Getting Around

A man checks the time on his watch while waiting at a train station.

Palo Alto and Stanford University are served by several transportation networks. Palo Alto prides itself on being a walkable city with a robust network of bike lanes and paths. There are several public transit options - trains and buses - that serve the area. With some of the highest electric vehicle (EV) adoption rates in the country, there are many EV chargers available to the public on private and public properties. 

Bicycling & Walking

A Gold-Level Bicycle Friendly Community, Palo Alto has been at the forefront of bicycle and pedestrian planning since the early 1980s, when the City developed the nation’s first bicycle boulevard on Bryant Street.

Combined with a lively and historic downtown and convenient connections to Stanford University and regional transit, the city attracts commuters, students, and visitors alike to bicycle or walk at much higher rates than other South Bay communities.

Please visit our Bicycling & Walking web page for more information. 

Public Transit

Public transit options include the regional Caltrain system, which operates frequent trains up and down the Peninsula between San Francisco and San Jose. (Caltrain has two stops in Palo Alto: the Palo Alto station and the California Avenue station.)

There is also the free Stanford Marguerite shuttle bus network, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority buses, local taxis, and rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft. 

Resources for Seniors

Avenidas Door-to-Door ride service 
Email: rides@avenidas.org
Phone: (650) 289-5411

OUTREACH STAR Program (Senior and Disabled Transportation and Resources)
Email: admin@outreach2.org
Phone: (408) 678-8585

Airports

Palo Alto is easily accessible by all three of the Bay Area's main airports: San Francisco (SFO), Oakland (OAK), and San Jose (SJC).

SFO and OAK are both served by BART with connections to Caltrain. SJC is served by VTA which connects to Caltrain. Caltrain has two stops in Palo Alto: the Palo Alto station and the California Avenue station. 

 Also, Palo Alto has a general aviation airport, PAO, located in the Palo Alto Baylands. There is a Palo Alto Airport Association which strives to promote and preserve the safe and efficient operation of the airport for all users.

Parking in Palo Alto and Stanford University

Palo Alto

During weekdays, parking in downtown Palo Alto city-owned parking lots is free for two hours and free in parking garages for three hours. On weekends, parking is free in the city's garages and lots.

Please visit the city's parking web site for more information including how to purchase All Day Visitor Parking Permits for parking on weekdays. 

Stanford University

Parking on the Stanford campus is restricted and generally requires a permit. Please visit How to Purchase Visitor Parking or Stanford's main parking web page.

To avoid needing to park on campus, use the free Stanford Marguerite Shuttle network to access campus destinations including the Stanford Shopping Center and the Stanford Medical Center. Please visit the Stanford Marguerite Shuttle web page for more information. 

Highways

Palo Alto is easily accessible to major surface routes, including Interstate 280, Highway 101, Highway 84 - the Dumbarton Bridge, and Highway 92 - the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge.

Public EV Charging Stations

There are many EV (electric vehicle) charging stations in Palo Alto and the surrounding regions.

In the map below, click on a pin to learn more about each EV charging station. Note: Some EV charging stations are free and others have fees and/or are only open to members of a certain network.

Be sure to also check out the City of Palo Alto's own public charging stations now available at eight city garages and two libraries: Mitchell Park and Rinconada.

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