Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Californians Switching to Trains

Ridership on the state-supported Amtrak San Joaquins Corridor service exceeded all expectations during the month of November with a dramatic jump of 13.1 percent, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) announced today. 78,577 passengers rode the line last month, compared to 69,450 in November 2006.

Under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, rail funding for Caltrans’ intercity passenger rail program has grown to $79 million annually, making it the largest state-supported program in the nation.

“This is great news for the traveling public,” stated Caltrans Director Will Kempton. “Not only are we able to relieve traffic congestion by providing the traveling public a good alternative to their private vehicles, we are also helping reduce air pollution.”

The average daily train ridership on the route during the Thanksgiving holiday period totaled 30,751, an increase of 14.5 percent or 3,893 passengers from the year before.

California’s three intercity passenger rail lines are the second (Pacific Surfliner), third (Capitol Corridor) and sixth (San Joaquins) busiest in the nation.

Caltrans partners with Amtrak to provide service on three intercity rail corridors in California, which carry over four million passengers annually to over 200 destinations.

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