Amtrak seeks public input for new Sacramento-Fresno train option

EMBED </>More Videos

More than one million people ride the Amtrak every year in Central California, making it one of the busiest in the country. (KFSN)

The Amtrak train in the Valley is one of the busiest in the county, and now leaders are considering an early morning option for Sacramento riders.

Come rain or shine, people are out at the Amtrak station in Downtown Fresno to ride their way to their destination like Charlie Smith of Selma.

"Because I hate to drive in heavy traffic and the train is a lot more relaxing," he said.

More than one million people ride the Amtrak every year in Central California, making it one of the busiest in the country. Now the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority, which manages Amtrak in the Valley, is trying to meet their ridership needs.

"I hear them say, 'I would take the train, but I can't it to Sacramento in time for it to be worth it. I can't get in there and do the trip in one day,'" board member Brett Frazier said.

Frazier says they are looking into the real possibility of adding an early morning trip to Sacramento.

"So, we would actually start in Fresno and then get people up there by 8 o'clock," he explained. "That's the best way we see we can do it. We would need to construct a layover facility here in Fresno so that we could keep one of the trains here to start that early morning start."

That would be paid for with Caltrans funds, and Smith says he's all for the line.

"I think it's a really good idea," he said. "There are people who do commute, and a departure that early would get people up to Sacramento, perhaps for businesses. That would be a lot more convenient than what currently exists."

The board needs the public's help to get feedback. They're asking them encouraging them to take a survey to determine if the train is needed. About 90 percent of riders now travel for leisure, but officials hope to serve both commuters and those who ride for fun.

Officials say if they get enough favorable feedback from the public about the Sacramento morning train, it could be up and running in 2018.

To fill out the survey, visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/KGB7GKZ
Related Topics:
newsamtrakfresnotransportationtravelsacramentoFresno
(Copyright ©2017 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments