Sunday Open Thread
It’s Super Bowl Sunday and a California team, the San Francisco 49ers, is playing for the championship.
The 49ers are in the process of moving from their longtime home at Candlestick Park in San Francisco to Santa Clara, where a new stadium is under construction at a site that is somewhat transit-friendly. The stadium will be located next to the Great America VTA light rail and Great America ACE/Capitol Corridor stations, as you can see on the map below:
This will give VTA light rail a big ridership boost. But the location is ironically more accessible to the East Bay than to San Francisco and the Peninsula. ACE and the Capitol Corridor will likely run a special football train or two, as we assume will Caltrain. The Mountain View Caltrain station to the stadium via VTA light rail won’t be quite as easy as the ACE and Capitol Corridor passengers will have it. VTA light rail will also help connect fans to BART when the Milpitas station opens in 2018, with a similar distance for fans to ride on light rail.
In the future, Niner fans from other parts of California can also take high speed rail to the games by transferring to VTA light rail at Diridon Station.
VTA light rail ridership will see a game day ridership boost, as it will be the key linkage to the major Bay Area rail services.
The most transit-friendly spot for a sports facility in Santa Clara County would be next to Diridon Station, and the San Jose Sharks have occupied that spot for 20 years. The Santa Clara Stadium site isn’t quite as easy for fans coming from SF, but with VTA light rail, it should work just fine.
The 49ers’ decision to move from San Francisco to Santa Clara was and remains controversial, and some fans will have a longer trek to make. But it’s good that transit access was a priority in locating the stadium, and once Caltrain gets upgraded and the BART to San José extension is built, it will be even more transit-friendly.
Anyhow, Go Niners and enjoy the open thread.