Central Coast Amtrak route sees big jump in ridership during the holiday season

Dec 26, 2014

The Pacific Surfliner pulls into Santa Barbara's Amtrak station.
Credit Flickr member Loco Steve

More travelers are choosing to take the train along the Central Coast than in years past, especially as part of holiday travel.

Amtrak California says it's seeing record ridership for the Pacific Surfliner, which services San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties as well as Southern California.

November ridership had levels not seen in more than a decade, despite low gas prices.

Matt Rocco is a Cal Trans spokesperson and says he believes there are several reasons why the service is seeing a jump in ridership levels.

"Some people just do not like the hassle of having to drive, especially over the busiest driving season of the year," said Rocco. "The other reasons are, when you go on Amtrak we have free WiFi, we have a cafe car, so it's not only getting from point A to point B, it can be a real pleasurable experience."

Rocco says the numbers aren't in yet for the Christmas and New Years holidays, but he believes the ridership levels will be equally impressive.