A few schedule changes are designed to entice more people to board the Saturday Altamont Corridor Express trains to get to the Bay Area for work or for fun.
David Lipari, marketing manager at ACE, said the Saturday service, which began in September as a one-year pilot program, hasn’t seen much use so far.
“It has not been particularly active. We went to our passengers, asked why they aren’t using the service,” Lipari said.
Based on passengers’ responses, train departures and arrival times will change starting this weekend at the Tracy ACE station, 4800 S. Tracy Blvd., and other stops.
The first westbound train will leave more than an hour earlier, departing the Tracy platform at 6:36 a.m. instead of 7:56 a.m. so it will arrive in San Jose at 8:17 a.m.
The second train heading west will leave Tracy half an hour later, at 9:46 instead of 9:11 a.m., and will arrive in San Jose at 11:27 a.m.
Returning to the valley, the first eastbound train will depart San Jose at 4 o’clock and arrive in Tracy at 5:34 p.m. The second train will leave later, at 7:20 p.m., arriving in Tracy just before 9 p.m.
Lipari said the changes to the schedule would make it possible for weekend workers to put in a full eight-hour day and would give leisure travelers more time to spend at their destination before heading home.
The half-hour shift in the second westbound departure time will make it possible for passengers arriving in Stockton on a northbound Amtrak San Joaquins train to catch a shuttle from the San Joaquin Street Station to the Robert J. Cabral Station on Channel Street and continue on to San Jose.
The Wheels bus service between the Pleasanton ACE station and Dublin/Pleasanton BART station will continue to run on Saturdays. ACE passengers can use their tickets for free transfers to Valley Transportation Authority buses and light rail at the Santa Clara and Diridon stations. ACE tickets are also accepted on Amtrak San Joaquins buses to and from the Tri-Valley and South regions.
Funding for the pilot program came from SB1 transportation funding through its State Rail Assistance program. If the Saturday service is successful the rail commission will look for funding to continue the service.
Information about tickets and schedules can be found at www.acerail.com.