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Amtrak California’s San Joaquin corridor reaches more than a million riders

Amtrak California’s San Joaquin corridor reaches more than a million riders

Operating between Oakland, Sacramento, and Bakersfield with bus service to Los Angeles and other points, the San Joaquin carried more than a million passengers in the state’s fiscal year that ended in June 2011, a 6.7 percent increase over the previous year. It also had the highest ridership of any month in its 37-year history—103,933 riders in July 2011.

Moreover, annual ridership for the three state-supported routes—the San Joaquin, Pacific Surfliner, and Capitol Corridor—collectively exceeded all annual ridership records to date. The three routes carried a combined 5,458,788 passengers, an increase of 6.1 percent over the previous year.

The San Joaquin corridor’s one millionth passenger, Denora Gagaza, of Riverbank, Stanislaus County, was recognized by the San Joaquin Valley Rail Committee, on September 29, at the Sacramento Valley train station. Gagaza takes the San Joaquin from Modesto some 30 times a year to visit friends and family throughout the state. She received tickets for a complimentary trip to Denver on Amtrak’s California Zephyr courtesy of Amtrak.
“She is a perfect ambassador for this route,” said Acting Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “We are delighted more passengers are experiencing the benefits of Amtrak California trains.”

Caltrans believes the increased ridership can be attributed to a combination of lower fares, better customer service, station enhancements, security and parking improvements, and greater public awareness through a sustained, well-crafted marketing campaign.

“The success of this corridor is a result of Amtrak’s strong partnership with state of California,” said Emmett Fremaux, Amtrak Vice President of Marketing & Product Development. “Working with Caltrans, Amtrak has implemented the improvements to the service that have helped boost ridership throughout the region.”
The state of California, with management by Caltrans, contributes $90 million annually in operating assistance to the intercity passenger rail service in California and parts of Nevada.



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