"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

10 June 2015

Getting Around in SF #ALAAC15

I don't recommend this form of transport. 9 miles per hour and $6 per ride. Not worth it.
So, once you arrive in San Francisco (aka "the city" but never, ever Frisco or San Fran), how do you get around?

1. Walking.  Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk.  The city itself is only seven miles by seven miles, and chances are pretty good that you won't have to go that far.  Be prepared for hills, though.  Some of them are steep enough that you'll wonder if you're going to fall over.  So if you don't want to walk, instead you could ride the ...

2. Bus.  The transit system in the city is called MUNI (MYOO-nee).  You can get pretty much anywhere in town using the buses.  Google maps will even tell you where bus stops are, what bus to take, and how many stops to ride until you reach your destination.  A ticket for Muni is $2.25, but you can also get a Muni "passport" that will allow you unlimited rides for a particular number of days. For ALA attendees, I highly recommend the Muni passport.  If you fly into the city, you can pick up a passport at the airport. And speaking of airport, to get from there to the city, you should take ...

3. BART.  This stands for Bay Area Rapid Transit, and it's kind of like a subway.  There are BART stops within the city, down the Peninsula, and into the East Bay. If you haven't figured out your hotel situation yet, find one near a BART station outside the city and take BART to come in.  You can purchase tickets for BART at any BART station, and the price varies depending on how far you are planning to travel.  It's very easy to ride BART, but it will be crowded during rush hour.  So if you're in a big hurry you can always hail a ...

4. TAXI. Call a cab.  Stick your hand out and wave one down on a busy street.  Or call for one.  The most common company's number is (415) 333-3333, which is really easy to remember. If you can tell them what intersection or hotel you're at, they'll come get you, and since the city is pretty small, it'll be fairly inexpensive to get where you're going.

I do not recommend driving within the city.  Parking is horrendous and there are lots of bicycles and pedestrians and buses and all manner of things to deal with. I live here and I still don't drive within the city unless it's unavoidable. If you think you'll have a lot of free books and other swag to carry, I recommend taking a cab or parking your car at a BART station outside the city and then lugging your things that way.

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