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South San Francisco

Welcome to South San Francisco

Located in an extended valley on the northern end of the San Francisco Peninsula, South San Francisco is often referred to as simply “South City” in much the same way that “The City” is used to describe San Francisco. However, South San Francisco is an important Bay Area location in its own right. It is a major residential location and is the center for a significant portion of the region’s biotechnology industry. Additionally, its location and aggressive economic growth plans have made it a Bay Area business destination.

Lay of the Land

South San Francisco is located along the San Francisco Bay in San Mateo County. Despite its name, the city doesn’t actually share a border with San Francisco. Brisbane and Daly City sit directly to the north, while the San Francisco Bay and the San Bruno Mountains provide borders to the east and west. The proximity of the Bay and the mountain ranges to the west have created a valley which provides the city with beautiful natural geography comprised of sweeping vistas and ocean sunrises. The city is a bustling economic center, which causes the daily population to swell from its normal 66,174 residents. The average household income for the city is $81,361 and the median home value for the area is $587,700.


Like every city located on the San Francisco Peninsula, South San Francisco is bracketed on the east and west by U.S. Route 101 and Interstate 280. Route 101 snakes along the edge of the Bay while 280 rides along the edge of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Both roads allow residents to move freely along the length of San Mateo County and into nearby Silicon Valley.The city also has also dedicated significant time and resources into developing its public transportation infrastructure. The city currently features a Bay Area Rapid Transit Station, a CalTrain commuter station, and numerous SamTrans commuter bus line stops. Additionally, several ferry services operate daily between South San Francisco and the cities of Oakland and Alameda.

The city also operates three intercity shuttle lines designed to ease the travel burden on full-time residents and those who work in the city. These shuttle services provide transportation from downtown to the BART station and from the ferry stations to the corporate areas on Utah Avenue, and the Oyster Point Office Area. The city is also adjacent to the San Francisco International airport.

Local Highlights

South San Francisco is the self-described “Birthplace of Biotechnology” for the Bay Area. Despite how self-aggrandizing it may sound, the claim is generally accepted in the region based on the overwhelming majority of biotechnology companies located within the city. The city currently houses a total of 15 research and development campuses and over 8.5 million square feet of laboratories, office space, and manufacturing centers dedicated to the biotechnology industry.

South San Francisco has recognized how important the continued growth of the biotechnology field is to the long term economic health of the city and is dedicated to facilitating the continued expansion of the industry. This includes a partnership with three major Real Estate Investment Trusts. The city currently holds numerous properties configured for usage by life science industries. These include preconfigured office space and industrial parks.

Finally, the city has utilized its strong economic platform to facilitate numerous community projects and services through the Parks and Recreation department. These projects include a variety of activities and programs supporting a wide range of citizens. Daycare and early childhood education services are available for the youngest members of the community. Youth sports league and afterschool services are available for the adolescent demographic. Finally, continuing education and quality of life enrichment programs are available for the senior members of the community.