Changes to Amtrak San Joaquins Fare Policy Aimed at Benefiting Passengers
The San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority (SJJPA) will be changing the reservation and fare policy for the Amtrak San Joaquins bringing numerous benefits to its passengers. On Monday, April 23, 2018, Amtrak San Joaquins will no longer be “Revenue Managed” or “Reserved Ticketed”. SJJPA’s cancellation of “Revenue Management” means that Amtrak San Joaquins passengers will no longer see fare fluctuations based on ticket purchase time or capacity constraints. Amtrak San Joaquins will have one fare for each station pair no matter when or through what channel a passenger purchases a ticket. The past revenue management policy discouraged impulse travelers and disproportionately impacted riders purchasing tickets at stations. The new one-fare policy will increase the equity of the ticket purchasing experience and benefit passengers immediately. The only exceptions to this policy include potential peak travel times such as holidays and onboard ticket purchases.
The cancellation of “Reserved Ticketing” will see Amtrak San Joaquins no longer require ticketed passengers to travel on specific train numbers or on a specific date offering increased flexibility. In the past, tickets must have been purchased for a specific train on a specific date. If the reservation needed to be changed, the passenger needed to do so ahead of his/her departure time and potentially incur change penalties. With the new policy, a passenger will purchase a ticket and select a specific train and date, but he/she is not required to travel based on his/her selection. If plans change or a meeting runs long, the passenger can travel on another train/bus or date as long as he/she travels between the same origin and destination on the ticket. The flexibility of unreserved ticketing will benefit passengers and remove an impediment to riding the service. These fare policy changes put the San Joaquins in line with the other two California intercity rail corridors – Capitol Corridor and Pacific Surfliner.
“These changes to our fare policy are passenger focused and will result in a simpler passenger experience,” says David Lipari, Marketing Manager for SJJPA. “We want passengers to not worry about pricing fluctuations or undue ‘sold out’ situations. Our hope is for passengers to think of train travel as an easy travel experience from the process of purchasing a ticket to the disembarking at their destination.”
The cancellation of “Reserved Ticketing” will also result in San Joaquins trains never appearing as sold out. Standees will be allowed in order to prevent travelers from being unable to purchase tickets on a specific train. The San Joaquins has not experienced significant capacity problems, but at times, certain trips would show as sold out when just a short segment of the corridor reached capacity.
The fare policy changes are system wide, but the San Joaquins thruway bus system will remain “Reserved Ticketed” due to the capacity constraints of the buses. Tickets for Amtrak San Joaquins can be purchased at amtraksanjoaquins.com. The San Joaquins offer many discounts including 10-Ride and Monthly Passes.
SJJPA is responsible for the management and administration of Amtrak® San JoaquinsSM. SJJPA is governed by Board Members representing each of the ten (10) Member Agencies along the San Joaquins Corridor. With 365 miles of track, 18 stations, and over 1.1 million annual riders, Amtrak San Joaquins is the 6th busiest Amtrak service running 7 daily round-trips (two between Sacramento and Bakersfield and five between Oakland and Bakersfield). For more information visit https://www.sjjpa.com/