Amtrak San Joaquins reduces service in Central California in response to COVID-19 outbreak

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The coronavirus is impacting Amtrak service in Central California as new guidelines were introduced this week.

Following the state's travel restrictions, the passenger train company is reducing service. As of March 23, ridership on the Amtrak San Joaquins trains was down about 70%.

To help contain costs while continuing to provide essential transportation services for its riders, three of the seven round-trips on the line will be suspended starting Thursday, March 26. That includes all trains that operate directly between Sacramento and Central California, although alternative bus service will be provided to Sacramento.

In addition, a number of station lobbies will be closed at Fresno, Merced, Modesto, and Martinez. Trains will still stop at those stations, but the normal level of staff assistance will not be available.

Café car service will also be eliminated, to reduce passenger movement on trains, but snack packs and water will be distributed to riders free of charge.

Amtrak says they've also increased the frequency of cleaning services on their trains and the number of sanitizers and disinfectant wipes available for riders.

More details on the changes are posted on the Amtrak San Joaquins website.

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