Richmond mayor praises Amtrak service expansion


Richmond Mayor Tom Butt on Monday praised an announcement that Amtrak will be offering a seventh daily roundtrip between Bakersfield and Oakland, which stops in Richmond.

The route between the Bay Area and the San Joaquin Valley has not had an increase in service in more than 23 years, the transit agency said in a statement.

“I am very excited to see new daily round trip service begin between Bakersfield, the San Joaquin Valley and the Bay Area,” Mayor Butt said in a statement on Facebook.

The mayor added: “Our station in Downtown Richmond is the only station in the BART system with direct access to Amtrak, giving riders a seamless connection to regional destinations. The station is also a mile away from Richmond’s new ferry terminal, with service to San Francisco beginning in 2018. This one-of-a-kind network provides residents and commuters with easy alternatives to avoid traffic, help the environment and travel comfortably and safely.

The new Train 709 departs Bakersfield at 4:25 a.m., Fresno at 6:18 a.m., Stockton (San Joaquin Street Station) at 8:33 a.m. and arrives in Oakland at 10:26 a.m. The new Train 708 departs Oakland at 2:30 p.m., Stockton (San Joaquin Street Station) at 4:21 p.m.; Fresno at 6:34 p.m. and arrives in Bakersfield at 8:46 p.m.

“With population increases and a growing economy, we need more options to get drivers off congested roads,” said Lafayette City Council Member Don Tatzin, Vice Chair of the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority (SJJPA).