Location and travel

The venue

The Lighting the Way Forum will take place at the Bechtel Conference Center at Encina Hall (616 Jane Stanford Way) on the Stanford University campus. Encina Hall is easily accessible from the Marguerite Campus Shuttle Y/Y-L Line (from Palo Alto Transit Center) and the X/X-L Line (to Palo Alto Transit Center). It is also a short walk from the Campus Oval, which is served by the Marguerite P Line.

Meals and dining

The forum will provide breakfast, lunch, and snacks on February 10-12, and a reception with light dinner on February 10. There are many dining options that are nearby, both on and off campus. The closest options for dining off campus are near University Avenue in downtown Palo Alto, Stanford Shopping Center, and the Town and Country Village shopping center. Several on-campus dining options are nearby to both the Forum venue and the Schwab Residential Center. We encourage participants to self-organize into groups for dinner on Tuesday, February 11.

Travel reimbursements

Participants whose travel is funded from grant funds must register with Stanford University as a payee and comply with our travel reimbursement guidelines, based on Stanford University policy and federal guidelines. Please direct any questions regarding reimbursements to lighting-the-way-travel@lists.stanford.edu.

Hotels and lodging

Please note: a small block of rooms is available for those receiving travel funding from grant funds. If accepted, please let us know if you are interested in using a room from the room block.

Comparatively affordable, nearby hotels that we frequently recommend for conference visitors include Cardinal HotelBest Western RivieraStanford Inn, and Stanford Terrace Inn. On campus, other popular options include the Schwab Residential Center and Stanford Guest House. The Stanford Visitor Center also provides a list of local hotels, and a second community-sourced list of area hotels contributed by the Samvera Project is also available.

Additional options may be found in either direction along El Camino Real, though this may put you outside of walking distance. Please consult the system map for the free Stanford University shuttle.

Cardinal Hotel

The Cardinal Hotel is located in downtown Palo Alto, close to restaurants, bars, and the Palo Alto Transit Center. You can take a short, free ride on the P, Y-L, or Y lines of Stanford University's Marguerite Shuttle to get to locations at the center of campus. Alternatively, it's a 1.5-mile/2,4-kilometer walk.

Schwab Residential Center

The Schwab Residential Center is located within and operated by the Stanford Graduate School of Business for guests on university-sponsored business. It is affordable in comparison to many hotels in Palo Alto, and if you prefer to stay close to the center of campus, it is arguably the best option. It is easily accessible from the Y/Y-L and X/X-L Marguerite lines. Reservations open no earlier than eight weeks before your requested stay.

Stanford Guest House

The Stanford Guest House is located close to the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory on Sand Hill Road. You can take a short, free ride either on the SLAC line of Stanford University's Marguerite Shuttle or the hourly/on-demand Stanford Guest House shuttle to get to campus, then either catch another Marguerite Shuttle line or walk from there by consulting the campus map. Alternatively, it's a 2.5-mile/4-kilometer walk.


The San Francisco Bay Area is served by three airports:

All three are connected to public transportation, though SFO and SJC are closer to Stanford University (OAK is on the other side of the San Francisco Bay). All three area airports are serviced by Super Shuttle, public transit, taxicabs, and ridesharing services.

Traveling between SFO and Palo Alto on public transit

Take BART to the Millbrae station, then take Caltrain to the Palo Alto station. From there, you can walk or take Stanford University's free Marguerite Shuttle to get to local accommodations.

Traveling between SJC and Palo Alto on public transit

Take the free VTA Airport Flyer shuttle to the Santa Clara Transit Center, then take Caltrain to the Palo Alto station. From there, you can walk or take Stanford University's free Marguerite Shuttle to get to local accommodations.

Traveling between OAK and Palo Alto on public transit

Take BART to the Millbrae station, then take Caltrain to the Palo Alto station. From there, you can walk or take Stanford University's free Marguerite Shuttle to get to local accommodations.

Traveling between Palo Alto and Stanford University

The Palo Alto Transit Center connects Caltrain to Stanford University's free Marguerite Shuttle. Alternatively, the heart of Stanford University is only a .4-mile/.6 km walk from the Palo Alto Transit Center.

Other regional public transportation

There are a handful of regional public transportation networks.

With the expectation that most attendees will stay at hotels close to Stanford University, the most relevant options are Caltrain, an above-ground train service which goes up and down the peninsula (including to San Francisco), and BART, a rail system serving the upper peninsula, downtown San Francisco, and the East Bay.

San Francisco is additionally served by Muni. Stanford University is located at the border between San Mateo and Santa Clara counties; these are served by SamTrans (to the north) and VTA (to the south), respectively.

Rent a bike

Bikes are a convenient way to commute between Stanford University and local accommodations. You can rent a bike from the Campus Bike Shop or other local providers.

Parking information

Attendees can park near the center of campus for $4.46/hour in the Knight Management Center Garage (Parking Structure 7), beneath the Graduate School of Business. You can pay for parking using the pay-by-space kiosks located in the parking structure. Additional visitor parking information is also available. Simply enter your license plate number and pay with cash or card. You do not need to display your receipt in your vehicle. Alternatively, you can pay using the Parkmobile app or Parkmobile mobile website to pay using a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, and Discover) at coin-only meters and pay-by-space parking locations at the Knight Management Center parking structure. In addition to the visitor parking fee, Parkmobile charges 35 cents for each transaction.