Error message

Lingotek profile ID 4 not found.
Los Angeles Metro tracks
Neil Kremer

Public Transportation

Public Transportation
Learn more about getting around California without a vehicle

For an easy and often fun way to get around California’s larger cities and communities, do what an increasing number of locals do and hitch a ride on a bus, subway, ferry, or light rail system. Using public transportation can be an efficient, affordable, safe, and eco-friendly option, particularly in areas where roads, parking, and urban traffic can be confusing and frustrating. Some transit systems let you buy multi-day passes; check ticket options online before you arrive to get the best deals. Two companies, CityPass and Go, also offer deals on local transportation options in San Francisco and Southern California. 

True to the spirit of nature conservation that inspired its founding, Yosemite National Park has its own public transportation: Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System. YARTS buses travel from Merced, Mammoth Lakes, Sonora, and Fresno, as well as many smaller towns along the way, into the park. There are also shuttles from Visalia to Sequoia National Park and a free in-park shuttle that makes several stops, including all the campgrounds.

Buses are ideal for longer trips around the state too. Greyhound is the nation’s primary long-distance bus company, offering routes linking big cities and rural destinations statewide (and heading out of state too).

Amtrak’s extensive network of rails and thruway buses is another easy and efficient way to see the Golden State without your own vehicle. Particularly notable lines for visitors include the San Joaquin line, which will take you straight into Yosemite, the Coast Starlight and Pacific Surfliner trains that roll along scenic routes up and down the coast, and the Capitol Corridor which travels east-west in the northern part of the state. Though it’s the most extensive, the Amtrak isn’t the only rail service. Caltrain operates in the Bay area and Metrolink connects much of Southern California.

Below are links to California’s major regional transit organizations; most offer a variety of travel options, such as buses, subways, and light rail, trains, and in some cases, ferry boats. For more local information on transit options in Northern California, visit 511.org.

 

Buses: Statewide

Greyhound

Megabus

Flixbus

 

Buses & Subways; Northern California

SF Bay Area Transportation Directory

Bay Area Rapid Transit

Sacramento Regional Transit

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (San José)

 

Buses and Subways, Southern California 

Los Angeles Dept. of Transportation

Los Angeles Metro 

San Diego Metropolitan Transit System

 

Trains: Statewide

Amtrak California

Caltrain

Metrolink

 

Ferries

Details on All San Francisco Bay Ferries 

Alcatraz Cruises (San Francisco)

Angel Island Ferry (San Francisco)

Blue & Gold Fleet (Scenic Cruises, Marin County Destinations)

Golden Gate Ferry (San Francisco)

Red & White Fleet (Scenic Cruises, Marin County Destinations)

Vallejo Bay Ferry (San Francisco Bay Area)

Island Packers (Channel Islands)

Catalina Express (Santa Catalina; L.A.)

Public Transportation vc_homepage_autumn2019_rf_163599463_1280x640
Moment/Getty Images

CALIFORNIA

All Dreams Welcome

Start Dreaming and Exploring Now
Public Transportation Housekeeper_and_Forest_Folk_by_Lani_Spicer_low_1280x642
Discover the High Sierra

Enter Yosemite Valley to travel back in time to Christmas Past. Heraldic horns sound throughout Yosemite National Park's elegant...

Public Transportation VCA_CTWW_EndlessSummer_1280x640_sized_0
Discover the High Sierra

The Winter Wave is everything from building a surfer snowman, to a bluebird powder day, to the way we après. And it’s awesome.

Public Transportation vc_travelalerts_sonomacounty_st_rf_1140676404_1280x640
Sam Valtenbergs/Getty Images

Travel Updates

Check out the latest California Updates

November 2019

Two October fires — the Kincade Fire in northeastern Sonoma County and the Saddle Ridge Fire in Los Angeles...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Discover the locations featured in our latest TV spot—from a fabled beachfront town to a drive-thru tree

In California, the open road is our anthem, and every road we travel is a promise. We’re filled with hope for what’s coming around the next corner. We’ve pledged our allegiance to a road-trip...

Public Transportation handsup_driving_crtr