AirTrain (San Francisco International Airport)

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AirTrain nearing West Field Road station, July 2018.JPG
AirTrain nearing West Field Road station in 2018
OwnerSan Francisco Airports Commission
LocaleSan Francisco International Airport
Transit typePeople mover, Airport rail link
Number of lines2
Number of stations9
Began operationFebruary 24, 2003
Operator(s)San Francisco Airports Commission
Number of vehicles38 Bombardier Innovia APM 100 people mover vehicles
System length6 mi (10 km)
Track gaugeRubber-tired
System map

Terminal 2
Terminal 3
Terminal 1
Int'l Terminal G
Int'l Terminal A
Garage G
Bay Area Rapid Transit
Garage A
Hotel (Future)
West Field Road
Rental Car Center
Lot DD (Future)
US 101
Bay Area Rapid Transit Caltrain
San Bruno
Bay Area Rapid Transit

AirTrain is a fully automated people mover at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). The system was built by Bombardier at a cost of US $430 million, and opened on February 24, 2003. The trains operate 24 hours a day on two separate lines, covering a total of six miles (10 kilometres).

The entire AirTrain fleet is wheelchair accessible and allows rented baggage carts on board. The system is composed of 38 Innovia APM 100 cars built by Bombardier of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, which can also be found at Tampa, Denver, Atlanta, Seattle-Tacoma, Houston, and Madrid International Airports.

Lines and stations[edit]

System map inside AirTrain car
AirTrain interior

AirTrain operates on two lines—Red Line and Blue Line—both of which run every 2½ minutes. The Red Line travels in a clockwise loop, beginning with Garage G station and ending with Garage A station, which takes about 9 minutes to complete. The Blue Line travels in a counterclockwise loop, serving the same stations in reverse order, and also proceeding to West Field Road and the Rental Car Center, which takes 19 minutes for a round trip.

Alternatively, passengers may walk around the terminal loop instead of riding AirTrain, which takes about 25 minutes by foot; however, passengers must ride AirTrain to access the Rental Car Center.

AirTrain does not provide access to SFO's long-term parking garage and lots; instead, passengers must take a free airport shuttle bus between the airport terminals and the long-term parking areas. The end of the track past the Rental Car Center station is only about six hundred yards away from the airport's long-term parking garage, and the system may be extended to the garage in the future if the funds necessary for construction can be raised.[1] As of December 2013, plans are underway to build an additional long-term parking garage just south of the existing one; the new garage would be built to accommodate a future AirTrain extension.[2] In addition, the airport is seeking an appropriation of $67.7 million from the City and County of San Francisco to build the extension, which is estimated to cost $85 million in total.[3][4]

AirTrain is free of charge. It is funded by a $20 "airport fee" charged by rental car companies.[5]

Station Lines Notes
Garage A Red Line
Blue Line
  • International parking
International Terminal A Red Line
Blue Line
Terminal 1 Red Line
Blue Line
Terminal 2 Red Line
Blue Line
Terminal 3 Red Line
Blue Line
International Terminal G Red Line
Blue Line
Garage G / BART Red Line
Blue Line
West Field Road Blue Line
Rental Car Center Blue Line
  • Access to most car rental companies
  • Transfer to shuttle to additional off-airport rental companies

The AirTrain stations at the International Terminal are located one level above ticketing, at both ends of the main hall. Stations at Terminals 1, 2, and 3 are located on level 5 of the domestic parking garage and can be accessed near security checkpoints B, D, and F.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cabanatuan, Michael (26 February 2003). "SFO's people mover up and running unofficially / Trains carry people around terminals, to rental cars". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
  2. ^ "SFO Outreach/Town Hall" (PDF). San Francisco International Airport. San Francisco International Airport. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  3. ^ "Capital Planning Committee – Supplemental Appropriation Request" (PDF). OneSF. San Francisco Capital Planning Committee. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 April 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Minutes of the San Francisco Airport Commission, February 18, 2014" (PDF). San Francisco International Airport. San Francisco Airport Commission. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  5. ^ Douglas Greenberg (April 19, 2012). "SFO rental car co's may be mischarging $20 fee". The San Francisco Chronicle.

External links[edit]