Reasons obvious for ridership drop on Capitol Corridor

Published: Friday, Nov. 29, 2013 - 10:11 am

Re "Ridership drops on Amtrak's Capitol line" (Page A1, Nov. 26): Capitol Corridor's ridership is falling in Placer County because it has violated a basic principle of public transit: Make it as easy and convenient as possible to use.

The twice-daily, five-minute walk at the new Sacramento station adds 10 minutes to the daily commute. Also, the morning Placer County train is now five minutes earlier to help commuters make their connection to light rail. The total impact on riders is 15 minutes a day, 75 minutes a week, 5 hours a month. This is not trivial.

It also adds to the challenge of using a service that only offers one morning train to Sacramento and one afternoon train to Placer County. Missing the afternoon train ruins your evening. That thought looms large for commuters making that extra walk through the station after leaving work slightly late. While less comfortable than the train, buses are cheaper and offer more options.

-- Allan Hirsch, Rocklin

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