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There are 4 intercity buses per day from San Jose to Santa Cruz. Traveling by bus from San Jose to Santa Cruz usually takes around 28 hours and 15 minutes, but the fastest FlixBus US bus can make the trip in 46 minutes.
|Distance||26 mi (42 km)|
|Shortest duration||0h 46m|
|Trips per day||17|
|Most frequent service||Amtrak Thruway|
Price trends for buses from San Jose to Santa Cruz
Monthly average prices
Prices as travel date approaches
What bus companies travel from San Jose to Santa Cruz?
There are two bus lines that have daily service from San Jose to Santa Cruz that you can compare and book on Wanderu. However, each company only runs one bus per day.
Amtrak Thruway, also known as Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach, is a system of intercity passenger buses operated by Amtrak to connect train stations to areas that are not served by the carrier’s railroads. On the bus, passengers can enjoy comfortable reclining seats with leg rests and access to onboard restroom facilities. Amtrak Thruway bus tickets from San Jose to Santa Cruz start at $41. On average, there are 1 Amtrak Thruway bus trips on this route every day.
FlixBus US is the American branch of German bus company FlixBus, known for providing sustainable, affordable, and modern bus travel. The company offers cheap bus tickets to popular urban destinations throughout the United States. FlixBus US buses include many amenities, including comfortable seats, free WiFi, power outlets at every seat, and an online portal for free entertainment. On average, FlixBus US operates 17 trips per day from San Jose to Santa Cruz, and the average ticket for this route costs only .
Frequently Asked Questions
Our bus partners have implemented several different policies to keep you safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. From limiting vehicle capacity to enhancing cleaning protocols and upgrading air filters, bus carriers are committed to maintaining a safe environment. For details on what each company is doing to ensure their fleet remains safe for travel, click here.
Although masks are no longer required on public transportation, we stand behind CDC guidelines that encourage passengers to wear a mask over their nose and mouth while on the bus or in stations.
Please visit our COVID-19 Travel Guide for more information on all carrier policies and the latest travel advisories issued by every U.S. state, Canadian province, and European country.
The bus takes an average of 28 hours and 15 minutes to cover the 26 miles from San Jose to Santa Cruz. However, the fastest bus only takes 46 minutes. It’s definitely on the longer side, so plan to get comfortable for a long road trip. Keep in mind that your actual bus may arrive earlier or later than scheduled, depending on whether there is more or less traffic than usual.
Travelers prefer riding the bus on Saturday to enjoy the weekend in Santa Cruz. If you are planning to travel on a Saturday, you should make sure to book tickets well in advance as they may sell out.
On the other hand, Monday is typically the least busy day for bus travel on this route. For a less crowded trip, try to book your bus travel for the beginning of the week.
The first bus leaves at 5:00am and the last bus leaves at 1:00pm. To see the times for all buses from San Jose to Santa Cruz, enter your specific travel dates in the search bar.
There are 4 scheduled buses that travel from San Jose to Santa Cruz every day, so you have a decent number of options to choose from. This includes 17 direct buses, where you can stay on the same bus without having to transfer to a connecting bus at any point during your trip.
Need more travel options? Consider taking the train from San Jose to Santa Cruz; ticket prices start at $239.00.
Image credit: Unsplash
Image credit: Unsplash
Image credit: Unsplash
San Jose is located in the heart of the world-famous Silicon Valley in California’s Bay Area. It is the largest city in Northern California and, as such, it is the area’s cultural, political and financial center.
While you’re in San Jose, make sure to check out the city’s various museums. Since you’re in the world’s foremost technology hub, the Tech Museum of Innovation is a must-visit. And since you’re on the West Coast, you should stop by the San Jose Museum of Art that features the largest permanent collection of works from West Coast artists.
Thanks to its mild California climate, San Jose is one of the best cities in the U.S. for outdoor activities, and due to its largely younger-leaning population, it offers quite the vibrant nightlife. In fact, San Jose is among the biggest party hubs in America.
San Jose is served by various bus carriers and has several Amtrak stops within its vicinity. In addition, the city’s airport is located right near the downtown area, which makes travel to and from San Jose a breeze.
Where does the bus leave from in San Jose?
Main departure station: Diridon Station
Buses to Santa Cruz leave from 8 stations in San Jose.
All bus stations in San Jose:
592 Gayley Ave
1011 Railroad Ave
209 State Street
1 Grand Avenue, Building 113
11 Station Pl
Where does the bus arrive in Santa Cruz?
Main arrival station: Metro Center - 920 Pacific Ave
All buses from San Jose arrive at one main station in Santa Cruz.
All bus stations in Santa Cruz:
Metro Center - 920 Pacific Ave
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