SANTA CLARA (KPIX 5) — Levi’s Stadium was designed with mass transit in mind, and the 49ers are banking on heavy use of public transit on game days.
So if you’re looking for someone else to give you a lift to the game, you’re in luck. Bay Area public transit has a game plan fit for the playoffs.
“Our best advice is to take public transit,” said Colleen Valles of Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority. “It’s the easiest, quickest, most hassle-free way to get to the stadium.”
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Your best bet is to hook up with the VTA, which will drop you off right at Levi’s front door.
For some, it means first you have to get to VTA. From the south, take Caltrain to San Jose’s Diridon station. The Capitol Corridor and ACE Train also stop there. Just switch over to VTA for a 43-minute ride.
From the north, take Caltrain south to Mountain View. Jump on VTA right at the West Evelyn station. It’s 25 minutes to the stadium.
And from the East Bay, use BART to Fremont. VTA is running an express bus from there that takes about a half hour.
VTA officials say the agency is ready to field a full team on game days, “On a regular Sunday we deploy about 20 light rail cars. On a game day we’re going to deploy about 80,” Valles explained.
Still Insist On Driving?
There will be parking lots for fans who drive, but a word of warning to those who leave their cars in areas not designated for all-day parking: “The whole downtown neighborhood is going to have parking restrictions,” said Mountain View City Councilman Mike Kasperzak.
Several nearby cities like Mountain View are taking note. To reduce a parking clog downtown, city officials voted to limit parking to three hours on game days. Some lots which are now free will cost you.
“If you park over 3 hours you will get a ticket and if you park in any of the non-paid parking lots for longer than 3 hours you will get a ticket,” Kasperzak added.
So stick with designated lots and borrowed ones, like the fairways at Santa Clara Golf & Tennis Club, or the 48-acre site Yahoo is paving to make room for football fans.
If you do drive, the 49ers have an elaborate plan to make it as easy as possible. Operations Chief Jim Mercurio calls it “segregated traffic” – a system created to manage an expected 20,000 cars, arranged according by color-code.
“We took season ticket holder information and figured out how we can plan to better get them to the stadium,” Mercurio explained. “So we have red lots, green lots, blue lots.”
Those season ticket holders can get specific driving directions, depending on where they’re coming from, via a Levi’s Stadium app. So a fan coming from San Mateo does not take the same freeway, exit, and parking lot as a fan coming from say, Morgan Hill or Fremont. The idea is to keep the separated as long as possible to avoid a traffic crunch leading to the game.