While cash sales were initially suspended in March 2020, Amtrak San Joaquins has resumed cash payments onboard and at all staffed stations. Reintroducing cash payments was the result of coordination among the San Joaquins Joint Powers Authority, Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority, LOSSAN JPA, the State of California, and Amtrak.
Historically, approximately 15% of San Joaquins ticket revenue has been generated by cash payments. Reintroducing cash payments provides improved rail and Thruway bus access to the unbanked and underbanked passengers that have been disproportionately impacted by this policy.
Onboard ticket sales are in place to accommodate passenger boarding at unstaffed stations. Passengers boarding at unstaffed station, including Richmond, Antioch, Lodi, Turlock, Madera, Wasco, and Corcoran can purchase their ticket directly from the conductor. Passengers boarding at staffed stations will pay a $10 surcharge in addition to the price of the ticket. The surcharge is a resumption of previous policy.
“We are pleased to begin accepting cash once again throughout our service,” said Stacey Mortensen, Executive Director of the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority. “In response to the immediate COVID-19 crisis, we took all the necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of our travelers and staff; this included requiring contactless ticketing. In coordination with state officials and Amtrak, we have determined that cash exchange is not only safe, but also improves transportation access to cash dependent riders. The resumption of cash represents a positive step towards normalcy.”
As the state begins to reopen from COVID-19 restrictions, Amtrak San Joaquins is encouraging riders to also review the Visit California “Responsible Travel Code” for additional tips on how to plan thoughtful, safe, and respectful travel.
Customers are strongly encouraged to plan ahead and book early to guarantee available tickets. Amtrak’s new standard of travel includes:
- Face coverings: Federal law and Amtrak policy require all customers and employees to wear a mask or covering that fully covers the entire mouth and nose, fits snugly against the side of the face, and secures under the chin at all times while onboard trains and in stations, even if state or local policies are different.
- Station arrival: Customers are encouraged to arrive 30 minutes before departure and 60 minutes if in need of ticketing and/or baggage assistance.
- Capacity indicator: When searching for travel, the percentage of seats sold displays next to each trip and adjusts as customers make reservations. This gives customers the opportunity to book a train that is less crowded. If capacity exceeds comfort levels, customers can change their ticket without incurring a fee (a fare difference may apply).
- Amtrak app: Customers can book, board, check train status and access information from the convenience and safety of a mobile device. Amtrak continues to encourage boarding with eTickets, which conductors scan from the Amtrak app.
- Air quality: All Amtrak trains are equipped with onboard filtration systems with a fresh air exchange rate every 4-5 minutes.
- Physical distancing: Signage has been displayed at our stations to indicate safe distances in high traffic areas. In addition, protective plastic barriers have been installed at customer counters at our stations.
About the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority (SJJPA)
Since July 2015, SJJPA has been responsible for the management and administration of Amtrak San Joaquins. SJJPA is governed by Board Members representing each of the ten (10) Member Agencies along the 365-mile San Joaquins Corridor. For more information on SJJPA see www.sjjpa.com.
Amtrak San Joaquins is Amtrak’s 6th busiest route with 1.1 million annual riders and 18 stations providing a safe, comfortable and reliable way to travel throughout California. Prior to service modifications due to the COVID-19 crisis, Amtrak San Joaquins ran 7 daily train round-trips and its Thruway buses provided connecting service to 135 destinations in California and Nevada including Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Napa Valley, Las Vegas and Reno. To book your next trip, visit www.AmtrakSanJoaquins.com or call 1-800-USA-RAIL.