Amtrak San Francisco Thruway Changes Makes The Train Inconvenient Now

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seat38a

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Well as someone who used to take the train to San Francisco, which I thought was very convenient getting dropped off at the shopping center stop where many of the city's hotels are walking distance away, now I may have to fly with the changes that take effect today. Fisherman's Wharf (SFW) at Beach and Pier 39, the Financial District (SFF) at the Hyatt at 5 Embarcadero Center, or the Shopping Center (SFS) all have reduced sched, and at REALLY crappy times. All others have to now go to the temp trans bay stop, which is practically in the middle of nowhere, in terms of San Francisco.

Caltain Station, Moscone Center, and the Civic Center stops have been discontinued.

Anyone else think this is going to take a big hit on ridership? So as of today, unless I shlep everything to the Transbay Temp Terminal, the only option that brings me home is at 3-4AM in the morning. I could take a Uber to the Transbay Terminal, but the whole point of taking the train, putting up with the delays, and much longer trip was because of being picked up and dropped off where one needed to be in the city.

I'm sure this change has to **** off quite a few people who use the system to commute to work on the Capitol Corridor or San Joaquin.
 

Blackwolf

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Really? Well, that screws up my habit of connecting at the CalTrain station as well as taking Amtrak to Giants games (AT&T right across the street).

Yup, I'll be ditching Amtrak at Richmond now and just using BART instead.
 

seat38a

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Yup, also all of the connections for the CS, CZ to SF now dumps everyone at the temp trans bay terminal only. Especially on the CS going north, its going to be fun being dumped at night at the not so night friendly part of town.
 

neroden

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Well as someone who used to take the train to San Francisco, which I thought was very convenient getting dropped off at the shopping center stop where many of the city's hotels are walking distance away, now I may have to fly with the changes that take effect today. Fisherman's Wharf (SFW) at Beach and Pier 39, the Financial District (SFF) at the Hyatt at 5 Embarcadero Center, or the Shopping Center (SFS) all have reduced sched, and at REALLY crappy times. All others have to now go to the temp trans bay stop, which is practically in the middle of nowhere, in terms of San Francisco.

Caltain Station, Moscone Center, and the Civic Center stops have been discontinued.
I noticed this. I decided to hell with the Amtrak bus on my upcoming trip. I'm taking the Emery-Go-Round to and from BART.

I would jump at Richmond but checked luggage. :p If Amtrak adds checked luggage at Richmond I'd just do that.

There needs to be some sort of long-term plan. The Second Transbay Tube (for HSR) is the ultimate plan, of course. Short of that, closing Embarcadero West in Oakland, moving the Oakland station north three blocks to the ferry terminal, terminating the CZ in Oakland again, and reconnecting Amtrak to the ferries might be the best plan.
 
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ScouseAndy

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Really cant see it affecting ridership that much tbh, everyother city you need to get a cab to/from a single point to pick up the train.

One thing that confuses me is that Amtrak website is still saying for March next year that the CZ will pick up from Fishermans Wharf is this correct?

​The change going to San Francisco doesn't affect me as I was always intending to get the CS from Seattle to Oakland and get the ferry over as IMO there is no better way to arrive then on the Ferry for the views of the Bay but leaving for NY if possible Id prefer to leave from Fishermans Wharf if at all possible.
 

seat38a

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Really cant see it affecting ridership that much tbh, everyother city you need to get a cab to/from a single point to pick up the train.

One thing that confuses me is that Amtrak website is still saying for March next year that the CZ will pick up from Fishermans Wharf is this correct?

​The change going to San Francisco doesn't affect me as I was always intending to get the CS from Seattle to Oakland and get the ferry over as IMO there is no better way to arrive then on the Ferry for the views of the Bay but leaving for NY if possible Id prefer to leave from Fishermans Wharf if at all possible.
People (non railfans) ride Amtrak when its convenient and then dump it and take our own cars when it is not. The connection was also timed for commuters living or working in the city. I'm talking about the issue from a local / SoCal perspective not what happens in every other city.
 

desertflyer

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I think this impacts tourists more than locals. Temp Transbay is convenient enough. Easy connections to MUNI 5, 7, 38, and 41. If that doesn't work, a Lyft Line is a flat $5 fee to the eastern half of the city and they never take more than 5 minutes to arrive in that neighborhood. Of course Uber/Lyft/Taxis are all available very quickly there as well. In my opinion as someone who travels through there frequently, it's not a bad neighborhood and it works as a gateway to and from the city.

Of course there are some people that will be negatively impacted by the changes and I think that's unfortunate. In my opinion the Amtrak situation in SF is a bit unfortunate as it is. Who knows what type of ridership there would be with a proper rail stop in the city proper instead of connecting bus service.

I got an email from the Capitol Corridor mailing list a couple of weeks ago about the changes. The reason they gave is that the labor contract with the bus drivers was restructured causing the previous levels of bus service to not be possible within the current level of subsidy. They also said ridership numbers were poor for most of the buses they are eliminating.
 
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Mark P

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Is anyone going to actually cite a source here with a link, or are we just going to keep talking about non-confirmed details?
 

jis

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They have apparently not bothered to update their online schedules for the Capitol or San Joaquin Corridor to reflect this change. So it is anyones guess what is going where or not.

Where is the detail of which bus will serve which stops?
 

neroden

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Amtrak has failed to publish schedules for which buses will serve which stops. It can only be found by making test reservations.

To hell with that. As I said in another thread, if you don't publish schedules for a service, I will not use it at all.
 

seat38a

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Well this will only be making Uber / Lyft more popular. With Uber's new exact pricing, I got $15 dollars from EMY to one of the Starwood properties on Market street according to the app. I guess when you also factor in multiple people, traveling with you, then Uber / Lyft becomes a better choice. No point in taking it to the temp trans bay terminal only to hop on another bus.
 

Steve4031

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I used uber last summer. The cz was an hour late and the busses still were not ready.
 

rickycourtney

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That information from the Capitol Corridor website is what I was looking for... and confirmed my suspicions.

The contractor who operates the buses for Amtrak/Capitol Corridor/San Joaquin (since they're all separate agencies now) drastically increased costs.

To contain costs the agencies eliminated the stops with the lowest ridership and are raising fares.

I know it's a bummer to lose service, but I don't think this will impact ridership too much, and it should also help reduce delays (since buses will spend less time navigating city streets). While it's not served by trains, the Temporary Transbay Terminal is well served by MUNI (in a town that in general has excellent transit), and it's a two block walk to Market Street and the Embarcadero BART/MUNI Metro station.
 

rickycourtney

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Well this will only be making Uber / Lyft more popular. With Uber's new exact pricing, I got $15 dollars from EMY to one of the Starwood properties on Market street according to the app. I guess when you also factor in multiple people, traveling with you, then Uber / Lyft becomes a better choice. No point in taking it to the temp trans bay terminal only to hop on another bus.
With exact pricing, it's certainly a good option to look into.
It's also an option on some trains to get off at Richmond station and do the transfer to BART to get to Market Street. If you're on the San Joaquin or Capitol Corridor you can get a ticket with $10 of value for $8 in the cafe car.
 
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