Friday, August 18, 2006

Deceptive advertising by Amtrak

There is this nice train out here that runs from Sacramento to Oakland called the Capitol Corridor. I really like this train overall since I can take it from dontown Davis to Berkeley and i takes about the same amount of time as driving but is much more relaxing. There are issues with the on time performance of the train but mostly even when it is late it is better than driving if you are going somewhere near a train station.

However, I am pretty pissed off at Amtrak for one of the things they advertise relating to this train. On the Capitol Corridor web site, the highlighted item is frequently a promotion saying "Take the train to Oakland A's Games this season". It sounds great since there is now an Amtrak stop right at the Oakland Colliseum where the A's play. That is, until you look at the train schedule. For night games there is simply no way to take the train to games. This is because the trains stop leaving the stadium at about 8 PM, or just after night games start. Even for day games there is not much offered in the way of getting to and from games on a reasonable schedule. Even when there are technically late trains for Amtrak, most of the trains do not actually stop at the Colliseum. So I am having a hard time figuring out what they mean by "Take the train."

In other cities in which I have lived they reserve a train to leave just after the game ends. Not here thye don't (or at least they do not advertise this as an option). It seems lame to promote this idea and then to not have the trains to back it up.


  1. Jeremie, Professor in Bordeaux, France and occasional Davis visitor8/15/2008 8:27 AM

    As a frequent user of ground transportation both in CA (southern and nothern) and in Europe (UK and France) I must say I feel very sorry for you guys. At least there is one advantage to living in Europe: they have special trains/buses to take you to and from the games! :-) But there are numerous advantages to living in CA, and quality public CA universities is one of them!

  2. In the East Coast int he US, where I grew up, the trains are not perfect, but they do have trains for the games. Maybe they are trying to be like Europe there ...