Travel & Transit Alternatives to Driving & Parking at the Larkspur Ferry Terminal

The Golden Gate Larkspur Ferry Terminal main and overflow parking lots often fill to capacity by 9:00AM on weekdays, especially after the recent loss of the upper overflow 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, ferry customers can get real-time updates when the Larkspur Terminal parking lots are at capacity by following us on Twitter (@GoldenGateFerry). Staff tweets 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 1:00PM 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. Larkspur Ferry shuttle Routes 25, 31, and 41 are free for ferry customers and drop off/pick up inside the terminal. 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 (some trips extended to Peacock Gap/San Pedro Rd). Route 41 operates express service between the Smith Ranch Park & Ride lot in northern San Rafael and the Ferry Terminal during weekday morning and afternoon commute periods. Visit our Bus Schedules page for ferry shuttle timetables.
  • Ride Marin Transit. Marin Transit Route 29 operates weekdays 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 adjacent to the Ferry Terminal entrance. Visit the Marin Transit website for timetables and maps.
  • Park at a Park & Ride Lot and Ride a Bus. There are Park & Ride lots within a mile of the Ferry Terminal that are served by bus/shuttle Routes 24/24X, 25, 29, and 228—at Drakes Landing Office Park with capacity for 50 vehicles and at the northeast (behind the gas station) & northwest (near Chase Bank) corners of the Bon Air Shopping Center with capacity for 54 vehicles. Golden Gate Transit Route 24/24X and Marin Transit Routes 29 and 228 serve these park & ride lots; Ferry shuttle Route 25 serves the NW 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. And there's a Park & Ride lot at Smith Ranch Road in northern San Rafael, with capacity for over 200 vehicles; Route 41 provides express service to the Larkspur Terminal. Visit our Park & Ride page for more information.
  • Ride the SMART Train and Transfer to a Bus. 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. 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. The Larkspur Terminal is within walking distance of several Greenbrae, Corte Madera, and Larkspur neighborhoods. Walking eliminates stress associated with driving and road congestion. For a helpful map showing trails and walking paths, download and print our Larkspur Ferry are map.
  • Carpool. 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 1 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.
  • Take a taxi. There are many Marin taxi companies that drop off and pick up at the Larkspur Terminal.

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 fares.

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 customerservice@goldengate.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 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 Larkspur Ferry parking lot closure alerts.
  • Sign up for email and text alerts through GovDelivery. We encourage customers to subscribe to as many "topics" as applicable (i.e. "Larkspur Ferry Schedules," "Ferry News," "GGT Route 25").