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Pacific Surfliner resumes some service to the San Luis Obispo region 

–Beginning Monday, June 1, 2020, the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner will restore partial train service to the San Luis Obispo region, offering one departure and one arrival each day at the San Luis Obispo and Grover Beach stations. Pacific Surfliner train service in the area was suspended shortly after San Luis Obispo County’s shelter-at-home order went into effect. The Amtrak Coast Starlight, a long-distance train, continues to operate one trip daily in each direction through San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles. Additionally, Amtrak Thruway services continue to offer supplemental travel options.

The Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency, which oversees the Pacific Surfliner service, has been working closely with Amtrak, the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG), and other local transportation agencies to respond to changes in demand and public health conditions during this pandemic. To that end, the LOSSAN Agency temporarily reduced rail service for the Pacific Surfliner on March 23, and worked with Amtrak to implement new cleaning and safety procedures.

Under the reduced schedule, two Pacific Surfliner trains and one bus operated north of Los Angeles up to Santa Barbara/Goleta. Service to the San Luis Obispo region was preserved via limited Amtrak Thruway bus connections from Santa Barbara, with two daily trips each direction, to ensure a base level of intercity transportation for communities along the Pacific Surfliner route. For the safety of passengers and crews, Amtrak increased the frequency of cleaning service on all trains and at stations to multiple times a day, and in some cases, on an hourly basis. Passengers have also been required to wear facial coverings at stations and onboard trains.

The June 1 service adjustments are the first step to restoring Pacific Surfliner service, and will bring back train service along 100 miles of the 351-mile coastal rail corridor. This is especially important for the San Luis Obispo region, since quite a bit of airline service to and from the area has been suspended.

“We will continue to take necessary actions in the best interest of the communities we serve, while also protecting the safety of our passengers and crews,” said Donna DeMartino, Managing Director of the LOSSAN Agency. “We are excited to restore service to this large portion of our rail corridor, and we remain dedicated to returning to the robust service that we’ve provided in the past.”

Paso Robles Councilmember and SLOCOG President Fred Strong took this time to underline the importance of intercity passenger rail and its history in the region, stating that “passenger railroads have served the San Luis Obispo region ever since northern and southern California were connected in the 1800s. It’s great to have a reliable partner like the LOSSAN Agency, who made reinstating this important connection to Southern California possible. We look forward to our continued work with LOSSAN in providing passenger rail service to all the people that work, live, and play in our region.”

Visit PacificSurfliner.com for the latest information and see the LOSSAN Agency’s corresponding press release for further service updates that will be implemented on June 1, 2020.

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The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.