The Altamont Corridor Express hopes to gather new riders as it expands its weekday train service to the Bay Area to include Saturdays.

A new pilot program launches this weekend. Two trains will travel the ACE route from Stockton through Tracy to San Jose in hopes of attracting passengers heading over the Altamont for fun as well as commuters who work on Saturdays.

San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission executive director Stacey Mortensen, whose organization owns and operates ACE, wrote that the added day of rail service was “an important step.”

“I have no doubt that new passengers experiencing our service on Saturdays will become believers in what rail has to offer — a relaxing, stress-free ride over the Altamont Pass to their final destination,” she declared.

The two westbound trains will depart the Tracy ACE Station, 4800 S. Tracy Blvd., on Saturday mornings at 7:56 and 9:11. In between, they will stop at Vasco Road, downtown Livermore, Pleasanton, Fremont, Great America and Santa Clara. The returning eastbound trains are scheduled to leave San Jose at 3:50 and 5 p.m. and arrive at the Tracy platform at 5:24 and 6:34 p.m.

Saturday tickets will cost the same as weekday tickets and will be covered by monthly passes at no additional cost.

In Pleasanton, the Tri-Valley Wheels bus service will be available to shuttle passengers from the ACE station to the Dublin BART station. ACE passengers can also use their tickets for free transfers to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s light rail and bus routes.

The one-year pilot program is funded by SB1 transportation funding. If the Saturday service proves successful, the rail commission will look for ways to keep it going after the pilot funding runs out.

ACE already runs four westbound morning trains and four eastbound evening trains Monday through Friday with stops at 10 stations. Weekday trains leave Tracy for the Bay Area at 4:51, 6:06, 7:11 and 7:36 a.m., and they arrive back at 5:11, 6:11, 7:11 and 8:14 p.m.

For information: www.acerail.com.

Contact the Tracy Press at tpnews@tracypress.com or 835-3030.

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