• Photonics West
    Preview Week January
    Health and Safety
    Event Highlights
    COVID-19 Research
    3D Printing
    Translational Research
    Photonics West Exhibition
    Photonics West Sponsors
    BiOS Expo
    BiOS Expo Sponsors
    Industry Program
    Travel to San Francisco
    SPIE Event Policies
    For Authors and Presenters
    For Chairs and Committees
    For Photonics West Exhibitors
    For BiOS Expo Exhibitors
The Moscone Center
San Francisco, California, United States
6 - 11 March 2021
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Travel Information for SPIE Photonics West 2020

Plan your Travel to SPIE Photonics West 2020

Join us in San Francisco

San Francisco is a unique and breathtaking metropolis. With the famous icon of the Golden Gate Bridge, the city takes pride in its unrivaled attractions and its unique neighborhoods which are treasures of its own. Discover the variety of sites, shops, and restaurants that reflect the city's great ethnic and cultural diversity. San Francisco Visitor Information

A Day in the Life: San Francisco (YouTube video)

San Francisco Restaurants (Open Table)

Event Location

The Moscone Center
747 Howard Street
San Francisco, California
94103, USA


San Francisco is serviced by two international airports:

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is located approximately 15 miles from San Francisco downtown hotels (30-60 minute drive).

Oakland International Airport (OAK) is approximately 20 miles from San Francisco downtown hotels (30-50 minute drive).


 • To & from Oakland International Airport
 • To & from San Francisco International Airport
 • Airport and Hotel Shuttles 
 • Clipper Card - All-in-one Transit Card for the Bay Area
 • BART - fast, low-cost travel from airports to your hotel

Go Green - Airport to Hotel

SPIE recommends taking BART's direct trains from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Oakland International Airport (OAK). They are convenient, fast, cost less and the ecological way to get to and from the airports to San Francisco. Taking BART keeps 20 lbs. of emissions out of the air per round trip. Get your BART ticket to SPIE and spare the air!  

SFO to Downtown San Francisco Hotels 

BART is the fastest, easiset way to travel from the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to hotels near the Moscone Convention Center. To access most hotels you can get off at the Powell Street Station and just walk a few minutes to your hotel. Check out the BART Trip Planner for more details. A round-trip ticket will cost under $20. 

OAK to Downtown San Francisco Hotels

Go to the new BART station across from Terminal 1 and board the train to the Coliseum station. When you arrive there, purchase a ticket to get out of the fare gate to the main train platform. Then go down to the right side of the platform and take any San Francisco bound train to the station closest to your hotel, most likley Powell Street Station. The total trip downtown takes 40 minutes. A round-trip ticket will cost about $22.

BART Schedules by Station   

  • Civic Center Station - Upper Market hotels
  • Powell St. Station - Union Square, Moscone West hotels
  • Montgomery St. Station - Financial District, Moscone North & South hotels 
  • Embarcadero Station - Lower Market hotels  

Plan your trip with the BART Quick Planner

Airport and Hotel Shuttles


Super Shuttle - Book a reservation online and receive a 10% round trip discount for shared rides from SFO, or OAK, booked at least 24 hours in advance and prepaid with a valid credit card. Print airport pick up instructions and maps.

You may also call 1-800-258-3826 and refer to Photonics West 2020 or group code QBCYT.

 • Go Lorrie's Airport Shuttle
 • Airport Express Van Service

Train from San Jose to San Francisco

 • Caltrain's Baby Bullet Express Service makes it possible to travel between San Francisco and San Jose only in less than an hour stopping at a few popular stations. Caltrain offers 22 weekday commute-hour bullet trains. Fares are based on the number of zones that are partially or wholly traveled through by the passenger. For Caltrain Customer Service call 1-800-660-4287.
 • Baby Bullet Fares
 • Baby Bullet Weekday Timetable

Getting Around in San Francisco

SFMTA - San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency 
runs a network of fuel-efficient Muni buses, light rail Metro trains and historic streetcars which cover all corners of the city. It's an affordable, easy way to see the all sights. Plan your route with their Trip Planner!

BART - Bay Area Rapid Transit is a subway and rail line that runs throughout San Francisco and connects you cities across the bay.

Lyft - an on demand car service. Conference attendees can receive $10 off your first ride. Valid for new users only. Get $10 off your first ride. Does not cover tips, cancellation fees, or damage fees associated with the ride. Valid from January 25th to February 13th 2020. Cannot be combined with other ride credit or offers. Subject to Lyft's Terms of Use. 

Uber - an on demand car service is also an easy way to get around the city. Promo Codes availble for new riders, up to $25 off.

Taxi stands are also located throughout the city - view the map and directory.


Market Street "closure" - Starting on Wednesday, January 29, 2020, private cars will no longer be able to drive along Market Street. This ban DOES NOT include city regulated taxis (Yellow Cab and Flywheel), commercial vehicles, emergency vehicles, public transit and paratransit. All vehicles will still be able to cross Market Street. For Lyft and Uber, this means pick-ups and drop offs cannot occur on Market Street, but on side streets. The city will be adding passenger zones (white zones) to facilitate pick-ups and drop offs. White zones will added to the Lyft & Uber apps, so that passengers wishing to have a pick-up on Market Street will be redirected to the closest cross-street white zone for their pick-up.

Your taxi, Lyft and Uber pick-ups and drop offs at Moscone Center will not be affected.

Read more information on SFgate.com

Parking rates at Photonics West Hotels range from $30 (self) to $60 (valet), rates subject to change. Please check with your individual hotel for specific parking rates during the conference week.

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