The Golden Gate Larkspur Ferry Terminal main and overflow parking lots often fill to capacity by 9:00 AM on weekdays, especially after the recent loss of the upper overflot lot to SMART for construction. In response to customer requests for transit and travel alternatives, we have compiled this comprehensive list of alternatives—alternatives to driving and parking at the Larkspur Terminal and alternatives to commuting to San Francisco from the North Bay.
Also in response to customer feedback, beginning Monday, January 29, ferry customers can get real-time updates when the Larkspur Terminal parking lots are at capacity by following us on Twitter (@GoldenGateFerry). Staff will tweet out alerts when the main Larkspur lot is full and when the overflow lot is full. In general, parking spaces begin to open up about 1:00 PM due to returning passengers.
As a safety reminder, when using the overflow lot, ALWAYS use crosswalks or the pedestrian overpass when walking to and from the main terminal. Read a 2017 news item about jaywalking and safe walking routes.
Alternatives to Driving and Parking at the Larkspur Terminal
- Take a Shuttle to the Ferry Terminal. Larkspur Ferry shuttle Routes 25 and 31 are free for Larkspur Ferry customers and drop off/pick up inside the terminal in front of the fare gate and ticket machines. Route 25 operates during weekday morning and afternoon commutes along Sir Francis Drake Blvd to/from Fairfax/Manor (serving several Park & Ride lots too!—see bullet below). Route 31 operates daily to/from the San Rafael Transit Center/SMART Station. Visit our Bus Schedules page for ferry shuttle timetables.
- Ride Marin Transit to the Ferry Terminal. Marin Transit Route 29 operates weekday commute periods only between San Rafael and Marin General Hospital. Marin Transit Route 228 operates daily between the San Rafael Transit Center and Fairfax/Manor. Both routes drop off/pick up at the bus stop along Sir Francis Drake Blvd in front of the Ferry Terminal. Visit the Marin Transit website for timetables and maps.
- Park at a Park & Ride Lot and Ride a Bus to the Ferry Terminal. There are Park & Ride lots within a mile of the Ferry Terminal that are served by bus/shuttle Routes 24, 25, 29, and 228—at Drakes Landing Office Park with capacity for 50 vehicles and at the northwest corner of the Bon Air Shopping Center with capacity for 70 vehicles. Golden Gate Transit Route 24 and Marin Transit Routes 29 and 228 serve both park & ride lots; Ferry shuttle Route 25 serves the Bon Air lot. There are also several Park & Ride lots under Hwy 101 in central San Rafael, with capacity for almost 200 vehicles; Routes 29, 31, and 228 provide connecting service to the Larkspur Terminal. Visit our Park & Ride page for more information.
- Ride the SMART Train and Transfer to a Bus to the Ferry Terminal. The SMART train operates daily between northern Santa Rosa and downtown San Rafael, with stops in downtown Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Cotati, downtown Petaluma, Novato/Atherton, Novato/Hamilton, Marin Civic Center, and the San Rafael Transit Center. Connecting bus service is available from the Transit Center on Ferry shuttle Route 31 (see bullet above) and Marin Transit Routes 29 and 228 (see bullet above). Visit the SMART website for station locations, fares, schedules and refer to a handy brochure showing both southbound and northbound train-bus-ferry connections.
- Bike to the Ferry Terminal. Bicycles are welcome on board all Golden Gate Ferry vessels on a first-come, first-served basis. In addition, the Larkspur Terminal has bike parking for up 140 bikes, including 80 secure bike spaces inside the paid waiting area and 60 bike spaces outside the waiting area. For more info, visit our website for more information about Bikes on Ferry and maps showing bike routes.
- Walk to the Ferry Terminal. The Larkspur Terminal is within walking distance of several Greenbrae, Corte Madera, and Larkspur neigbhorhoods. Walking eliminates stress associated with driving and road congestion. For a helpful map showing trails and walking paths, visit our website.
- Carpool to the Ferry Terminal. Carpool spaces at the Larkspur Terminal are located in Rows F and G and along the inner perimeter lane adjacent to motorcycle parking. A carpool is defined as a driver and at least one passenger. These spaces are subject to the parking fee.
- Use a Rideshare. 511’s RideMatch matches drivers and riders to share rides and the cost. It’s easy to use—learn more at 511’s RideMatch site. Other rideshare services like Lyft, Lyft Line, and Uber connect drivers with riders, sometimes even connecting a rider with other riders going the same route or to the same location.
Alternatives to Getting to San Francisco from the North Bay
- Ride Golden Gate Transit to SF. GGT operates frequent commute service from most North Bay communities and Park & Ride lots for a one-seat ride to San Francisco. GGT also operates midday service every hour from southern Marin on Route 4 and San Rafael on Route 27. Visit our Bus Schedules page for timetables and our Park & Ride page for park & ride lot locations and connecting routes.
- Ride the SMART Train and Connect to a SF-bound GGT Bus. Many North Bay commuters are choosing to ride the SMART train to San Rafael and transferring to Golden Gate Transit for connecting bus service to downtown San Francisco. Visit the SMART website for station locations, fares, and schedules. We’ve also created a handy brochure that lists most southbound and northbound train-bus connections.
- Ride Golden Gate Tiburon or Sausalito Ferry to SF. Tiburon Ferry operates during weekday commute periods only. Parking is available at several downtown Tiburon lots for a fee. Sausalito Ferry operates daily, all-day service. There are for-pay public parking lots adjacent to the Ferry Landing and metered parking on local streets. Visit our Ferry Schedules page for timetables. Blue & Gold Fleet also runs ferry service between Tiburon or Sausalito and San Francisco (Pier 41). Visit the Blue & Gold website for timetables and fare information.
Trip Planning Assistance & More Information
We have very knowledgeable customer service assistants available to answer your transit questions and assist with your trip planning needs. Call us at 511 or 415-455-2000 (say “Golden Gate Transit,” then “operator” to bypass recorded messages)/TDD 711, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit us at the San Rafael Transit Center on Platform D. The Customer Service Center is open weekdays from 7:00AM to 6:00PM.
Here are several other useful resources and ways to stay informed:
- Visit our Maps section for links to all Golden Gate system maps.
- When using either Larkspur Ferry parking lot, please follow proper parking etiquette.
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We post news and events on Facebook and use Twitter for news, transit service alerts, and (beginning January 29!) Larkspur Ferry parking lot closure alerts.
Sign up for email and text alerts through Granicus/GovDelivery. We encourage customers to subscribe to as many “topics” as applicable (i.e. “Larkspur Ferry Schedules,” “Ferry News,” “GGT Route 25”).