San Jose Turkey Trot gets alternative with their transportation plans

Update: The Santa Cruz Metro Board of directors approved early morning Highway 17 buses from Santa Cruz to San Jose to provide transportation to the Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot on November 28, 2013.

The 9th Annual Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot will attract upwards of 60,000 people to downtown San Jose in an event that benefits regional food banks. Event organizers added a fourth beneficiary this year – Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County, and they hope to attract at least 1,000 runners from Santa Cruz County.

2013 Silicon Valley Turkey Trot

With demand for parking outstripping the 25,000 parking spots in the vicinity of downtown San Jose, Turkey Trot has always encouraged runners, volunteers and fans to find a way to the San Jose race start via something besides the automobile. Their Transportation FAQ gives equal billing to transit options and bike parking and car parking. Because the Turkey Trot takes place on Thanksgiving Day, they also note that Caltrain’s holiday schedule won’t get to the the 7 AM race start in time.

What about those 1,000 runners and their family and friends from the Santa Cruz area? Highway 17 traffic is typically very light early on Thanksgiving morning, but the Silicon Valley Leadersip Group’s Casey Beyer, who leads the Santa Cruz effort for the Turkey Trot, would like to see other options. He looked at the Highway 17 holiday bus schedule and saw the earliest bus arrives in San Jose at 7:35 AM.

Unlike many event organizers, who would simply report he did what he could, Mr Beyer contacted Santa Cruz Metro, which operates the Highway 17 service. Lo and behold, the Santa Cruz Metro Board will vote tomorrow morning to make two early morning Highway 17 runs that will arrive San Jose Diridon at 6:45 AM.

Even if you decide to drive part of the way, you can park at someplace like the Winchester Light Rail parking lot. For Thanksgiving Day, you could take the first northbound train from Winchester Station at 6:26, arrive at Diridon at 6:38, and then grab a Bike Share bike to the bib pickup area.

The Santa Cruz Metro Board of Directors meet 8:30 AM in the Metro Administrative Offices, 110 Vernon Street, Santa Cruz, CA. This is off of Highway 9 immediately past Golf Club Drive. The Turkey Trot bus is item number 13 on the agenda, so don’t worry about showing up late. These meetings can go very quickly, though, so don’t lollygag too much.


  1. @Chad, the Turkey Trot transportation FAQ mentions bike parking “on Market Street, between Post Street and Santa Clara Street.” That sounds like a bike corral, but I don’t the details. I sent an inquiry.

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