San Jose Diridon Station Transit Guide

San Jose Diridon Station on Cahill St., in downtown San Jose.


Table of Contents


San Jose Diridon Station serves as San Jose’s – and Silicon Valley’s – inter-city bus and train station. Named after former Santa Clara County Board Of Supervisor Rod Diridon, Sr. the station is a stop for Amtrak’s once-daily Coast Starlight train between Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle.

Diridon Station also serves as the southern terminus for Amtrak’s Capitol Corridor service to the East Bay, Oakland, Sacramento, and points northeast. It is also a primary stop for Caltrain commuter rail service to San Francisco via Palo Alto, San Mateo, and the rest of the Peninsula.  On weekdays, the station is also the southern terminus for Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) commuter rail trains to and from Stockton. Finally, Diridon Station is also a major stop for many Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) bus lines and light rail.

The station’s address is 65 Cahill St., between Stover and Crandall Streets, in San Jose.

Map Of the Diridon Station Area

Here is a map of the area around San Jose Diridon Station. It will be referred to often and corrected in this guide where needed. North points to the top of the map.

Schematic map of San Jose Diridon Station. Describes Amtrak/Caltrain/Capitol Corridor/ACE tracks 1-9, VTA light rail tracks/platforms west of Track 9, where things are in the station building, and bus bays north of the main station building.

Note that a more updated map for the VTA bus stops is being created, based on current service to/from Diridon Station.

Intercity Buses and Trains Serving Diridon

In addition to Amtrak’s Coast Startlight train, Amtrak Thruway buses connect San Jose Diridon Station to Gilroy, Salinas, Stockton, Santa Cruz, and Santa Barbara.  The most well-known Amtrak Thruway bus route is the Highway 17 Express bus line to Santa Cruz, operated by Santa Cruz METRO.

Referring to the map above: All Amtrak Thruway buses stop at the bus rows directly next to Track 1, on the northern end of the station area. The Highway 17 Express bus stops directly next to the station building, in front of the entrance to Track 1, and in front of the bus bays where Amtrak Thruway buses stop.

Tickets for Greyhound and all Amtrak services can be purchased at the ticket windows or respective ticket vending machines inside the station building. If you have luggage, it’s best to arrive at Diridon at least one (1) hour before scheduled departure. This ensures your luggage is checked in and ready to be loaded on to the departing train or bus as needed.

Greyhound bus picking up riders in front of San Jose Diridon Station.

Inter-city bus service from Greyhound stops at Diridion Station, on Stover St, across Cahill St. from the main station building. Greyhound bus lines serve communities throughout California, and the rest of the country.

Referring to the map above: Unless otherwise announced, Amtrak Coast Starlight trains arrive and depart from Track 1 (directly in front of the main station building. Pay attention to the public address announcements made shortly before scheduled Amtrak train or Greyhound bus(es) arrival, in case of delays and/or change in boarding locations.

Commuter Trains Serving Diridon Station

Two Caltrain ticket vending machines - back to back - inside San Jose Diridon Station. Caltrain TVMs have a red top with white customer-facing front. They have a blue strip over the screen that also says "Clipper Card Machine" where one can buy Clipper Cards to pay local or Bay Area regional transit fare.
Two Caltrain ticket vending machines (TVMs) inside Diridon Station.

San Jose Diridon Station is served by commuter rail lines such as

  • Caltrain (to San Francisco)
  • Capitol Corridor (to Fremont, Oakland, Sacramento, and Auburn)
  • Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) to Fremont, Livermore, and Stockton (weekdays only)

Tickets for Caltrain must be purchased at the red ticket vending machines (TVMs). See photo above for what a Caltrain ticket vending machine resembles. For all of these these services, you must have a valid ticket before boarding. For Caltrain, if caught without a valid ticket, you can be citied, removed from the train, and fined.

Capitol Corridor tickets can be bought online, at the Amtrak ticket counter in the main station building, or from a blue “Quick-Trak” ticket vending machine in the station hall. Capitol Corridor tickets purchased aboard the train are subject to a surcharge, in addition to travel ticket cost.

ACE train tickets can be bought online or at the ticket counter in the main station building. Be advised that tickets sold thru the ticket counter are one-way (Stockton direction only) and not round trip.

Referring to the map above: ACE Trains typically board and alight passengers on Track 1 (directly in back of the main station building). Listen for announcements showing where Capitol Corridor trains are boarding.

VTA Buses and Light Rail Serving Diridon

VTA Light Rail’s Green Line has a stop and platforms at the far western end of Diridon Station, behind Track 9. As of this writing, the Green Line has stops serving western San Jose and Campbell, ending at Winchester Station. The Green Line also serves downtown San Jose, traveling along North 1st Street, then turning onto Tasman, ending at Old Ironsides station. The Green Line currently also serves Great America Theme Park, Levi’s Stadium, and Santa Clara Convention Center.

As for local and regional buses: these buses stop at or a short walk from Diridon Station:

These local and Rapid bus lines take you throughout San Jose and Santa Clara County. The Highway 17 Express bus serves Santa Cruz County cities like Scotts Valley and Santa Cruz. In the summertime, select Highway 17 Express bus trips even serve the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

All but two of these bus lines stop in the bus courtyard north of the main station building. There are four (4) bus lanes at the Diridon Station bus courtyard. As of this writing, here’s where the buses pick up and drop off by bus bay and location. Viewpoint is as you faces north from the main station building:

Bay 4
Amtrak Thruway Bus
Bay 5 (in front of parking lot)
(reserved for future use)
Bay 3
Amtrak Thruway Bus
Bay 6
* VTA 64A Ohlone-Chynoweth Light Rail Station
* VTA 64B Almaden/Camden
Bay 9
VTA bus layover
Bay 2
Amtrak Thruway Bus
Bay 7
SCVMC Shuttle – Valley Med. Center (weekdays only)
Bay 10
VTA 68 – Gilroy Transit Center
Bay 12
VTA bus layover
Bay 1
Highway 17 Express – Santa Cruz
Bay 8
* VTA 64A McKee/White
* VTA 64B McKee/White (weekdays only)
* VTA 64B 7th/Santa Clara (weekends/holidays only)
Bay 11
* VTA 568 Rapid – Gilroy Transit Center (Weekdays)
* Caltrain Weekend Shuttle – Tamien Station (weekends/holidays)
Bay 13
VTA 500 Rapid Berryessa BART
Source: VTA

Catch VTA’s 22 local and 522 Rapid bus lines on Santa Clara Street. From Diridon Station, turn left and walk about 2 minutes to W. Santa Clara Street.

At the bus stop on the near side of W. Santa Clara Street (in front of the parking lot) is the eastbound 22 local and 522 Rapid bus stop for downtown San Jose, East San Jose, and Eastridge Mall. After leaving downtown San Jose, the 22 runs along Alum Rock Ave., King Rd., and Tully Rd. to reach Eastridge Mall. The 522 Rapid, making fewer stops, runs along Alum Rock Ave, Capitol Ave., and then Capitol Expwy. to reach Eastridge Mall.

Across W. Santa Clara Street is the SAP Center and the bus stop serving the arena. There, ride any westbound 22 local or 522 Rapid bus along The Alameda and El Camino Real to Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Los Altos, and Palo Alto. Note that the 522 Rapid makes fewer stops than the 22, stopping only at major intersections and transit centers for bus transfers

Before Riding VTA Buses or Light Rail at Diridon…

Read up on the latest VTA bus and light rail fares first. Note that the Highway 17 Express bus has separate fares. Not sure how to ride VTA buses or light rail? Our First-Time Riders’ Guide shows you how.

To help speed your trip while being ready to pay fare aboard VTA buses or light rail, buy or refill your Clipper Card(s) first. You can buy or refill your Clipper Card(s) at any VTA or Caltrain ticket vending machine (TVM) with a light blue “Clipper Card Machine” strip at the top of the TVM. You can also buy or refill your Clipper Card(s) at any silver and blue dedicated Clipper Card machine inside Diridon Station.

This video from VTA shows you how to buy a Clipper Card at a VTA light rail TVM:

Video courtesy VTA

Paying VTA Bus and Light Rail Fare via Clipper Card

When boarding VTA buses, to pay fare with your Clipper Card, simply tap your card on the black and white reader to the left or right of the door, in front of the driver. Listen for the “beep’ and watch the screen to confirm your fare is paid. This is referred to as “tag on.”

Before boarding VTA light rail, make sure you “tag on” with your Clipper Card at the small Clipper Card readers on the light rail platforms. Alternately, you can buy a ticket for Light Rail at any VTA ticket vending machine. These VTA ticket vending machines and Clipper Card tag box are on the far western end of Diridon Station, on the other side of the pedestrian tunnel from the station building. They are also found on the VTA light rail platforms on the western end of Diridon Station.

If you are caught not having proper fare aboard VTA light rail, you risk being cited and fined.

As of this writing, Highway 17 Express buses cannot accept Clipper Cards. Read up on what fare media purchased on Highway 17 Express buses are valid on VTA buses and light rail.

To San Jose Airport from Diridon Station

Going to Mineta San Jose International Airport from Diridon Station? From Diridon Station, walk 1/2 block north (left turn as you exit the station’s main entrance onto Cahill St.), then cross W. Santa Clara St.. On West Santa Clara Street, at the bus stop directly in front of the SAP Center, take either the 22 local or 522 Rapid bus lines to Santa Clara Transit Center. There, walk across the parking lot and across the street to the bus stop. There, transfer to a Milpitas-bound 60 Airport Flyer bus to the Airport’s terminals.

Read up more on VTA’s 60 Airport Flyer shuttle bus and how it works. You can speed your trip by ensuring you have a Clipper Card with proper fare ready for use. It simplifies bus or light rail transfers, and paying the proper (free) transfer fare for the trip.


By reading this guide, you ensure a better understanding of San Jose Diridon Station, and how to use and pay for the public transit that’s available.

Please let us know in the comments on how to improve this guide. Thank you, and Safe Travel!

Eugene Bradley
Founder, Silicon Valley Transit Users

  1 comment for “San Jose Diridon Station Transit Guide

  1. I just need to know at 5 in the morning which track the capital corridor will be in. Last time it was really hard to identify. The board is by the station and no easy way to figure out when under tunnel going to tracks. In New Jersey, Hoboken the signs are easy to follow for example and right near tracks. So if have suitcases not hard to correct if you do wrong track and need to go back and around. It’s difficult when the train station opens at 6 and the train leaves at approximately 6:15.

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