Amtrak to the Coliseum

This spring, fans will have another transportation option when going to the Coliseum. In 2003, the City of Oakland and Amtrak partnered to build a new train platform immediately east of the stadium. The $4 million project, called the Oakland Coliseum Intercity Rail Station, is being built to provide an anchor for the transit hub concept being envisioned for the Coliseum BART station area. Eventually, the transit hub would link BART, Amtrak, AC Transit buses, and the People Mover that may be built to carry passengers in between the hub and Oakland International Airport.

The Intercity Rail Station will be a fairly spartan affair, with a single 600-foot platform on the easternmost-track, a shelter, and 35 parking spaces. It is unclear how these spaces will be used and regulated during games, which could become an issue since at least a few hundred fans per game use the Coliseum BART station as free parking for events (BART does charge for Raiders games and high attendance A’s games).

The Capitol Corridor run by Amtrak is important because it is the only direct public transportation link between Oakland and San Jose. Amtrak runs 22 trains per day betwen Rocklin and San Jose on this route. With the completion of track improvements on the East Bay portion, the service will expand slightly, mostly benefiting South Bay passengers.

The price of a trip to the Coliseum on the Capitol Corridor is another story. The regular round-trip fare between San Jose Diridon Station and Oakland’s Jack London Square station is $22, which to me is prohibitively high. However, Amtrak does provide frequent traveler discounts, include a 45-day/10-ride ticket. Between JLS and Diridon the card costs $63. Between the Coliseum and Diridon it might cost $59. I’ll check to see if there are any restrictions on the card’s usage, such as if it can only be used once per person per trip or if can be used for multiple persons on the same trip. If it’s the latter, it could prove to be a very competitive option as a family of five could get to a ballgame for less than $6 per person each way. A regular roundtrip on Caltrain between Diridon and San Francisco is $11, or $9.35 if using a 10-ride ticket. BART costs $6 roundtrip between Fremont and the Coliseum, plus $7 roundtrip on VTA‘s Express #180 bus between Fremont and Diridon.

A trip from Fairfield to Oakland JLS costs $22 roundtrip as well. Sacramento is $34.

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