I’ve taken this train many times.
1. I’m also on the downstairs team…just for the bathrooms. so many there as opposed to the upstairs single one.
2. Since the train arrives late in Emeryville…even if on time, the Ambus dumps you in the middle of downtown San Fransisco where there is nothing going on at that hour. You are going to have a 2 to 3 block walk to the nearest hotel or call a cab (don‘t) or an Uber (do) to get there anyway
3. My plan is to always walk across the bridge across the tracks to the Hyatt House which is reasonably priced (well…in Bay area terms) , spend the night, have a good breakfast (which the hotel provides) and make my way into the City in the morning.
4. There are various ways to do that…Uber across the Bay Bridge, Bus, Bart, or my favorite, ferry across the Bay. Can’t beat that!
5. You can indeed do all these except The ferry the night you arrive but then it’s late night and indeed kind of sketchy.
6. the bridge across the tracks consists of a verry slow elevator up and then down, not the cleanest but I’ve never seen anything problematic either