How to Navigate the Outside Lands Transit Chaos

The festival is expected to draw 225,000 people and a whole lot of congestion — here's how to avoid getting caught in it.

Outside Lands. (Photo by Ryan McNulty)

The 12th annual Outside Lands starts Friday, bringing headliners Paul Simon and Childish Gambino along with Anderson.Paak, Ella Mai, The MarÌas and local comedian Nori Reed.

That’s also expected to draw 225,000 people and a whole lot of congestion to one slice of San Francisco over three days. Here’s how to get to and from the park without getting too lost in the crowd:

 

Public transit

Given the limited space around Outside Lands and no provided parking, festival organizers and San Francisco officials highly recommend taking public transportation. SFMTA will add extra service for the N-Judah from 3-11:30 p.m. to Ocean Beach, 5R-Fulton from 2-9:30 p.m. to the Richmond, plus 5X Fulton Express from 9:45-11:30 p.m. to Civic Center BART. Alternatively, the 1-California drops down to Geary Boulevard and 33rd Avenue to escape from the crowds — if the hike isn’t minded.

Regulars of the 7-Haight-Noriega, 28-19th Avenue, 29-Sunset, and 44-O’Shaughnessy be warned: since they run through areas around Golden Gate Park, expect delays. Plus, Filipino cultural festival Pistahan Parade will close down parts of Market Street on Saturday so underground Muni is the way to go. 

Pre-loading your Clipper card or downloading the MuniMobile app is recommended to avoid ticket lines. 

 

Outside Lands shuttle 

Festival-goers may also stick to mass transit by taking the Outside Lands coach-style shuttle, which runs from the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium near Civic Center BART from 11 a.m. until one after the music stops. A three-day shuttle pass costs $49.50 and a single pass goes for $19.95.

Shuttle services by FestDrive from Mill Valley, Oakland, Palo Alto cost $51 each day, $71 from San Jose, and $77 from Sacramento.

Rideshare/Taxi

Skip Scooters is partnering with Outside Lands to store them at John F. Kennedy and Stowe Lake drives in the park, costing 25 cents per minute on top of the $1 check-out fee. Though it’ll require some extra trekking, there’s just a handful Bay Wheels stands, rebranded from Ford GoBike by Lyft, near the eastern end of the park for $2 up to 30 minutes. JUMP electric bikes, available through the Uber app, are dockless and includes 20 minutes in the $3 unlock fee, charging 15 cents per minutes thereafter.

Otherwise, all drop-offs and pick-ups are on the west side of 30th Avenue between Balboa and Anza streets and the north side of Balboa Street between 30th and 31st avenues. Other loading zones are on the north side of Irving Street between 25th and 27th avenues, Balboa Street between 30th and 31s avenues, or 30th Avenue between Balboa and Anza streets.

Taxi stands will be stationed at Fulton Street, between 28th and 29th avenues as well as 24th and 25 avenues. 

 

Driving

Save yourself and neighbors of Golden Gate Park the agony and opt out if you can help it. If not, the best parking option may lie at the Argonne Elementary School, which charges $30 for the day to raise money for the school. Drivers may enter the lot on Cabrillo Street between 17th and 18th avenues, just one block from Golden Gate Park. It’s a better deal than most Craiglist ads from neighbors charging at least $50 a day to park on their driveway.

Drivers can also park at the garage on McAllister Street, between Polk and Larkin streets, to take mass transit on top of paying the $29 flat rate that lasts 12 hours. 

 

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