When I lived in San Ramon, I often wondered how to get to the far off wonders of CIMA, Pricemart, and the Multiplaza. People there were always trying to take the bus to get to an appointment at CIMA, pickup bulk items at Pricemart or see a movie at the Multiplaza, but no one had the route plotted. So, I set out to take and document this trip.
I have already documented the two bus stations in San Ramon here San Ramon Bus Stations. In essence, you want to get to the long distance station and take the bus to San Jose that leaves every 30 minutes.
San Ramon to San Jose
The bus from San Ramon to San Jose (red line on the map below) comes in to San Jose from the west to the east side of Sabana park (blue arrow on map). The San Ramon bus station where the bus terminates is a few miles further east, so it is best to exit the bus at the southeast corner of the park and walk to the next bus stop. Push the buzzer as you go under the pedestrian bridge or when you see the big chicken sign before the bus turns left and the driver will stop soon after he makes his turn going into town.
Where to get off
Ok, you have gotten off the San Ramon bus (pale blue line below) at the SE corner of Sabana park. Note: there is a McDonald’s there in case you need to go to the bathroom or get a bite to eat. Your objective is to walk (dark blue lines) to the red star shown below where the next bus stop is located. You can walk either of the two paths; just be careful of traffic since pedestrians are given no quarter.
This building and pedestrian sky walk are good land marks to know you are headed the right way.
You are going for this bus stop in front of the athletic track with the red snack shop.
Picking the Right Bus
There are a lot of buses headed west on 27 that pick up at this bus stop. Many probably stop at CIMA and Multiplex, but I am going to recommend you wait for the one that says “Multiplaza,” so you can be sure to be on the right one.
I think the cost was c360 (about $0.70) and it was standing room only, but you don’t have far to go.
Where to get off
You are almost there. After leaving Sabana, the next stop is CIMA / Pricemart. The bus should stop automatically since this is a popular stop, but just in case, push the buzzer when you see CIMA on the left. The bus will pass CIMA and pull over on the north side of 27. Get off and head east to the pedestrian bridge over the highway which will get you to Pricemart and CIMA. To return to San Jose, pick up a blue bus on the CIMA side heading east.
So you have passed CIMA stop. Next stop is the Multiplaza. In fact, the Multiplaza has two stops. You can either ring the buzzer and get off on 27 and walk across the highway on the pedestrian bridge or you can wait to the next stop which is on the turn around on the west side of the mall.
Here is the second stop on a calm, treelined circle.
The Multiplaza has something for everyone, including those with expensive taste. But those folks probably would not be taking the bus there.
The Return Trip: Getting back to San Jose
To reverse the trip and get back to San Jose, you will exit the mall on the 2nd floor at RostiPollos. Walk through the parking lot to the pedestrian walk way down to 27.
Walk east on the sidewalk until you get to the bus stop. Again, there are plenty of buses using 27 headed east to San Jose which will give you a ride. Some will be expensive because they are coming from Jaco. I recommend that you take any of the Ruta 9 blue buses.
San Jose to San Ramon
So, you caught the bus at the Multiplaza or CIMA headed east to San Jose. The bus typically speeds along and the first stop once you see the park will be near where you initially caught the bus at the pedestrian walkway. At this point, you need to make a decision on how much energy you have left. If you had lots of tests or spent the day walking the mall, I suggest you catch a taxi for the last two miles to the San Ramon / Puntarenas bus station.
Another variation on this trip is to pick up the Sabana Sur bus which heads east to downtown San Jose to the National Theater. For details on that bus route, click here: Sabana Estadio (Stadium)