How to get by without a car

Art’s Automotive does not have a shuttle service or loaner car, so how can you get back home, or, if you’re not that lucky, work?

There are several options available:


Have a friend, coworker, or spouse give you a ride. You can always reciprocate so you don’t feel like you are taking advantage. Maybe your coworker is having the same problem when they bring their car in for service and both of your lives could be improved. You just have to ask. Please make sure you allow enough time for getting signed in, so no one ends up being late to work. 15 min ought to be enough time even on a busy day.

We’ve had many a customer yell out, “Anyone going to BART/campus/etc.?” during the morning rush, and it often works! New friends can be made, and transportation requirements can be met!

Not an extrovert? Don’t like relying on anyone else? Yeah, me neither. You shy lone wolf types can still make it to work on time without involving any unpaid participants.


Let’s face it, cabs have all but gone the way of the dodo. Some of our customers aren’t looking to set out on an adventure in exploring a new mode of transportation, and others simply don’t have a smart phone. It’s weird; many of the smartest people I know still use a flip phone. I always have the latest and greatest flagship, and it likely shows 🙂

If you don’t want to figure out how to set up an account, we have a couple of options. First, Jared in the office can download and install the app on your phone, enter your payment information, and order an Uber in about two minutes. If you’d rather not do that, we also have a company Uber account and can get you a ride and add it to your bill later. Both options are better than trying to call a cab. We’ve had customers wait in the office for over an hour. Cabs are extremely slow and unreliable these days.


BART is exactly one mile from Art’s Automotive. If you walk at a brisk pace, it will take about 15 minutes to get there. Of course, this only helps if you don’t mind walking and BART goes where you want. There is also a number 9 bus that goes up Ashby to the BART station every 20 minutes from 8 AM to 10 AM. Please check the AC Transit site to make sure the bus line or schedule has not changed since I wrote this.


If you are going to San Francisco, the J bus leaves Ashby and San Pablo at 8:10, 8:29, and 8:49, and arrives a the Transbay terminal 16 minutes later, traffic allowing. Once again, please check the AC Transit website to make sure the schedule has not changed since I wrote this.

If you are going to the UC Berkeley Campus, the #9 bus goes from Dwight & San Pablo to Shattuck & University. Dwight is 7 blocks (1/2 a mile) from Art’s Automotive, and it should take about 7 minutes to walk to the bus stop from here. The bus comes every 20 minutes and takes about 12 minutes to drive to Campus. If you are lucky, the trip from Art’s will take 20 min total. If you’re unlucky (and show up at the bus stop just as the bus is pulling away) it will take about 40 min. This page may not stay up to date, so spend the extra 30 seconds to click on the link and make sure the route has not changed!

If you are going anywhere else by bus, try AC Transit’s Trip Planner on their website. You may need to run the search a couple different way to get a reasonable trip. For example, I’ve entered a starting point and a destination using “fastest possible itinerary” and ended up with a trip containing 3 separate busses. When I searched the same trip with “fewest transfers” selected, I discovered there is one bus that will take me right where I want to go with a 5-minute increase in the time it will take.

Do you have errands to run all over town? Or do you hate public transportation? That’s OK, you still have options.


There are several rental car agencies that will give you a special rate while your car is at Art’s Automotive, but we’re only going to list one. Locally owned by good people and doing business in Oakland since 1992. Their rental prices are so low that it may be cheaper to rent a car for the day than to Uber or even bus and BART depending on where you need to go. They’ll pick you up at Art’s and drop you off after you return the car. If you have trouble doing what you do without a car, this is the best option.

Update 08/09/2021: Rent-a-Relic will offer a discounted rate to Art’s Automotive customers if you tell them your car is here. We previously had their super-low price-per-day listed here, but prices have been fluctuating lately (mostly increasing) for nearly all goods or services. Please call them for a current price.

Don’t let the name put you off, the cars aren’t all that bad. They rent new Toyota Corollas, not exactly relics.


That’s about it. Some will no doubt wonder why we don’t have a loaners or a shuttle. The answer is “cost”. Any shop that has a loaner is going to have to recoup that cost. The cost of the loaner is coming out of your pocket, whether you are using it or you made your own arrangements. A shuttle wouldn’t cost as much to implement, but as you may have experienced yourself, the wait for the shuttle to come back from its last run often makes public transit a better option.