Caltrans is starting work on its 2018 Rail Plan, which will provide a framework for California’s rail network for the next 20 years. The planning process is designed to allow early stakeholder and public input – providing information through meetings and webinars and soliciting feedback via workshops, surveys, emails and online comments.
If you’d like to help shape the Rail plan, you can sign up to the email list, leave a comment on the Comments Page, or send an email to RailPlan@dot.ca.gov. For more ways to participate, visit Caltrans’ Get Involved page.
If you’d like additional information, visit the 2018 California Rail Plan website.
Capitol Corridor’s Train Treks for Kids program offers discounted train travel for student and youth groups of 20 or more. With access to destinations between Sacramento and San Jose, groups can visit sites like the State Capitol in Sacramento, Pier 39 in San Francisco and the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose. Train Treks takes advantage of open seats to provide groups a substantial discount. Pricing is broken into three fare zones with groups paying for each zone traveled. All members of the group, both adult chaperones and children, pay the same discounted price.
For more information on the Train Treks program, read their FAQ or visit the Train Treks webpage.
Let Capitol Corridor take you where you want to go. Interested in history? Check out Old Town Sacramento. Love science? Visit the Tech Museum in San Jose. Addicted to shopping? San Francisco’s the place to be. And now, through April 24, Capitol Corridor is half-off on the weekends. Weekend travel is 50% off! Offer is valid for regular (full) adult rail fare.
Bike aboard Amtrak. Photo credit: ubrayj02
Looking to take a nice train and bike trip along the coast this summer? The Source published this news release from Caltrans, which funds some passenger rail service in California, regarding the new bike reservation policy (with our emphasis added) :
Caltrans, Amtrak Announce New Bike Reservation Policy to Improve Customer Service and Enhance Safety
SACRAMENTO – Amtrak California passengers traveling with bicycles can reserve onboard bike rack space free of charge beginning June 1, 2013 when booking travel on Pacific Surfliner trains.
“We heard our customers and we responded,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “Caltrans eliminated the $5 bike reservation fee to make it as easy as possible to bring your bike along when riding the Pacific Surfliner trains.”
Previously, without a bike reservation system in place, when bike racks became full, passengers had no choice but to store bikes next to luggage storage areas or walkways. At times, if bike traffic became too heavy, bike passengers would not be allowed to board at all.
“With bike reservations, planning travel is made easier by enabling bike-toting passengers to choose an alternate train should their first choice be fully booked. It’s truly a win-win,” said Caltrans Division of Rail Chief Bill Bronte. While there is no cost to reserve a bike slot, reservations will be required for each travel segment and must accompany a valid Amtrak ticket. Bike reservations can be made one of several ways: Online when booking tickets at AmtrakCalifornia.com (click “Add Bike to Trip” after selecting the departure and class of service); at Quik-Trak kiosks (visit the Amtrak California Station Directory for kiosk locations); from station ticket agents; or by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL.
Amtrak Multi-Ride Ticket holders (10-trip or Monthly Pass) can only obtain bike reservations through station ticket agents or by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL. Amtrak has issued refunds to passengers who booked and paid for bike reservations in advance.
Most trains can accommodate six bikes. Passengers should reserve space as early as possible, as bike space is limited and may not be available on all trains or departures. All bike passengers are responsible for securing their own bicycles in provided bike racks.
About Amtrak California: Under the Amtrak California banner, Caltrans funds three of the five busiest intercity passenger rail routes in the Amtrak system: the Pacific Surfliner(r) corridor (ranked second), the Capitol Corridor(r) (ranked third), and the San Joaquin(r) corridor (ranked fifth). Caltrans manages both the Pacific Surfliner and San Joaquin corridors. The Capitol Corridor, although funded by Caltrans, is managed by the Capital Corridor Joint Powers Authority. Visit us at www.amtrakcalifornia.com; join us on Facebook at Facebook.com/AmtrakCalifornia or follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/Amtrak_CA.
Note: Folding bicycles may be brought aboard certain passenger cars as carry-on baggage. Only true folding bicycles (bicycles specifically designed to fold up into a compact assembly) are acceptable. Generally, these bikes have frame latches allowing the frame to be collapsed, and small wheels. Regular bikes of any size, with or without wheels, are not considered folding bikes, and may not be stored as folding bikes aboard trains. You must fold up your folding bicycle before boarding the train. You may store the bike only in luggage storage areas at the end of the car (or, in Superliners, on the lower level). You may not store bikes in overhead racks.
Road trip season is upon us, a time to visit natural and cultural sites, near and far. Load up the car and hit the road, right? But what if you are looking for a little more adventure, or to harken back to a simpler time? Sometimes there is no experience quite like taking a bus, train, or bicycle to reach that getaway, or to see those sights. The recently launched offMetro San Francisco offers just that– how to take a road trip-like vacation “with and without a car!”
There are plenty of suggestions and advice for various kinds of trips, and OffMetroSF helps you plan trips in a variety of ways– by mode of transportation, by destination, by purpose, by duration, and more. Some interesting trips that offMetroSF suggest, and give a taste of what the site has to offer are: Take Amtrak to Yosemite Best Bike Getaways Near San Francisco Five Things to Do in Alameda
You can always plan your own trips, but take a moment and check out offMetroSF. You might be surprised by how many things there are to do around the Bay, and inspired by how easily getaways can be planned without a car!
Caldecott Tunnel workers see light, BART is one step closer to San Jose, local bike shops you should check out. Read our weekly news & events roundup for Contra Costa County, East Bay & Bay Area for transit, biking and transportation.