Q How much will parking cost at the 49ers' new stadium in Santa Clara?

D. Diaz

Redwood City

A A lot. Parking fees haven't been set yet, but they run in the $30 to $35 range per car and up to $75 for RVs and buses at Candlestick and at Raiders games. One South Bay city official told me would not be surprised to see prices in the $40 to $50 range for cars at the new 49ers stadium. When the San Jose Sharks arena opened, fans were outraged to pay $10 to park. How much are you willing to pay to park at a 49ers game?

Q The other day you wrote about VTA adding new light rail trains and passing tracks to support the new 49er stadium in Santa Clara. Will Caltrain run additional trains to the station on Lafayette Street under Tasman Drive on game days, too?

Tom L.

A Not likely. Caltrain is in talks with VTA and the 49ers to determine what level of service it will be able to provide to Levi's Stadium. But there are challenges. Among them:

The Mountain View station is farther away from the stadium than Caltrain's San Francisco station is to AT&T Park, so most people will not want to walk and will instead transfer to light rail to the stadium.


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But light rail can't seat nearly as many passengers as will be getting off Caltrain. How will VTA accommodate large crowds coming off a single Caltrain? Caltrain's San Francisco station is able to accommodate hundreds of people. After a game, fans line up to board the train and their tickets are checked at the gate before boarding. How would Caltrain queue large crowds returning from the game to ensure safe and orderly boarding at the Mountain View station? Stay tuned.

Q I took Caltrain to an event near the Giants baseball park on a recent Saturday evening, planning to return on the 10:15 p.m. departure. I chose Caltrain so I wouldn't have to worry about parking near the stadium on game day nor driving after drinking. I tagged my Clipper card at 10:12 p.m., which should have been plenty of time to get on the train, but as I was about to go though the doors the gate agent shut the doors and stopped about 10 of us from boarding.

The agent said the train was full and we would have to wait until midnight for the next train. I am sure there was room to stand SOMEWHERE (in an aisle, on a bike car).

Is there a statutory capacity? Does Caltrain keep a record of the number of passengers who boarded? I admit I was cutting it close. However, my Clipper tag proves I was there three minutes prior to arrival.

Alex Taylor

San Mateo

A Christine the Caltrain spokeswoman had this to say:

"I'm sorry that this customer was inconvenienced late at night when I'm sure all he wanted to do was get home. We never want our customers to have a bad experience, but sometimes in the interest of safety our conductors have to make unpopular decisions.

"Many of our trains are regularly at capacity, particularly those serving special events such as Giants baseball games and America's Cup activities. Trains leaving San Francisco after a Giants game are nearly always full. Caltrain has a seated capacity of 650 passengers and is designed to carry several hundred standing passengers. In our effort to carry as many passengers as possible on these special event days, many trains are operating with more than 1,000 riders. People are standing in the aisles as well as in the vestibules by the doorways.

"The conductor is responsible for the safe operation of the train. It is up to his or her discretion to determine when the train is full. After baseball games, conductors generally check tickets as riders board the train so they have a good idea of how many people are on the train and whether it can accommodate additional riders.

"Caltrain provides up to three special trains after Giants games to accommodate additional riders. While we would like to offer additional service, our ability to provide more service is limited by equipment and crew availability. Caltrain is exploring the possibility of purchasing or leasing additional passenger cars. Unfortunately, up to this point, we have not been to locate any available equipment."

Bottom line: If you want catch the 10:15 p.m. train, arrive early.

Look for Gary at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5335.