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Uber, VTA to offer improved options for Levi’s Stadium trips

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49ers look for ways to speed up ingress, egress from Levi’s Stadium.

The San Francisco 49ers kick off their preseason schedule on Sunday when they host the Houston Texans. That is the first of ten home games this season (ideally more with the playoffs!), and given past issues, the team is continuing to try and figure out ways to improve the inbound and outbound traffic. It’s had some solid moments, but it’s a bit inconsistent at times, so any additional help is welcome.

This year, the team has arranged deals with Uber and the Valley Transportation Authority to help folks out. Here’s a quick look at each, along with some of my own thoughts given my experience with both.

Uber

The 49ers and Uber have partnered up to create an “exclusive Uber Zone” at the stadium. The press releases says it will “provid[e] guests with a seamless pickup and drop-off experience for all 49ers home games and third-party stadium events.” Here’s how they describe it:

Guests using Uber pre-event for curbside drop-off will be let out in the newly designated Uber Zone, located in the northwest corner of the Tasman Drive and Great America Parkway intersection. Guests using Uber for post-event pick-up will exit out of Intel Gate A. Returning to the same designated Uber Zone, located in the northwest corner of the Tasman Drive and Great America Parkway intersection, guests will request a ride via the Uber app. Event staff will be onsite to assist guests meeting drivers and securing rides.

Uber is offering $15 off a ride to Levi’s Stadium for first-time users who enter the promo code 49ERS. And while this is an improvement over nothing, you’re probably gonna need that promo code. Uber has something called “surge” pricing, which increases the cost of travel when there is high demand. The surge pricing multiplies the base fare and the per mile charge (or whatever specific distance is charged by Uber) by X amount. The busier Uber drivers are, the more the surge. I would think surge pricing will be high for a trip to or from Levi’s Stadium. I’m guessing this will be an option for people who live near Santa Clara in the South Bay.

VTA

The South Bay offers a light rail service called the VTA. It goes all around the Santa Clara Valley, and is what you connect to if you take Caltrain down from San Francisco. This year, the VTA will offer new season and single-game light rail passes. The passes will allow the purchaser round-trip service on VTA’s new express light rail trains from the Great Mall, Santa Teresa, Diridon, and Mountain View light rail stations. Pass holders will have priority departure and exclusive use of express trains for their return trip. The pass is $149 for the season, or $20 per game. You can purchase them online at VTA.org/49ersExpress, at the Levi’s Stadium box office, and at VTA retail locations.

The VTA is really solid, although there are long lines after the game. The upside is that the lines actually move at a pretty decent speed, so it’s not too awful. But taking advantage of an express option would add some convenience, albeit for a little more money.

For those of you that take BART to the Fremont station and bus over, this does not apply. You will use that particular service like you normally do.