The following is a press release from Amtrak:
Riders on Amtrak San Joaquins will now be able to purchase bus-only tickets for Routes 1c, 7, and 19, starting on December 13th, without the need for their trip to include a train connection. Passengers will now be able to travel from destinations like Bakersfield to Santa Monica on Route 1c or Eureka to Petaluma on Route 7, where previously a passenger could not. This is the next step of implementing SB 742, legislation that opened up the Amtrak Thruway Bus network for riders and made the Amtrak San Joaquins service more convenient and accessible. Already, Routes 10 and 18 are open for bus-only ticket purchases.
The bus-only ticketing options are now available in the following locations:
- Route 1C: Bakersfield – Van Nuys – West Los Angeles/UCLA – Santa Monica
- Route 7: Martinez – Napa – Santa Rosa – Humboldt State University – Arcata
- Route 10: Santa Barbara – Bakersfield – Barstow – Las Vegas
- Route 18: Hanford – Lemoore – San Luis Obispo – Santa Maria
- Route 19: Bakersfield – Pasadena – Riverside – San Bernardino
To check for available “bus-only” destinations along the Thruway Bus routes and the associated fares, visit https://amtraksanjoaquins.com/thruway-bus-routes/.
Making Amtrak’s thruway bus routes available to non-rail riders brings several benefits including:
- Improved access to transit for priority and underserved communities
- Reduction in greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions by diverting trips that would have previously been taken by an automobile
- Reduced car trips on some of the state’s most congested freeways
- Better utilization of current transit infrastructure
- Increased revenues for the state at virtually no additional cost
State legislation, SB 742 authored by Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), was passed in 2019 to remove the requirement for intercity passenger rail/thruway bus services to sell companion rail tickets as condition of the sale. The bill specifically allows Joint Powers Authorities, including San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority (SJJPA), Capitol Corridor, and the Los Angeles San Diego San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency (LOSSAN), to pick up and drop off passengers on their
Amtrak intercity thruway bus routes without requiring them to have a train ticket as part of their trip.
“We are pleased to be rolling out this next stage of increased accessibility for our Thruway Bus network,” said David Lipari, Marketing Manager for the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority. “Our focus is on making travel on Amtrak San Joaquins as convenient as possible, which means ensuring that potential riders can use our network for trips near or far, and with or without train connections.”
Amtrak San Joaquins provides an easy and comfortable way to travel, serving over 135 destinations throughout California and Nevada, with a traffic-free, airport-free, stress-free experience. Travelers will continue to experience enhanced safety, cleaning, and physical distancing measures that have been put in place to promote public health. These protocols include required face coverings, contactless amenities, regular cleaning and disinfection, social distancing on board and in stations, and sophisticated air filtration. Amtrak San Joaquins has information about its COVID-19 response here.
Plan and book ahead to make sure your seat is reserved. Thruway Bus routes fares, train schedules and station locations can be found at http://www.AmtrakSanJoaquins.com. For inquiries, train passengers can reach out to Amtrak San Joaquins on Twitter at @SanJoaquins, Facebook, and Instagram at @AmtrakSanJoaquins or call 1-800-USA-RAIL.