Discussion related to commuter rail and transit operators in California past and present including Los Angeles Metrolink and Metro Subway and Light Rail, San Diego Coaster, Sprinter and MTS Trolley, Altamont Commuter Express (Stockton), Caltrain and MUNI (San Francisco), Sacramento RTD Light Rail, and others...

Moderator: lensovet

  by Jeff Smith
Sounds like a nice addition. Not sure if the $80 upgrade is reasonable? Thoughts? Cross-posted to Amtrak forum.

http://www.railwayage.com/breaking-news ... -3368.html
An agreement between Amtrak and the North County Transit District will allow California COASTER customers to supplement monthly passes with a COASTER-Rail2Rail-UPGRADE. The upgrade opens access to Amtrak California Pacific Surfliner trains between the Oceanside Transit Center and San Diego.

The upgrade is available for $80 and more than doubles the number of trains available to COASTER monthly pass holders each day.

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner trains serve Oceanside, Solana Beach, and San Diego stations.
  by MCHammer
At $80 extra to utilize Surfliner at anytime and have an hourly connection back home when needed, I would invest in that since that gives me extra flexibility, especially if there is connecting transit to the Surfliner.
  by eaglestar
Hmm... I would be curious to see the results of this (as in, how many people actually go for it and upgrade)
The way I see it, perhaps one lives in Carlsbad and boards at Carlsbad Village (or Poinsettia.) Would that person want to incorporate Amtrak into their plans and:
a. Change the station they depart from
b. Pay roughly half the amount of a monthly pass to receive that additional flexibility and
c. Park their car at OSD or SOL in order to "be able to" take Amtrak

Now, for a commuter regularly commuting from OSD or SOL to SAN, it makes perfect sense to increase the trains available. Notice though, the travel time is only cut by a few minutes. COASTER SAN-OSD currently is scheduled for 1 hour (give or take a minute or two.) Amtrak ranges from around 48 minutes to an hour. The only drawback I see is that Amtrak generally operates 10-20 minutes behind in that region. As the first Amtrak south (562) arrives into SAN at 8:55 AM (yes, I know that includes buffer time), it may not sit well with commuters who have to be in the office at 7, 8, or even 9.

In other words, it will be predominantly for the return commute, when you have 583 (departing at 3 PM) 785 (4 PM) and 589 (5:50 PM)

Now for why I support this: The Surfliner is a luxury coach compared to Coaster, with reclining seats and the ability to buy coffee and pastries on board. When any of the "grove" cars or a Superliner show up in consist (which they do on about 85% of the trains recently), then that commuter has hit the jackpot and can relax in a seat that rivals domestic airline's first class.

In conclusion, my two cents: $20, yes. $80 (meaning $960 per year), no ;)