Q People need to adjust their expectations about taking light rail to 49er games at Levi's Stadium. I ride BART to the Oakland Coliseum for Raiders games, which 20,000 of us do. After the game it takes way over an hour to get those 20,000 people back on trains and out of there. That's just how long it takes. That's on a system with more capacity and years of experience handling big crowds.
A And ...
Q I caught light rail at the Great Mall about 6 p.m. and was in my seat for opening ceremonies with two franks and a souvenir soda. The biggest hassle was waiting in line for people having trouble buying tickets.
After the game I thought that it would take forever to get home, but that was not my experience. Yes, the queue for some trains appeared excessively long, but I still got home easier than I would from Candlestick by Muni Bus. And hands down, VTA loaded their trains WAY BETTER that Muni loads trains at AT&T. I got back to the Great Mall by 11 p.m.
A And ...
Q We took light rail from the Fair Oaks station, got off at Old Ironsides and walked the rest of the way in as the train was pretty crowded and hot. On the way out, we waited in line 20 minutes before getting on a train and were home in about 15 minutes. All in all, pretty easy.
A What's going on here? I expected to be flooded with nothing but light rail complaints, but many say the trains from Mountain View and East San Jose were a good option. But not from South San Jose.
John-the-Retired-Roadshow-Copy-Editor took light rail from Winchester to the game and got back home at 11:53 p.m. His sons drove and arrived home in San Francisco at 11 p.m.
Q I want to give a firsthand version of VTA's handling of Saturday's game at Levi's Stadium. The fact that a VTA contact gave them a B-minus rating is an absolute joke. The only rating they should get for their performance would be an F-minus, and that is being generous.
Service was terrible in both directions. Going to the game, we boarded at the Great Mall and were unfortunate to get on an extremely overcrowded train that was having power problems and the air conditioning had been shut off. The trip to Great America took about 30 minutes, and it was like a sauna on the train; passengers were threatening to break out the windows. The return was even more frustrating. There was no one in charge.
We waited for 11/2 hours to get on a train. VTA has a very long way to get a B-minus from riders.
A And ...
Q We walked over to light rail after the game just as a train pulled in. We were home by 11 p.m. Easy trip. But I've heard others had a much different experience, especially those going south. I was tweeting with Mercury News sports editor Bud Geracie, and he was still in line at the stadium when I was going to bed!
A Poor Buddy.
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