Getting around downtown San Jose is convenient with or without a car. The light-rail system connects downtown to the rest of San Jose and Santa Clara County. At Santa Clara and First and Second streets, a score of bus lines make transfers to light-rail easy. The free Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH) links bus and light rail service with Diridon Station. Diridon, a major transportation hub, allows residents to hop on Caltrain, Amtrak and ACE trains. With Caltrain’s Baby Bullets, San Francisco is less than an hour away. In addition, Mineta San Jose International Airport is only 10 minutes away from downtown, offering more than 50 commercial flights daily.
Via car, all of the Bay Area’s major roads lead to downtown San Jose. Geographically, downtown is partially defined by the major highways that surround it. At downtown, I-280 connects with Interstate 680, which heads in a northeasterly direction. Interstate 880 shoots up the East Bay, and U.S. Highway 101 skirts the bay on the peninsula side and serves as the major route for all points south of San Jose. The Guadalupe Parkway, aka State Highway 87, serves as a connector between the major highways, downtown, and the airport.
ACE Train (Altamont Commuters Express from the East Bay and Central Valley)
Sixteen taxi stands are located around downtown:
- Fairmont Hotel
- Hilton Hotel
- Convention Center
- Greyhound bus station
- Diridon train station
- HP Pavilion on Santa Clara Street
- Gordon Biersch on San Fernando Street
- Sonoma Chicken Coop on San Pedro Street
- Post Street at Lightson Alley
- The Agenda on San Salvador Street
- Center for the Performing Arts
- Santa Clara Street between Almaden Ave and San Pedro Street (north side of street)
- Santa Clara Street between Market and First (north side of street)
- Santa Clara Street between Second and Third (south side of street)
- First Street at San Salvador (at southeast corner)
- Second Street at San Salvador (at southeast corner)
- Third Street at Santa Clara (at northwest corner)
All Star Cab / Alpha Cab / California Cab (408) 295-9500
City Cab / Milpitas Cab (408) 945-8500
Golden Star Cab (408) 573-7777
Rainbow / Executive Cab (408) 271-9900
United Cab (408) 971-1111
Yellow Cab / Checker Cab (408) 777-7777
Eco City Cycles is a unique alternative transportation option that is also environmentally friendly. Eco City Cycles provides door-to-door transportation through pedicab services. Hail them like a cab or call 20 minutes in advance to arrange four pick up. The cost for a pedicab ride is negotiable. Normal business hours are Wednesday-Saturday 8 pm-2 am, but they are also out for major events downtown, including Sharks games.
Parking is plentiful, easy and convenient. On weekends and holidays, parking is free from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. in many city lots and garages. Those same lots and garages charge $2 to park after 6 p.m. every night.
In addition, several downtown facilities also offer discounted residential parking.
Get up to the minute updates on traffic conditions plus a wealth of travel tools whether you are commuting by bicyle, car or public transportation. Visit the Bay Area travel guide at www.511.org
Directions to Downtown
101 Northbound (from Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Hollister, Los Angeles) Exit onto Interstate 280 northbound. Then exit onto Highway 87 (Guadalupe Pkwy) northbound. Exit at either Santa Clara Street or Julian Street.
101 Southbound (from San Francisco, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara) Exit onto Highway 87 (Guadalupe Pkwy). Then exit at Market Street, Julian Street or Park Avenue.
280 Southbound (from San Francisco, Stanford, Half Moon Bay) Take the Vine Street/Almaden Exit or take Highway 87 (Guadalupe Pkwy) and exit at either Santa Clara Street or Julian Street.
680 Southbound (from Sacramento, Concord, Fremont, Milpitas) 680 South becomes 280 North at the 101 interchange. Stay on 280 North and exit onto Highway 87 (Guadlupe Pkwy). Exit at either Santa Clara Street or Julian Street.
87 Southbound (from north San Jose) Exit at Market Street, Julian Street or Park Avenue.
87 Northbound (from south San Jose) Exit at either Santa Clara Street or Julian Street.
17/880 Southbound (from Berkeley, Oakland, Hayward, Fremont) Exit at Coleman Avenue. Turn left onto Coleman Avenue (crossing over the freeway). Proceed on Coleman to Julian Street or Market Street.
17 Northbound (from Santa Cruz, Los Gatos) Take the Downtown San Jose/280 South Exit. Take the Vine Street/Almaden Exit. Or take Highway 87 (Guadalupe Pkwy) and exit at either Santa Clara Street or Julian Street.
Downtown Street Closures
From time to time, construction, events, roadwork and other factors may close streets around downtown. Click here for updates.
Biking Around Downtown
Downtown is not only walkable, it’s rideable as well. Try these routes to get through downtown:
Superwide sidewalks on the Transit Mall (First and Second streets)
Guadalupe River Park’s path now extends from Interstate 280 to Alviso. In the next few years, it is expected to hook up to the Los Gatos Creek trail, which extends through Campbell and Los Gatos to the Santa Cruz Mountains.
San Fernando Street has a bike lane. It is the main bike route, extending from Diridon Train Station to Coyote Creek.
Outside of downtown:
Try north-south bike lanes on Seventh and 17th Streets, which connect with eastern routes to Alum Rock Park and Sierra Road.
To get west of downtown, also try Park Avenue and Willow Street.