Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) Transit Guide

VTA’s 60 bus line to Mineta SJ International Airport and Milpitas awaits departure from Winchester light rail station.

Table of Contents

Background

The purpose of this guide is to provide information on public bus service to and from SJC. Another purpose of this guide is to show you how to use this shuttle bus as alternate to the costs of driving, parking, and ride-hailing at or near SJC.

Few people in Silicon Valley are aware that there has always been public bus service to and from Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC). That is, until now.

Currently known as the Route 60 Airport Flyer run by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), this bus line runs in both directions between several key destinations. Specifically, this bus line runs between Winchester light rail station in Campbell, Santa Clara Transit Center, Mineta San Jose International Airport, and the Milpitas BART station.

History

Up until 1991, the 10 bus line from Santa Clara County Transit directly served downtown San Jose to San Jose Diridion Station via North First Street. It even ended at Franklin Mall in Santa Clara. In fact, bus service to San Jose’s airport can be traced back to the 1940’s with the number 6 bus line run by San Jose City Lines.

Riders boarding the VTA’s 60 bus at Santa Clara Transit Center.

As part of VTA’s bus service overhaul in December 2019, the original 10 Airport shuttle was merged with the 60 bus line running from Winchester to Great America. The result is the current 60 bus line running between Milpitas BART and Winchester light rail station in Campbell.

Disclaimer

This guide is NOT affiliated with Mineta San Jose International Airport, the City of San Jose, nor the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) in any way whatsoever. Like all of our transit guides written, it is intended to be a public service. We are not responsible for personal safety and/or property damage as a result of the use of this guide.

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How To Ride the Route 60 Airport Flyer Bus

Is this your first time ever riding a VTA bus or light rail train? Read up on how to do so here.

Before boarding, make sure to have exact fare or a Clipper Card ready to use. Get and store money for your transit ride on your Clipper Card via your smartphone, or ticket vending machines at any VTA light rail station, or at select retail outlets.

VTA uses several dedicated buses just for the 60 Airport Flyer bus line. These buses resemble the bus featured at the top of this page. These buses have top and bottom luggage racks in the center of the bus. As with most of VTA’s bus fleet, the buses have wide-opening rear doors to help you exit (alight) the bus with any luggage you have. When boarding these buses, use the luggage racks for your bags, and sit near where you can see your bag(s).

Wide rear doors on the 60 bus make it easier to exit with your luggage.
WORD FROM THE WISE
Sometimes, VTA will use a 60 Airport flyer bus without a luggage rack in the back. When riding such a bus, place your luggage underneath your seat. Do not block the aisle with your luggage. This helps others safely board and exit the bus as needed.

When riding the 60 Airport Flyer bus thru the Airport property, listen carefully for announcements for your terminal and airline you are flying. Signs within the 60 Airport Flyer bus also remind you which terminal serves which airline.

Below are key transfer stops for the Route 60 Airport Flyer. First, we’ll start at SJC airport itself. Then, the guide will discuss key transfer points to and from the 60 bus from its northern terminus (Milpitas BART), Santa Clara Transit Center, and its southern terminus (Winchester light rail station in Campbell).

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At the Airport (SJC)

Before boarding VTA’s 60 Airport Flyer bus at the airport, know where you are going, and know which 60 bus goes where. This will prevent you from getting lost or stranded.

VTA’s Route 60 Airport Flyer bus makes two (2) stops within the airport – Terminal A and Terminal B. Both stops serve the 60 bus for both destinations – Winchester (Campbell) light rail station and Milpitas BART station. From the airport, the 60 bus is a FREE fare. Fare is charged only when boarding the VTA’s 60 bus line from outside the Airport.

The sections below show you where VTA’s 60 bus stops at both terminals.

Terminal A

VTA’s bus stop for the 60 at the Stop 7 shelter at the Ground Transportation area in front of Terminal A. Ask airport uniformed staff and look for signs if you are not sure where this bus stop is located.

Here’s a map with information on airlines and other services available at Terminal A.

Terminal B

VTA’s bus stop for the 60 is at the Stop 5 shelter at the Ground Transportation area in front of Terminal B. Ask airport uniformed staff or look for signage if you are not sure where this bus stop is located.

Here’s a map with information on airlines and other services available at Terminal B.

Boarding the 60 Bus At the Airport

Look for digital signs at the front of the bus telling you where the 60 bus is going. If you are not sure where the 60 bus is going, ask the bus driver first before you board. This way, you don’t end up on the wrong bus.

If you are going to

Take the bus marked “60 MILPITAS BART VIA AIRPORT.” Links in the bullet points above detail how to transfer to other transit services for your final destination.

If you are going to

  • Santa Clara’s Transit Center for
  • Downtown San Jose (Option 2)
  • East San Jose (Option 2)
  • Santa Clara University
  • Santa Clara (neighborhoods)
  • Valley Fair Mall and Santana Row
  • West San Jose
  • Campbell
  • Winchester light rail station, for connecting VTA buses to South San Jose and Los Gatos

Take the bus marked “60 WINCHESTER LR STATION VIA AIRPORT.” Links in the bullet points above detail how to transfer to other transit services for your final destination.

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Milpitas BART Station

The Milpitas BART station is the northern terminus for VTA’s 60 Airport Flyer bus. The Milpitas BART station is served by these VTA bus lines (as of November 2021):

The Milpitas BART station is also served by AC Transit’s 217 local bus to and from Fremont BART station.

The Milpitas BART station is also served by VTA light rail’s ORANGE line. The light rail station was originally named Montague station before the BART station opened in 2020.

For travel to Mineta SJ International Airport from the Milpitas BART station, the 60 Airport Flyer bus boards for the Airport and Winchester at Bay #6.

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Santa Clara Transit Center

Located near Santa Clara University on Railroad Ave. (south of El Camino Real), the Santa Clara Transit Center is a transfer point for VTA buses, as well as

Tickets for these train services can be purchased on the railroad island passenger platform. You can walk to that island platform from the pedestrian tunnel at the train station.

Please purchase tickets before you board; otherwise you will be cited and asked to leave the train.

In addition to the 60 Airport Flyer bus, the following VTA bus lines serve the Santa Clara Transit Center (as of November 2021):

The 22 and 522 Rapid bus lines run from Palo Alto via El Camino Real, thru the Transit Center, then via the Alameda, and W. Santa Clara Street to downtown San Jose and into East San Jose. The 22 bus stop for downtown San Jose and East San Jose is across the street; the bus stop for the 522 Rapid bus is the first bus stop around the corner of Railroad Ave. and Franklin St.

Going up the Peninsula along El Camino Real up to Palo Alto? Board the VTA’s 22 local or 522 Rapid bus lines at the bus stop across the Transit Center parking lot, on El Camino Real.

For travel to Mineta SJ International Airport from the Santa Clara Transit Center: the 60 Airport Flyer bus boards at the bus stop behind the southbound Caltrain railroad platform, next to the Railroad Museum shed on Railroad Avenue. From that stop take the 60 bus marked “60 MILPTAS BART via AIRPORT” for the 5-10 minute ride to the Airport terminals.

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Westfield Valley Fair / Santana Row

Going to West San Jose or Cupertino? VTA bus transfers for the 60 Airport Flyer bus to/from West San Jose and Cupertino are further discussed in that section of our Shopping Centers transit guide.

For travel to Mineta SJ International Airport from Santana Row or Valley Fair, board any Milpitas BART-bound 60 Airport Flyer bus at either Winchester/Olin (in front of Santana Row) or Winchester/Forest (next to Goodyear tire shop).

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Winchester Light Rail Station

Winchester Transit Center is the southern terminus of VTA’s Green Line light rail starting at Old Ironsides station. In addition to the 60 bus, these bus lines also serve Winchester:

The 27 bus also serves downtown Los Gatos, in addition to South San Jose. The 37 bus serves Saratoga and West Valley College on weekdays only.

For travel to Mineta San Jose International Airport from Winchester, board any 60 Airport Flyer bus going to Milpitas BART station.

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Additional Airport Travel Tips

Before departing for the airport: Check in to your airline online in advance and print your boarding pass, if at all possible. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and airlines departing SJC accept mobile boarding passes, but having a printed pass can be helpful if a mobile device experiences power or connectivity issues.

  • Even with a boarding pass, reconfirm airline flight status before leaving for the airport. Flight schedules may change due to inclement weather at the connecting or arriving city, or other factors.
  • Review the TSA’s tips for packing your bags. If traveling with holiday food, beverages and gifts, leave packages unwrapped as they may need added screening.
  • Arrive at the airport early. SJC suggests arriving 90 minutes before domestic flight boarding time and two (2) hours prior to boarding international flights.
  • Be patient if delays occur. Aviation professionals around the globe are working together to get travelers to their destinations safely and on time.

For more Information Before Traveling through SJC, contact the airport at info@sjc.org or call 408-392-3600. Airport staff is here to serve you.

Tips courtesy of the office of former San Jose City Councilmember (and VTA Board Of Directors’ member) Johnny Khamis.

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Epilogue

We hope this guide helped you with public transit options to and from Mineta San Jose International Airport. Please inform our group if you see any information on this page that needs to be corrected.

Eugene Bradley
Founder & CEO, Silicon Valley Transit Users

  6 comments for “Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) Transit Guide

  1. Dear Sir/Madam,

    I have two questions:
    1) I remember route #10 to SJC is free. Does VTA still run the route #10 for free?
    2) Should I pay fare again if I change bus from one route to another route by using clipper card?

    Thanks

    • Hans:
      Since December 2019, the 10 bus route was combined with the 60 bus route to form a new airport bus line, the #60. That bus line runs between Milpitas BART station, SJC, and Winchester light rail station. It’s standard adult fare when taking the 60 to SJC; fare is FREE with rear-door boarding when taking the 60 bus FROM any of the bus stops at SJC.
      Answering you other question; when using your Clipper Card, you get a FREE transfer if you have to take another bus or light rail to get where you need to be.
      Call VTA Customer Service anytime before 4pm today at (408)321-2300 for any further questions or information.

      Eugene Bradley
      Founder & CEO, Silicon Valley Transit Users

  2. All of the bus lines are crossed out. Is that a mistake? I hope it’s that somebody used the html for a strike thru instead of an underline. If not, what are the bus lines we should use?

    • Marya:

      Thank you for commenting. This guide and others are in the process of being corrected. The corrections will reflect VTA’s service changes (and cuts) they made on December 28. The SJC guide in particular will be made ready for the San Jose Earthquakes’ home opener and season opener @ Avaya Stadium at the end of the month.

      Eugene Bradley
      Founder, Silicon Valley Transit Users

  3. If I park my car at Free Long-Term Airport Parking At VTA Light Rail Stations starting on Tuesday morning and pick back my car next Tuesday 10 pm will I violate the 7 day parking rule

    • Patrick:
      Call VTA Customer Service at (408)321-2300 and have them answer that question re: 7-day parking rule. Let us know what they say.

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