ACE -- Serving the Valley and growing

Plans include extending service to Modesto in five years, to Sacramento by 2025

For a city bordered by crowded freeways and corporate centers here and in nearby San Ramon that draw tens of thousands of out-of-area employees, the Altamont Corridor Express -- or ACE train -- is a Pleasanton asset.

And ACE has big plans, including extending service to Modesto in five years and to Sacramento by 2025.

Located midway between its end-of-line stations in Stockton and San Jose, the Pleasanton station across from the Fairgrounds is the busiest in between where many of the line's more than 4,000 daily passengers board and disembark morning and night.

In remarks to the Rotary Club of Pleasanton last week, Roxanne Lindsay, the outreach representative for the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission that governs the ACE system, said a recent survey showed that 80% of passengers formerly drove to their destinations until "discovering" ACE.

The majority live in the San Joaquin Valley and beyond and work on the Peninsula, passing through Pleasanton at a more leisurely pace than when they faced the daily drive of the Altamont Pass and Sunol Grade.

They leave and board the train at Great America, catching shuttles and local transit lines to travel to work. Many carry their bicycles on the train to ride to the office at one end of the line and back home at the other.

High-speed rail is scheduled to travel through Merced on one of its first statewide stops, and ACE plans to be there. It will be the main transit provider to the Bay Area and Silicon Valley.

If and when BART extends its service to Greenville Road in Livermore as planned, ACE will build a direct connection to its station there. In the meantime, shuttles provide a 10-minute ride from ACE's Pleasanton station to the two BART stations serving Pleasanton and Dublin.

With the trains equipped with tables and offering WiFi in at least one car on each train, ACE serves those who need to continue laptop work. In other cars, the tables are a favorite with the hundreds of regular riders who play cards. The survey showed that the main activities of commuters are playing cards, talking on their cell phones, reading and sleeping.

ACE has one car on each train that is positioned far from the engine, is dimly lit and where cellphone talk is banned so passengers can sleep for their two-hour ride.

For passengers who just want to enjoy the trip on their own, ACE offers three levels of viewing the passing scenery, including a dome car. The corridor is perhaps the best of any commuter rail service as the train passes over Altamont Pass, through rural farmland and along the scenic Niles Canyon route.

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.


Like this comment
Posted by Reality check
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 11, 2016 at 11:58 am

Is this REALLY an asset to Pleasanton? It sounds more like as asset to Employers and to those in Stckton, Modesto, and soon to be Sacramento and Merced. It significantly alters the supply-demand balance of the labor force and perpetuates the insanity of long distant commutes. It provides cheaper labor that alters economic reality that would otherwise increase wages and property values for Pleasanton residents.
It also limits any bonding of employees that share a common community. Imagine social connections with employees living in Sacramento, Merced, Gilroy, and Santa Rosa! Now imagine if all employees at a Pleasanton employer lived in the Tri-Valley.
Consider how just 1hr commutes cost employees and their families 25% increase (8hrs +2) in unpaid time devoted to work at the expense of their health and families.
I don't have all the answers, but open your eyes and see how it's affecting communities.

7 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 11, 2016 at 3:39 pm

Terrific. And what is the plan for parking in and around the fairgrounds neighborhoods? Currently, riders are parking all around the fairgrounds neighborhoods with riders running in and out of traffic to "make their train." I have almost hit two riders who are more concerned with making their train then obeying traffic laws or looking before running out into the street. The streets are overloaded with ACE train riders' cars now. What is the City's plan for all of these riders? Obviously the Pleasanton Avenue fairgrounds parking lot is not enough!

16 people like this
Posted by Don
a resident of Ironwood
on Apr 12, 2016 at 10:44 am

Pleasanton is in dire need of a parking structure like Livermore has near their downtown section including theaters etc. Their parking is free so that could be a problem here, but Walnut Creek has several City owned parking structures that charge a minimal fee and it works for them. Parking is very bad for downtown Pleasanton and nearby streets especially during the summer months when we have activities in the park, Farmers Market on the weekend etc. We are growing very fast regardless of the fact that many do not like it, this is life, so let's make it easier on everyone with some parking solutions.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Be the first to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Couples: Reading List
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 682 views

Castlewood members considering offer from Bay Club
By Tim Hunt | 0 comments | 645 views