AdviceArts and CultureSan FranciscoShopping, Style and Beauty

$25 Trips Between San Francisco and Los Angeles Through CA Shuttle Bus

The Bay's best newsletter for underground events & news
King of the Road.

King of the Road.

Thanks to our fearless leader in Sacramento, it will probably be some time before we ever see that magic bullet train become a reality, if ever.

Until that point if you need to make the trip between LA and SF, your options are pretty standard and not always that cheap.

Flying is about as quick and easy as spending the day at the DMV these days and the golden era of train travel ended right about the time we were blessed with the introduction of Amtrak.

Driving is pointless unless you’re doing it with a lot of people and making that drive down the 5 can be brutal.

The mere mention of taking the bus usually gets the same response from people as the prospect of using an outhouse, which isn’t wholly undeserved as that the only bus line we had to choose from was Greyhound.

Apparently, the dog bus is doing some big overhaul that is going to include new snappy buses, but so far that only pertains to a few cities on the Eastern Seaboard and beyond that booking a ticket with them is confusing and tends to end up with getting the priciest and longest trip for the uninitiated.

Fortunately, there’s a little company called the California Shuttle Bus.

It’s a pretty small time operation run by an older gentleman who answers the phones and tends to hop on the bus at some point during the trip to say hi and thank you for your patronage, peppering the patter with wise cracks.

If you’ve ever traveled by bus in Mexico, it’s kind of the same thing.  The buses are usually in pretty good shape, have air conditioning/ heat and the drivers are pretty good at getting the trip in under six or seven hours.  They also have multiple drop off/ pick-up points as opposed to the scary terminal aesthetic.

If that wasn’t enough, you also get free entertainment.  What trip would be complete unless it included being treated to such cinematic triumphs as The House Bunny or Madea’s Family Reunion?

The only downsides are that sometimes the details can be a little fuzzy, depending on how busy they are.  If the passenger count was low, they would downgrade to a large van a few years back, which was a little awkward, but now it seems they cut days that they operate so its best to call instead of just booking online.

California Shuttle Bus
[SF/ LA]

P.S.- To get the $25 deal, make sure to book in advance.  Regular price is $35, with last minute at $40.

Like this article? Make sure to sign up for our mailing list so you never miss a goddamn thing!
Previous post

FREE Hangover Screening and FREE Beer

Next post

A Guide for Out of Town Guests

Stephen Torres - Threadbare-Fact Finder (Editor, San Francisco)

Stephen Torres - Threadbare-Fact Finder (Editor, San Francisco)

Stephen's early years were spent in a boxcar overlooking downtown Los Angeles. From there he moved around the state with his family before settling under the warm blanket of smog that covers suburban Southern California. Moving around led to his inability to stay in one place for very long, but San Francisco has been reeling him back in with its siren song since 1999.
By trade he pours booze, but likes to think he can write and does so occasionally for the SF Bay Guardian, Bold Italic and 7x7. He also likes to enjoy time spent in old eateries, bars and businesses that, by most standards, would have been condemned a long time ago.


  1. Titit
    June 23, 2010 at 1:14 am

    Hello! Are the California Shuttle Buses as big as the Greyhounds? We’re traveling from LA to San Francisco (and back) and we’re on a budget, so I think this is our best option. However, I’ve read a number of negative feedback – buses breaking down midway between LA and SF, busted aircons, etc. Now, I’m having second thoughts. Please help? Thanks!

  2. Stephen Torres - Threadbare-Fact Finder (Editor, San Francisco)
    June 23, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Hello to you as well! I would highly recommend the Shuttle Bus over Greyhound. I recently took the Greyhound for the first time in years and whereas there is the grimy novelty, I would say the coaches used by the Shuttlebis are in much better repair.
    They are the same size as the Greyhounds, if not somewhat larger sometimes and much cleaner.

    The only weird trip I had was the one where it had been downgraded to a van, but I believe that was because they had temporarily experienced from a rival company that doesn’t exist on the West coast anymore.

    Other than that, my only complaint would be that some of the days of operation have been cut, and that they don’t update that on the website, so it really is best to call.

    Buen viaje!

  3. Stephen Torres - Threadbare-Fact Finder (Editor, San Francisco)
    June 23, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Ps- Sorry for all the typos!