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. Please see this link for a range of housing prices in the Mountain View area: https://www.rentcafe.com/average-rent-market-trends/us/ca/santa-clara-county/mountain-view/

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


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.


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


Speciality's Cafe and Peet's Coffee and Tea — 645 Ellis (outside NASA Ellis Gate)
Menu and online ordering


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@sv.cmu.edu 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: transit.511.org - 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 - http://www.vta.org/ - 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. For more information, visit http://www.caltrain.com. 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.  For more information, visit http://www.sfmta.com/cms/mhome/home50.htm
  • 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. For more information, visit http://www.bart.gov.

Bay Area Airports and Shuttle Service

The Silicon Valley campus is roughly 40 minutes from San Francisco (SFO) airport (http://www.flysfo.com) and 10 minutes from San Jose (SJC) airport (http://www.sjc.org).  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. (http://flyoakland.com)