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Mass Transit and Ride-Shares

[whitespace] Fast Tracks

Public transit doesn't have to be slow and tedious. With a little bit of planning, the bus, light rail and train can get you to your destination with little hassle.

The Valley Transportation Authority's light rail system now runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you're going to downtown San Jose, you can park for free at one of the park-and-ride lots at many suburban light rail stations.

Light rail to the San Jose International Airport is handy. A free shuttle runs between the Metro light rail stop and the airport on weekdays. Free shuttles also run during commute hours between light rail stops and nearby businesses such as Paramount's Great America, Lockheed, Sony, Quantum and IBM.

The number 22 bus line runs 24 hours a day now. This bus travels all the way from Eastridge Shopping Mall to the Menlo Park CalTrain Station, running along Santa Clara Avenue, The Alameda and El Camino Real. Late-night and early-morning 22 buses have a timed transfer with the light rail in downtown San Jose.

Valley Fair Shopping Center can be a parking nightmare, but the 23 and 24 bus lines easily slip in and out of the mess and carry shoppers all along Stevens Creek Boulevard and West San Carlos Avenue, from San Jose to Palo Alto. The 23 and 24 buses run every 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the time of day and day of week.

CalTrain runs from San Jose to San Francisco in the same amount of time it would take to drive to SF, get stuck in traffic and then find affordable parking. CalTrain also has stops and free shuttles near many large employers in Santa Clara, Sunnyvale and along the Peninsula.

Going to a Sharks' game? CalTrain stops right at the San Jose Arena and has trains timed to arrive before the puck drop and leave after the game ends. Light rail stops a few blocks away from the Arena and runs free shuttle buses to the Arena on game nights and many concert nights as well.

Complete schedule and fare details can be found online. Or call Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority at 408/321-2300 and CalTrain at 800/660-4287.

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From the March 5-11, 1998 issue of Metro.

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