Stockton, CA – Beginning on October 18th, Amtrak San Joaquins will restore the service’s 6th round-trip, which includes train connections between Sacramento and Bakersfield. In addition to implementing reinstated train service between Stockton and Sacramento, Amtrak San Joaquins will also be updating several Thruway Bus routes throughout its network.
In March of 2020, following a swift drop in ridership at the onset of the pandemic, the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority (SJJPA) approved an emergency service reduction from seven daily round-trips between Bakersfield and Oakland/Sacramento, to four round-trips between Bakersfield and Oakland with connecting Thruway Bus service to Sacramento via Stockton.
In June of 2020, Amtrak San Joaquins restored a 5th round-trip between Bakersfield and Oakland. Now as part of the service restoration process, Amtrak San Joaquins will reintroduce Trains 702 and 703 back into service. Train 702 will depart Sacramento at 6:26am and travel southbound, terminating in Bakersfield at 11:57am; Train 703 will depart Bakersfield at 6:12pm and travel northbound, terminating in Sacramento at 11:35pm.
“The restoration of trains 702 and 703 represents an important step forward for our service as we work to provide the safest, most convenient, and reliable transportation possible,” said David Lipari, San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority marketing manager. “We are thankful to our partners at the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) and Caltrans Division of Rail and Mass transit for their close coordination and collaboration in making the reintroduction of the sixth round-trip possible.”
With the addition of the 6th round-trip, several additional Thruway Bus frequencies will be brought back to supplement the rail service. For Route 1 (Bakersfield-Los Angeles), three additional buses will be brought back into service for four daily round-trips and the Santa Monica Pier Thruway Bus stop, located at 1532 2nd Street, will serve as the new terminus for Route 1c, which serves West Los Angeles. For Route 19 (Bakersfield-San Bernardino), one additional bus will be brought back into service.
Amtrak San Joaquins staff will continue to monitor ridership to determine appropriate timing to initiate additional increases to the service frequency where appropriate. More information and timetables can be found at amtraksanjoaquins.com.
Health and Safety Aboard Amtrak San Joaquins Trains and Thruway Buses
In alignment with guidance from the CDC and state health officials for public transit, face masks will continue to be required on Amtrak San Joaquins trains, buses, and stations. Additionally, Amtrak San Joaquins will continue stringent cleaning and sanitation protocols to ensure the health and safety of passengers and employees. Disinfection wipe downs are performed multiple times each day on all high touch surfaces, and hand sanitizer is available for passengers. Amtrak San Joaquins encourages its riders to review the Visit California “Responsible Travel Code” for tips on how to plan thoughtful, safe, and respectful travel.
For passengers interested in monitoring capacity levels for trains and buses, travelers can utilize Amtrak’s capacity indicator system. This online tool allows customers to see in real-time the percentage of seats sold for each trip option. This gives customers the opportunity to book a train that is less crowded if they choose or cancel the reservation if needed. Amtrak has extended the waivers on change fees and cancellation fees until January 4, 2022. Reservations can be modified online or on the Amtrak app for free, although a far difference may apply to the new itinerary. For passengers wishing to cancel their reservation with no fee, call 1-800-USA-RAIL and speak with an agent.
All discounts can be accessed at amtraksanjoaquins.com/promotions/. Passengers are encouraged to purchase tickets prior to boarding at stations, online at AmtrakSanJoaquins.com, on the Amtrak app, or at a station kiosk.
About the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority (SJJPA)
Since July 2015, SJJPA has been responsible for the management and administration of Amtrak San Joaquins. SJJPA is governed by Board Members representing each of the ten (10) Member Agencies along the 365-mile San Joaquins Corridor. For more information on SJJPA see www.sjjpa.com. Prior to service modifications due to the COVID-19 crisis, Amtrak San Joaquins ran 7 daily train round-trips and its Thruway Buses provided connecting service to 135 destinations in California and Nevada including Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Napa Valley, Las Vegas and Reno. To book your next trip, visit www.AmtrakSanJoaquins.com or call 1-800-USA-RAIL.