What is it like to commute to the city from Fairfax? Is this even a good idea?

Asked by Mpkw, 94930 Tue Jul 21, 2009

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miarasor, Home Buyer, San Francisco, CA
Mon Apr 6, 2015
I'd be interested in know what the commute is like from fairfax to Corte Madera aiming to be at the office at 9:45.
Any thoughts?
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Spirit Wisem…, Agent, San Anselmo, CA
Fri Jul 11, 2014
It depends on the time of day you are traveling.
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Denise Monta…, Agent, San Anselmo, CA
Thu Dec 12, 2013
It's not bad if you are a stock broker but traffic is heavy when students are heading to/from Drake High School and during the peak rush hour either direction mainly because Sir Francis Drake is so narrow most of the way to 101. It also would depend on where in San Francisco you are going. If it's to the South of Market it would be a lot longer than the Marina.
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Tekboss, Home Owner, Fairfax, CA
Fri Aug 17, 2012
Commuting to San Francisco, especially the financial district, is a breeze. And because Fairfax is so walk-able, we only use our car on weekends (or to take the ferry). We catch the Golden Gate Transit #24 bus which goes straight down Sir Francis Drake Blvd. and is about a 1 minute walk from our door. This will take you all the way to the financial district with no transfers.

Or, if you really want to relax on your way to work, we often drive the 5 miles to the Larkspur Landing Ferry Terminal (plenty of free parking) and ride the ferry across the bay to the San Francisco Ferry Building at the end of Market Street. We get our exercise and enjoy a wonderful view of the sun setting behind the Golden Gate bridge on the way home (an awesome experience if you had a stressful day).

If you must drive into the city you'll find the ride in better than most but the drive home can be awful (unless you can car pool) so in that situation you would want to try flex hours so you can leave early or arrive later. However, I do not think it is worse than other bay area locations.
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Jim Olive, Agent, Key West, FL
Tue Jun 5, 2012
That's funny, I started to answer this question because I used to commute from Fairfax to the city every day. Then I realized, you're talking about a different "Fairfax" and different "city". I commuted to Washington D.C. from Fairfax, Virginia.
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Anastasia Sh…, Agent, Greenbrae, CA
Tue Jun 5, 2012
I lived with my family in Fairfax for 15 years. One of the reasons that property is generally lower in Fairfax than other points East is due to the longer commute. However, there is a silver lining. The community in Fairfax is vibrant and engaged. Many are eager to try alternative transportation.

I find it interesting that so many First time Marin house hunters start out in Mill Valley but end up in Fairfax and San Anselmo as they adjust their expectations. Often, commuters find innovative ways to either avoid the five day commute or adjust it. Some begin to work at home a day or two a week. Others, take the ferry via bike. My husband commuted by bike regularly and enjoyed the comaraderie that he developed over the years. He still commutes and we actually live further out in the back of Sleepy Hollow.

So, is it a good idea? How much do you value a vibrant community in which many of your neighbors are often out and about on foot and bike with their kids and dogs? How much do you value great schools with lots of parent participation? It is a trade off. But, don't be surprised to find yourself living in Fairfax, delighted with your move and the proud owner of a commuter bike!
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Nancy, , 34949
Sun Nov 14, 2010
Commuting stinks.

I did it for 7 years. Outside of commute hours, the bus schedule is horrid. And the cost is surprisingly high compared to MUNI... when I relocated back in 1988, I'd been paying $35/month for a Fast Pass; the bus fare was $10 a day!

All of that being said, if your schedule is regular, if you don't have unexpected changes to your hours, taking the bus can be relaxing. I used to read a lot on the bus, or I'd sleep.

Bottom line: If you love where you live, you won't mind the commute.
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Liz McCarthy, Agent, Greenbrae, CA
Tue Jul 21, 2009

That question depends on, first of all, what time of the day will you be commuting into SF?

If you are going in during "normal" business commute times, I won't kid you the traffic definitely backs up, mainly before the San Anselmo hub, after that you can either head down Redhill Blvd (towards San Rafael off 101) which is actually a quicker commute as opposed to on Sir Francis Drake (Greenbrae exit of 101). THe distance is closer to the 101 (meaning less surface roads) even though you are 2 exits north on 101. The traffic lights are timed and the street is one-way, which really speeds things up.

If you are commuting during off hours, the drive isn't bad, I would say you could get into and out of SF in about 25-30 minutes. During commute times, I'd say 45 - 60 minutes. That's into SF. That doesn't account for the time it might take you within SF to get to your destination.

I would estimate commute times to be: am: 7:00 - 8:30, and evenings, 4:30 - 6:30.

If you were to look in San Anselmo, especially homes that are located before the "Hub" intersection, you could cut 15 minutes off your commute time if it's during commute hours.

Fairfax is a wonderful community, I'd recommend talking to folks who live there and commute and ask them directly! I'm happy to get you in touch with folks if you like, just let me know. (As I live in San Rafael)

Hope that helps!
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Tristan Cela…, , Marin County, CA
Tue Jul 21, 2009
The attached Google distance/time is optimal. In traffic it can double. There are comparable neighborhoods down the communities of the Ross Valley to the mouth and even over as far west as Tam Valley. Each is closer and closer.
If the commute looks too much check out the community/neighborhood flavors south and west.
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Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Tue Jul 21, 2009
Have you spoken to professional associates who would make same commute. Or visit local park, dining area speak with residences of that community.

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