California Department of Transportation

California Department of Transportation

Charles Seifert , External Affairs
(415) 461-9249

May 7 , 2004 


The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will join today in inaugurating the enhanced intercity express bus service between the downtown Santa Cruz Amtrak Station and San Jose Amtrak/Caltrain Diridon Station.

The Highway 17 Express Service began April 26, and improved ridership suggests that ridership will reach 7,000 passengers a month by year's end. The service uses new state-funded low-emission diesel buses, which will be converted to compressed natural gas in 2006.

The enhanced daily service consolidates the Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach and the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District's Highway 17 Express Service, which now operates seven days a week into the two downtown areas with an intermediate stop in Scotts Valley. It is expected to save the state approximately $350,000 per year in operating costs.

“This strategic partnership with local transit operators will allow the service to continue," said Warren Weber, Chief of the Caltrans Division of Rail. "This partnership enhances travel options, lowers prices and saves money for the state."

The new service was made possible through legislation introduced by State Senator Bruce McPherson and through the combined efforts of Caltrans, Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority, Amtrak, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, and Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District.

Ceremonies will be held today in both cities.