Santa Cruz to San Jose International Airport (SJC) -

Trip overview

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TransportationToTimeFareRuns every
Walk/bike/drivePacific Station (Metro Center)
920 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz
Highway 17 ExpressSan Jose (Diridon) Station1 hour$4.001-2 hours
CaltrainSanta Clara Caltrain Stationmin$2.2530-60 min
Airport Flyer (VTA 10)San Jose Airport (SJC)15 minFree15-30 min
Opposite Terminal A or C
Trip parameters
Total fare$6.25
Total travel time2 to 2.5 hours
Latest departure timePM
Latest return timePM

If you travel frequently, print your own wallet-size Highway 17 + Caltrain schedule, only available here!

1st Step: Highway 17 Express to San Jose

Please review the Santa Cruz to San Jose page. When you are finished with that page, use your Web browser’s “Back” command to return here. Differences to note:

2nd Step: Caltrain to Santa Clara

Please review the Caltrain instructions on the Santa Cruz to San Francisco page. Again, use the “Back” command to return here. Differences to note:

Experts may want to try the VTA 522 bus or the VTA 22 bus instead of Caltrain.

3rd Step: Airport Flyer to the Airport

You will use the Airport Flyer (Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority Route 10) to get from Santa Clara Caltrain Station to the Airport. The buses, which are used only for airport service, have comfortable seats and extra space for luggage.

Finding the Airport Flyer bus

The bus stop is just north of the station building (north is the direction your train was going in), on the same side of the station roadway. Look for an elaborate shelter.

Get on the next Route 10 Airport Flyer bus. Various buses share the bus stop, so check the destination sign or listen for an announcement before getting on. If fares are being collected, you are on the wrong bus.

Preparing to get off at the Airport

As of January 14, 2008, the Airport Flyer follows a faster, more direct route. After about 10 minutes, you will come to Terminal A. Get off here for Southwest, American, or American Eagle. Terminal C is next. Get off here for all other airlines. There is no Terminal B.

Attractions at the Airport

On the way to the airport, use the bagel shop and the cafe in the plaza next to Santa Clara Caltrain Station. Food at the Airport is very limited.

On Tuesday evenings and during the day on Saturday, visit the Museum of Railroad History. It’s inside the station building at Santa Clara. Pictures, model trains, and paraphernalia are on display. This free, kid-friendly attraction is a great way to kick-off your vacation!

Returning home

Finding the return bus (VTA Airport Flyer)

Follow the ground transportation signs. The Airport Flyer stops at islands opposite both terminals.

From here, there are two different Airport Flyer buses. Always ask the driver whether this bus is going to the Caltrain Station. If it’s going to the Metro Light Rail Station, do not get on.

Preparing to get off at Santa Clara Caltrain Station

Santa Clara Caltrain Station is the last stop.

Finding the return train

After getting off the Airport Flyer, go forward to the train platform. Find a red Caltrain ticket machine and buy a ticket from the current zone to Zone 4 ($2.25). Trains to San Jose use the closest track. Avoid trains marked ACE.

Evenings: if you are late

Specific schedules, accurate as of January 14, 2008, are mentioned in this section.

The last Highway 17 Express bus to Santa Cruz leaves San Jose (Diridon) Station around 10:30 PM.

If you are still at the Airport after about 9 PM, find a taxi. You are going to the train station near the HP Pavilion in San Jose; the address is 65 Cahill Street.

If you are still at Santa Clara Caltrain Station after about 9:50 PM (9:30 PM on weekends), call a taxi. You are at the train station opposite the entrance to Santa Clara University; the address is 1001 Railroad Avenue. Again, you are going to the train station near the HP Pavilion in San Jose; the address is 65 Cahill Street.

You can also catch a bus at 9:58 PM (Saturday at 9:38 PM, Sunday at 9:39 PM), from Santa Clara Caltrain Station to San Jose (Diridon) Station. Instructions:

  • Return to the bus stop where you got off the Airport Flyer.
  • Cross the station roadway and wait at the opposite bus stop.
  • Get on the VTA 22 bus. It will be going toward “Eastridge”.
  • Deposit $1.75 in the farebox.
  • Get off when you see the HP Pavilion coming up on the left.
  • Ignore any advice to get off later.

Planning your trip

Plan flights and ground transportation together. Tips:

Telephone numbers

For the Highway 17 Express, dial 1 877 9-RIDE-CC (nationwide, toll-free). Ask for schedules between Santa Cruz and San Jose. For other transportation services, dial 511 (San Francisco Bay Area, toll-free) or 1 408 817-1717.

Know before you go

The information on this Web page might be incomplete, out of date, or incorrect. Also, there is always a risk of delays and missed connections.

© 2001-2008, Paul Marcelin. This Web site is a public service, not affiliated with any transportation provider.