Transportation on Alameda Island and Admirals Cove
As part of the ongoing development at Alameda Island, especially Alameda Point, the city is in ongoing, widespread development of transportation of all kinds — from public transit, to pedestrian-friendly routes, to biking and driving infrastructure. But there is plenty already in place, too to help you explore downtown Alameda, move to Alameda, or enjoy the shore.
Learn the tips and tricks of getting around this unique town and connecting with the rest of the Bay Area. Alameda Island is one of the best places to live — and this is why.
As an island community, Alameda relies upon the San Francisco Bay Ferry. The closest ferry terminal is just a short walk (12 minutes) from Admiral’s Cove, and there are several other locations on the island where you can hop on a ferry.
The ferry ride is just a beautiful 30 minutes to the downtown Ferry Building in San Francisco, and there are also routes to Oakland and South San Francisco. These routes are commonly used by commuters who work in San Francisco, but are also a great option for visiting other parts of the Bay Area for fun.
Alameda Island is quite small — only 23 square miles, and about 6.5 miles on the long side and 1 mile across. This means biking is a common and practical way to get around. It takes less than 30 minutes to bike across the entire long side of the island.
Alameda recognizes that, and in order to support healthy physical activity, the environment, and safety, they have implemented widespread biking infrastructure and programs. They have even acted as innovators in bike transit, as they were the first East Bay city with a public dock-less bike share system.
The city offers free classes on biking and bike safety and runs a Bike Festival every year with education, bicycle maintenance, and more.
The most commonly used BART station by Alameda residents — the Fruitvale BART — has free secure bike storage and a bike shop to support riders who use multi-modal transport to get to the BART and take the train throughout the Bay Area.
There are also low-cost (5-cents-an-hour) lockers throughout the city for public cyclist use. Not to mention plenty of free public racks.
In partnership with the city, Bike/Walk Alameda releases regular editions of a Bike Walk map indicating bike paths and the best walking routes.
Again, our island town status makes us very pedestrian friendly — especially for nearby stops and amusements. Admiral Cove’s coveted location makes it easy to get to public transit on foot, including the ferry and AC Transit. The above mentioned map is a big help if you plan to walk around on a regular basis. Some of the best spots within walking distance of Admiral’s Cove include:
Alameda Landing — shopping center including grocery stores, restaurants, and more
College of Alameda
The shoreline in general — great views of the harbor are close by!
Main Street — a cute road lined with shops and services
Main Street Dog Park
Main Street Linear Park
While there is not a BART station directly on Alameda (largely due to our island status), there are several BART stations nearby on the main land and multiple shuttles and routes to get to them.
Fruitvale BART station
Most Alameda residents use the Fruitvale BART, as it’s just across the Fruitvale Ave. bridge. By bike, it’s easiest to use this station and as mentioned above, there is free secure bike storage.
Oakland Jack London station
Technically, the closest BART station to Admiral’s Cove is actually the Oakland Jack London stop just across the Posey Tube. By bike, it’s easier to get to the Fruitvale station (unless you wish to take the ferry across), but by car the Oakland Jack London station is a short ride away. Depending on what lines you wish to get on, it could be more efficient to go to the slightly further 12th Street station.
12th Street BART station
The Alameda Landing Express is a free weekday shuttle from Alameda Landing (a 12-minute walk from Admiral’s Cove) to the 12th Street BART station in Oakland (an 8-minute ride). The shuttle runs until 7PM, so you can be sure to get home after your work commute.
Unlike BART, AC Transit has a big presence in Alameda with routes all around the island. It’s a great way to just get around the island, though not particularly efficient for exploring the rest of the Bay Area.
Other Public Transit Options
Alameda for Independent Mobility is a program for low-income residents to provide free Uber or Lyft trips.
Alameda Loop Shuttle aims to help seniors and people with disabilities get around the island.
Gig Car Share and Getaround have a presence on the island, enabling trips into the rest of East Bay or around the island.
Safe Routes to Schools is a program that provides maps for safe school routes.
For a fill list of programs, visit the Alameda City website.
Alameda means to reduce unnecessary driving on the island by providing all the above options for getting around. That being said, there are a variety of public parking areas — especially in the central business districts and by the ferry terminals— and electric vehicle charging spots. Admiral's Cove has free parking lots for resident use. In Alameda, driving is most commonly used by everyday residents for carrying loads and leaving the island.