Housing, transportation, and food

NASA Ames Research Center

Source: CMU

NASA Ames Research Center

Local housing

The CMU campus in Silicon Valley does not offer any on-campus housing or off-campus housing assistance. Students need to find their own housing. There are many apartment complexes and/or room rentals within a commutable distance from the campus. Housing costs vary and most students choose to have roommates. View a range of housing prices in the Mountain View area.

While our student affairs office cannot act as a real estate agency or rental broker for you, we are happy to offer our advice or suggestions on locations that may be of interest to you. For questions, please contact the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at student-services@sv.cmu.edu.

Be informed

As you start your housing search, be informed of your rights and responsibilities as a rental tenant. To help you manage your rental-housing responsibilities, review the following:

Long-term accommodations

For incoming students who are unfamiliar with the Bay Area and/or Silicon Valley, when looking for housing, always research what transportation options will be available to travel to and from campus, shopping, and medical services. Public transportation may be limited during some hours, and traffic can be very heavy during commute hours.

  • Craigslist: Many of the best rental prices can be found on Craigslist, an online regional advertisement listing, but short-term rentals are harder to find on this site. View a mapped version of Craigslist.
  • Zumper: a free map-based search for locating home & apartment rentals. Zumper has simplified the process of finding off-campus housing, with unique, up-to-date listings and a simple application process.
  • Trulia: in-depth neighborhood information including commute times, recreational activities, attractions, heat maps, transportation/traffic info
  • Rent.com: A free web and mobile service. Set preferences such as Pet-Friendly and Utilities-Included, then “Search Nearby” via smartphone. Upload photos for later review to keep track of visited properties. Consult Ratings & Reviews by prior tenants and Determine Commute Times to work or school within Map View.
  • HotPads: A map-based apartment and rental home search engine, listing homes for rent, apartments, condos and real estate.
  • Zillow: A home and real estate marketplace dedicated to helping homeowners, home buyers, sellers, renters, real estate agents, mortgage professionals, landlords and property managers find and share vital information about homes, real estate, mortgages, and home improvement.
  • Located LLC: A San Francisco based relocation company that was created to help people move to the Bay Area. They can help you with finding an apartment, moving logistics, and getting acclimated to life in the area. In addition to helping you secure an apartment, Located LLC provides airport pickups, neighborhoods tours, English lessons, networking events, and other services. There is a fee for services. Contact info@locatedsanfrancisco.com
  • Oakwood Apartments: Oakwood Apartments is the closest facility to the campus and downtown Mountain View, both of which are relatively short walks from the apartments.  Oakwood is also the most well-appointed facility, offering complimentary breakfast nearly every morning, a large fitness room, conference rooms, basketball courts, large swimming pool, hot tub, and a variety of on-site, for-fee services including a massage therapist, car rentals, laundry service, housekeeper, etc.  High-speed internet is available through the front office.  The Oakwood units are high-end, catering primarily to Silicon Valley executives or interns who may be on short-term assignment at a company in the area.
    Basic Apartment includes:
    • Standard Pre Move-In Hookups: Utilities, Cable, Local Telephone Service, and Wireless high-speed Internet
    • Complete Kitchen Package: Microwave Oven, Pots, Pans, Coffee Maker, Toaster and Place Settings
    • Living Room: Sofa, Coffee and End Tables, Lamps, Cordless Telephone, 27” TV.
    • Relaxing Bedrooms: Your choice of King or Twin size beds in one bedroom, Murphy-style Bed in Studios, Bedding, Telephone, Steam Iron, and Board, Clock Radio
    • Additional Features: Vacuum Cleaner, Luxurious Bath Towels
  • Staybridge Suites: Staybridge Suites Hotel Sunnyvale (900 Hamlin Court, Sunnyvale, CA) is located less than half a mile from the Carnegie Mellon University Campus.  Staybridge Suites is perfect for short term and extended stays. The hotel features One Bedroom & Two Bedroom – Two Bathroom Suites. All suites include:
    • Complimentary hot breakfast daily
    • Complimentary Sundowner Reception - Tuesday & Thursdays, as well as a BBQ reception on Wednesday evenings.  All nights include complimentary salad bar, beer, wine and soda
    • Complimentary wired and wireless internet connection
    • Complimentary shuttle service within a 5-mile radius
    • Complimentary business center- Open 24 hrs
    • Complimentary laundry – Open 24 hrs
    • Complimentary light-touch housekeeping service daily with one full (heavy) clean per week
    • Complimentary fitness center and complimentary passes to the Supreme Court Athletic Club on North Mathilda Avenue
    • Onsite heated pool and spa
    • Onsite convenience store – Open 24 hrs
    • Same day valet service is available
    • Our Two Bedroom – Two Bathroom Suites are ideal for roommate situations. There are Two Bedrooms located on opposite sides of the suite. Each bedroom has a Queen bedroom, full bathroom, workspace area, phone line and dressing area. The only common areas shared are the full kitchen and living room. All kitchens come fully equipped with dishes, pots, pans, microwaves, full-size refrigerator, dishwasher, and microwave.
    Review our floor plans and details on our amenities. Rates vary depending on the length of stay, please contact Joanne Bianchi 408-470-1864 for information and reservations.

Short-term accommodations

The NASA Lodge: The NASA Lodge is a hotel available to guests of organizations with offices in the NASA Research Park. It is located across the street from Carnegie Mellon’s Silicon Valley campus on Moffett Field in Mountain View, CA. Call the Lodge directly at 650-603-7100 and inquire about room availability. This can be a good short-term option while looking for long-term housing.

Rooms are equipped with a full refrigerator, a microwave, coffee maker, television, DVD player, free internet access, and a queen-sized bed. While the rooms are not luxurious, they are clean and neat, and the Lodge provides daily maid service. There are no kitchens available. There is a NASA bus that takes people to the Mountain View transportation center, located in the downtown area; however, while the bus has a regular schedule, it has a limited number of shuttles to the transportation center. The cost of a NASA Lodge room is approximately $55.00/night. 

Trulia: Has rooms for rent in San Jose

Residence Inn: The Marriott Residence Inn has two convenient locations near Moffett Field: Silicon Valley I and Silicon Valley II. All residence suites include the amenities of a hotel, as well as a small, but a fully-equipped kitchen. The Residence Inn serves a complimentary hot breakfast every day and a complimentary dinner Monday through Thursday and has a cardio fitness room on site. There is a shuttle between the Silicon Valley I location and NASA Ames that runs Monday - Friday 7 am - 7 pm. Studio suite (with kitchen) and penthouse suites (2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2 stories and a sofabed) are available.

Staybridge Suites: Staybridge Suites Hotel Sunnyvale (900 Hamlin Court, Sunnyvale, CA) is located less than half a mile from the Carnegie Mellon University Campus.  Staybridge Suites is perfect for short term and extended stays. The hotel features One Bedroom & Two Bedroom – Two Bathroom Suites. All suites include:

  • Complimentary hot breakfast daily
  • Complimentary Sundowner Reception - Tuesday & Thursdays, as well as a BBQ reception on Wednesday evenings.  All nights include complimentary salad bar, beer, wine and soda
  • Complimentary wired and wireless internet connection
  • Complimentary shuttle service within a 5-mile radius
  • Complimentary business center- Open 24 hrs
  • Complimentary laundry – Open 24 hrs
  • Complimentary light-touch housekeeping service daily with one full (heavy) clean per week
  • Complimentary fitness center and complimentary passes to the Supreme Court Athletic Club on North Mathilda Avenue
  • Onsite heated pool and spa
  • Onsite convenience store – Open 24 hrs
  • Same day valet service is available
  • Two Bedroom – Two Bathroom Suites are ideal for roommate situations. There are Two Bedrooms located on opposite sides of the suite. Each bedroom has a Queen bedroom, full bathroom, workspace area, phone line and dressing area. The only common areas shared are the full kitchen and living room. All kitchens come fully equipped with dishes, pots, pans, microwaves, full-size refrigerator, dishwasher, and microwave.

Furniture and housewares

Most rental apartments are unfurnished; tenants will need to supply their own furniture and small appliances (refrigerators and range/ovens are typically provided).

CORT — a rental company that can provide furniture rental packages and housing information for those moving to San Francisco.

For furniture and housewares, try freecycle.

Craigslist —Find second-hand furniture, small appliances and other housewares for sale in your neighborhood. There are several sub sites for the San Francisco Bay Area; Mountain View-area listings will be under South Bay (sby) or Peninsula (pen). Most sellers will require you to pick up and transport items yourself.

IKEA — Located just off Highway 101 in East Palo Alto. Provides delivery for certain items.

Target — has stores near the SV campus in Mountain View, Cupertino, Sunnyvale and San Jose

Google Shopping Express — a new service from Google with same-day delivery for select items from local retailers; available for several neighborhoods in the Bay Area

NASA Ames

Source: CMU

NASA Ames Space Bar digital menu

Food service on and near campus

Beginning in 2015, the campus is pleased to offer new on-demand meal options for students, faculty and staff on campus. We will offer a variety of fresh sandwiches, salads and snacks each day in a refrigerated vending case located near Room 109/110 in Building 23. Items may be purchased with a credit or debit card, and prices will vary for each item. The case will be restocked three times a week with new items; the current menu, prices and ingredient lists (including common allergen notifications) can be viewed on the machine touchscreen.

Microwaves and kitchens with community refrigerators are available for students' use in Building 23 (first floor near the refrigerated case and near Room 118) and in Building 19, Room 1053. Please respect others by cleaning and clearing all dishes and food when you have finished using the kitchens.

Space Bar — Bldg 3

The Space Bar in the NASA Ames Conference Center (east on Akron Road from CMU-SV) is open Monday through Friday to serve breakfast, lunch, and snacks. The grill menu features daily specials. Cash or credit/debit cards are accepted.

Hours

  • Lunch, dinner, and a full bar: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
CalTrain

Source: Caltrain

Caltrain is a commuter rail line that connects San Francisco to Gilroy

Transportation resources

Currently enrolled CMU-SV students are eligible for the VTA ecopass, valid for unlimited rides on all VTA bus and light rail lines in Santa Clara County, including express service. Ecopasses are part of the Clipper Card system, a reloadable smart pass/ID card issued by CMU-SV to each individual. The ecopass is not valid on CalTrain, BART, SamTrans or SF Muni, but holders have the ability to add other passes and fares from other Bay Area agencies to the same card for greater convenience. Additionally, if you live or work along the CalTrain route, please contact Student Services for more information regarding how to get a Go Pass.

More about Clipper Cards, including how to load fares for other agencies (BART, AC Transit, MUNI)

About Bay Area mass transit

  • Bay Area Travel Planner: A comprehensive mass transit website that encompasses the entire San Francisco Bay Area, 511 provides a thorough overview of the various transportation systems in the area PLUS provides door-to-door directions to various locations throughout the area using public transporation.
  • VTA - The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, or VTA, operates a bus and light rail system connecting various cities within the Santa Clara Valley. The Route 81 bus line connects the Mountain View Transit Center to NASA Moffett Field.
  • Caltrain - Caltrain is a commuter rail line that connects San Francisco to Gilroy. Trains operate out of San Francisco and San Jose on an approximately half-hourly basis every weekday, with more frequent service provided during commute hours and for special events (such as sporting events) and less-frequent service at night and on weekends and holidays. Service between San Jose and Gilroy is limited to three daily commute-hour round trips. The Mountain View Transit Center, located at Central and Castro Sts., is a popular Caltrain stop. Students who live or work along the Caltrain route, can request a pass through Student Affairs
  • MUNI - The San Francisco Municipal Railway, commonly known as Muni, is the public transit system for the city and county of San Francisco.  Its network consists of bus lines, trolley bus lines, light rail lines (known as the Muni Metro), cable car lines, and a heritage streetcar line known as the F Market & Wharves. Muni shares four metro stations with BART.
  • BART - The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) is a heavy-rail public rapid-transit system serving the San Francisco Bay Area. BART has 104 miles of track around the Bay Area, running from Fremont into Oakland, San Francisco and then south again to the San Francisco Airport and Millbrae.  Travelers can connect to San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport via BART. While BART does not directly serve the Silicon Valley area, it is accessible via Caltrain, as Caltrain and BART share the same transit center at Millbrae.

Bay Area airports and shuttle service

The Silicon Valley campus is roughly 40 minutes from San Francisco (SFO) airport and 10 minutes from San Jose (SJC) airport.  Both airports are fine options when traveling to the Silicon Valley You can rent a car, take a shuttle, or take a taxi.

The Oakland International Airport (OAK) also services the San Francisco Bay Area and is 1 hour away from the Silicon Valley campus.