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Local Leaders Propose to Take Over San Joaquin Amtrak Line



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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, January 03, 2013

The state controls Amtrak's "San Joaquin", which runs from the Bay Area to Bakersfield.  But, local leaders want to take over the line.

Last year, Amtrak's San Joaquin carried over one million passengers.

The state of California operates it now, but a handful of agencies such as the San Joaquin Rail Commission, and Sacramento RT want to form a joint power authority to take it over.

Thomas Reeves of the Rail Commission says there are important questions about the current operation.

REEVES: "Is it efficient as it is now and are there things that can be done that this governing body can correct that would increase ridership, increase revenue, or at least make it a more efficient operation.

Reeves says when local agencies took over Amtrak's Capitol Corridor through Sacramento, the number of trains increased from 8 to 32.

REEVES: "We are using the Capitol Corridor as a model because what we saw there is they did a lot to increase ridership especially adding trains to the schedule.

So far 5 agencies have signed on to form a governing body.

Six are needed and the last is expected to be in place by the group's first meeting in March.

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