California Department of Transportation

California Department of Transportation

Headquarters - Public Affairs Office
Tamie McGowen
(916) 657-5060

January 16, 2008


Sacramento - Ridership on the state-supported Amtrak California trains continued an upward trend during the final quarter of 2007 with an increase of 7.7 percent. A total of 1,266,751 passengers used the popular intercity trains, compared to 1,183,150 during the same three-month period in 2006.

“Clearly, we are filling an important need for the traveling public in California,” said Caltrans Director Will Kempton. “We have been aggressively marketing the state supported train service, and it’s really paying off. The payoff also includes reduced vehicle fuel emissions and fewer motor vehicles on our congested highways.”

Quarterly ridership gains for Capitol Corridor trains were 11.5 percent, 4.6 percent for Pacific Surfliner trains, and 7.1 percent for the San Joaquins. Of particular note is the growth on the Amtrak San Joaquins, posting monthly increases of 13.1 percent and 11.3 percent in November and December respectively. Ridership on the three state-supported routes during Amtrak’s 2007 Fiscal Year was 4.9 million passengers – a record for the three state routes.

In the first six months of the State Fiscal Year, July through December 2007, each of the three corridors set impressive monthly ridership records. Capitol Corridor set records in each of the first six months with a gain of 13.4 percent over the same six-month period in 2006; San Joaquins set records in five of the first six months for an increase of 7.3 percent; and, the Pacific Surfliner set records in five of the first six months finishing with a 3.7 percent ridership increase.

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 more than four million passengers annually to over 200 destinations. Caltrans supports train service between the Bay Area and Sacramento on the Capitol Corridor, between Oakland or Sacramento and Bakersfield on the San Joaquins, and between San Diego and San Luis Obispo (via Los Angeles and Santa Barbara) on the Pacific Surfliner.

Amtrak provides intercity passenger rail service to more than 500 destinations in 46 states on a 21,000-mile route system. For schedules, fares and information, passengers may call 800-USA-RAIL or visit