The number One thing to remember about getting arround in the Bay Area is "511". You can call it free from anywhere in the nine counties and get public transit information
The main commuter train system in the Bay Area. The "12th street Oakland City Center" stop is right next to the hotel. Use ticket vending machines to purchase reusable (but disposable) mag-strip tickets which must be scanned on the way in/out of the stations. Costs vary based on how far you travel; a one-way trip from 12th St. into SF runs between $3 and $4.
Taxi's are fairly prevalent in downtown Oakland (and the rest of the Bay Area), but unless you are starting at a major taxi stand (e.g. big hotel, airport, major Bart station, etc...) you will probably have to call one to come pick you up.
It's worth carrying the numbers of some taxi companies with you if you plan on going out...
Going to San Francisco
The easiest way to get to (and around) SF is to ditch the rental car and take Bart (parking is a nightmare in SF, even in the residential areas). If you want to go somewhere in SF that isn't near a Bart station, transfer to MUNI, or hail a cab near on of the downtown Bart stations. (Taking Bart to SF and then hailing a cab is much cheaper then trying to take a cab from Oakland to SF, even with 4 people.)
Getting To/From Airports
Bart trains go right up to the international terminal at SFO. For OAK you have to pay a few dollars to ride a little shuttle bus to the nearest bart station...
After Effects of Bay Bridge Closure
On October 27th, a malfunction in an repair installed over Labor Day weekend resulted in a complete closure of the Bay Bridge (The main bridge connecting San Francisco to Oakland and the East Bay) that lasted until the morning of November 2nd. Even though the bridge was reopened, there are likely to be lingering impacts on transportation in and around the Bay Area for the duration of ApacheCon. Things to be aware of...
- Many people who may have tried commuting via Bart for the first time during the bridge closure may continue to use it this week -- which will likely make Bart very congested since it was operating at peak capacity last week (ie: using every available rail car on extra long trains) during the closure, but this week will be returning to their regular capacity.
- Many commuters are expected to avoid the Bay Bridge due to fear of additional problems, and may instead use/congest alternate routes
- During the closure, at least one other bridge was repainted to increase the number of lanes (by narrowing the existing lanes) so that more cars could cross at the same time (but at lower speeds). These bridges still need to be repainted at some point, which will likely involve late night lane closures, and until then will require reduced speed.
For status updates on the state of the Bridge...