First Amtrak expansion in 14 years gives travelers a faster round-trip to Oakland from Bakersfield

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KFSN) -- A new daily round trip train ride is running from Oakland to Bakersfield starting Monday. Action News has also learned about another incentive to get riders on the Amtrak San Joaquin's.

Traveling throughout the golden state will now be easier and more convenient.

"This is the first expansion of the train service in the San Joaquin's in more than 14 years," said Supervisor Henry Perea, Fresno County.

An expansion by Amtrak San Joaquin's adds service between Bakersfield and Oakland. It offers riders a time in the morning to head to the bay area and a southbound option through Fresno in the evening.

"Expanding these services allows for us to be able to get there on our time, and that's when people really start taking public transportation and riding the train-- when it works into their schedule," said Brett Frazier, Madera County Supervisor.

Claudine Nolan picks her daughter up every week at the train station when she visits from Bakersfield on the Amtrak train. A trip that's becoming less of a hassle.

"Sometimes we have to take time off work and come pick her up. It would probably work around our schedule a little more better," said Nolan.

Leaders who made the expansion possible are looking to community partners for support. Like the High-Speed Rail line being built parallel to the existing Amtrak trains.

"Our services are quite complimentary to High-Speed Rail. We view ourselves as a feeder system to High-Speed Rail when it finally comes in in 2025 or beyond," said Dan Leavitt, San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority.

If that's not reason enough to take public transportation a new year-long promotion offers riders five companion tickets for half price when you buy just one ticket.
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