The San Jose Earthquakes just started their season and with it comes the launch of a luxury charter bus service to the games from downtown.
The ride, as part of a new partnership with Lux Bus, will be free for fans and is meant to replace the extra buses VTA used to provide.
"Previously VTA provided the service for our fans to get to the game and they changed their policies on that,” Jed Mettee, Executive Vice President of the San Jose Earthquakes says. “So we had to figure out what we wanted to do."
In June last year, VTA changed their police on special event service – extra buses or light rail – for games and concerts. Stadiums are now expected to pay if they want it. For Avaya, where the Earthquakes play, it would have meant an extra $233,000 dollars per year.
And so the team decided to partner with charter service Lux Bus. While they wouldn't say how much the buses will cost, they said it's a more affordable option.
"When we first looked at it, it didn't look like something that was going to make sense. But we looked at all the options,” Mettee said. “We figured this was a great option for our fans. And we're going to test it out and see how it goes."
VTA released a statement saying that "providing augmented services for special events with no reimbursement is not financially sustainable."
And while Levi's Stadium agreed to pay the new fees. Others, like the SAP Center, also declined the service.
The Earthquakes say they'll see how the charter buses work this season, running them on a loop from Market and St. John to Avaya before and after each game.
"For us the best option was to pay these private buses to come and take fans. and that's the best option, i think, for our fans as well," Mettee said.
The Earthquakes plan to adjust the number of charter buses based on how many fans are using them. The service starts on March 31st.