Thursday, January 28, 2016

How To Get To Work at Super Bowl City On Time...

Those of us who live in San Francisco are already experiencing the traffic jams and construction delays created to accommodate Super Bowl City.  We're used to huge conventions and events clogging the streets and we know how to adjust our commutes accordingly.  The Super Bowl is expecting well over a million people to come to town, and most of them will want to visit the few square blocks where you will be working.

Unless you have a client paying $1000/night for you to stay close or have a good friend's couch to crash on, you will be commuting to work using something other than your feet.  For those of you traveling in for SB50 and staying more than three miles from your footprint, you might want to take some notes.

Getting There:

--Traffic will be at a standstill from early in the morning to well after dark.  Downtown is already gridlocked all day, and it's only January.

--Your commute time will quadruple.  It doesn't matter what says, a 15 minute bus ride is going to take an hour when the event opens.  MUNI, BART and Caltrain are notorious for being late and I expect them to live up to their reputations over the next two weeks.

---MUNI will be jammed. It might take several buses passing you that are full before one stops to let you on.  Have correct change ready for the bus as the driver does not carry any money.  Consider purchasing a week pass if you plan to use MUNI exclusively.

--MUNI does not go into the event itself, all lines down Market Street have been rerouted.  You will have to get out and walk the last few blocks.  

--BART is extending service and train length, but the cars will still be packed.  Check to see if the trains are even running when you are working.  They do NOT run 24-hours.  You don't want to miss the last train home, or have call time an hour before the first train runs.

--Caltrain is wonderful to get up and down The Peninsula, but if one train goes down, you're stuck.  This happens weekly.  They only run once an hour during non-peak times.

-- Fare police will be at all major stops to check for proof of purchase.  The City just spent $5M on this event, I'm sure they will want recoup some of this money issuing tickets to fare jumpers $75 at a time.

--Planning to drive in? Don't. All the lots will be full by 8 AM, and if you do find a lot, it's going to be at triple the rate. Parking for the World Series was $100 a day, eight blocks away from the ballpark. BART parking lots are full by 7 AM, so if you plan to drive to BART, get there before dawn or take an Uber to the station.

--Speaking of Uber...Thinking of taking an Uber into work?  Nope. You will be stuck in a traffic jam for hours, and Uber will be surge pricing. Your Agency isn't going to accept a $117 Uber ride. 

Once you actually get TO Super Bowl City, you aren't in the clear...

--There will be security screening EVERYWHERE. This will add time to get to your footprint. Metal detectors, bag searches, dogs sniffing, etc. will be checking everyone who comes in the area. 

--Know what you can and cannot bring into secure areas.  Unless you have specific credentials, leave everything possible at home.  Check here to see what cannot be brought into Super Bowl City.

--There will be lines. Long lines. Lines for everything.  The lines for the bathroom will be legendary.  Plan ahead.

-- You might want to bring a lunch because I don't really see you wanting to spend 35 minutes of your 30 minute lunch break standing in line for a $10 piece of pizza. Find somewhere to sit down so you can enjoy every minute of your breaks and get back on time. Your Agency and coworkers will thank you. So will your feet and back.

Think you have it all figured out?  Good.

BUT WAIT!!  There's MORE!!

Along with the absolute nightmare that will be your commute to work the Super Bowl events, there are huge protests scheduled over the entire ten days.  

We protest here in San Francisco.  It's what we do.  

The City is furious at its officials about certain issues and tens of thousands of people will be taking to the streets, right outside Super Bowl City and surrounding areas.  


Bring the camera.  

Watch the First Amendment in action.

And when the protests start, they will likely shut down any road you think you can get on to get to work via your own car, bus, or train. The last protest shut down the Bay Bridge for hours during Rush Hour. I wouldn't be surprised if they did it again.  Most are organized and announced well in advance, but others pop up unexpectedly.  

Local legend Broke-Ass Stuart and the Coalition On Homelessness are organizing their protest to be right outside Super Bowl City.  Find out more here.  And you might as well follow BAS for more announcements about other events--including free or cheap things to do while you are in town!

I'm not trying to be negative and discourage anyone, but it would certainly suck if you were released from your job because you couldn't get to work on time and your backup was there and took your place. That would be really horrible if you are from out of town and couldn't pick up something for the 10 days you are here.  Plan ahead.  Make tons of money.  Be safe.

Above all, have FUN!

Life Is Good.  Life is better when you get paid to work an amazing event in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.