over the Richmond San Rafael Bridge to I-101 N to San Rafael.

Option 2 is going through the Peninsula via I-101 N over the Golden Gate Bridge to San Rafael. You’ll go through San Francisco which can slow down as the route takes you on city streets.

Going to Muir Woods

The Muir Woods Shuttle service operates during summer months May through October. Take the Shuttle to the Muir Woods National Monument without the hassle of traffic and parking. This year the service will extend through the summer until October 28, 2012. Free parking is available at the Pohono Park and Ride lot off Highway 101. Direct connections to/from the Golden Gate Sausalito Ferry will be available from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend.

Ferry Service to Sausalito and San Francisco

Taking the ferry to San Francisco is a nice way to beat the traffic on a week day. The choppy Bay and fierce winds make this ride an exhilarating way to get around the area.

Blue and Gold Fleet serves Sausalito, San Francisco, Tiburon, Vallejo, Oakland, Alameda, San Francisco Giants games, and more.

Pier 41
Marine Terminal
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 705-5429

Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Golden Gate Ferry serves Sausalito, Larkspur, San Francisco, and takes you to the San Francisco Giants games.

Golden Gate Transit
101 E. Sir Francis Drake Boulevard
Larkspur, CA 94939
(415) 455-2000

Flying to San Rafael

The major airports closest to San Rafael are San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport, both of which are located just a little over an hour by car from downtown San Rafael. The Oakland or San Francisco airports have rental car services.  There are limited public transportation options, via BART and busses. Please allow for enough time to travel to your destination.


San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
PO Box 8097
San Francisco, CA 94128
(650) 821-8211

Norman Y. Mineta (San Jose) International Airport (SJC)
1701 Airport Boulevard
San Jose, CA 95110
(408) 277-4759

Oakland International Airport (OAK)
1 Airport Drive
Oakland, CA 94621
(510) 577-4000

Public Transportation to the Airports
• Marin Airporter (415) 461-4222
• Strawberry Limousine Services (415) 381-8016
• Shaw Transportation Management (415) 331-2004
• Blue Shuttle Airporter (800) 332-3908
• North Bay Cooperative Taxi (415) 332-2200
• Marin Shuttle (415) 970-2434
• AAA Bay Area Limousine & Sedan Services (415) 859-7693

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