Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations title=
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations
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By an edhat reader

Sheriff's Officers arrived [Monday] on the Amtrak platform in Carpenteria to help maintain order with the testy crowd. Our employee who was waiting in the crowd reported that after waiting for this morning's first scheduled train, that there were 150 people on the platform trying to crowd on to the already standing room only train when it pulled up. Now he is waiting on the second train, also one hour late, and there are now approx., 500 people on the platform. He says when the train pulled up to the platform that it is already standing room only before anyone was allowed to get on..

We are going on our second week of our employees missing work because they cannot get on a train in Carpenteria due to the closure of Hwy 101.

So many people are on the train that they do not even check the tickets between Ventura and Santa Barbara.

He has missed numerous trains each day in spite of having a ticket and waiting for hours for the trains which are between 45-60 minutes late each and every day.

He has spoken to Amtrak who seems nonplussed and unmotivated to add additional cars or trains to their schedule.

Doctors, Nurses and medical professionals are allowed to board first, rightfully so, but it seems doubtful that there are 150-500 such professionals who live in Carpenteria alone.

We need your help in getting people to call on Amtrak, implore them to add to their service to our community in a time of need. The number is: 1 (800) 872-7245

As a business owner and employer in Santa Barbara, we remain in a challenging emergency environment, and a challenging business environment due to the fires, smoke, ash, flood and debris flow, and the damage and loss from these disasters which we will live with for many years. I know that our employees are not the only ones suffering from loss of income and they want and need to be able to get to work.

Please help us by calling on Amtrak to make this right, as I'm sure there are other employees and employers in our community who have the same issue.

More importantly, our hearts and prayers go out to those who have lost loved ones, those that have lost their homes and are displaced by this horrible tragedy. Thank you to our first responders and emergency and medical professionals who have worked so tirelessly for so many. God save us all.

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Luvaduck Jan 17, 2018 01:18 PM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

Can't someone think of a way private people can offer temporary accommodation in a disaster to similar people who are stuck? Hasn't everyone put up a friend-of-a-friend some time or rather? The key is trust. What if churches, various staffs and local special interest groups such as the Elks, Sierra Club, LWV, Little League, and so forth, screened and matched their people with those of similar groups as potential <mutual> short-time guests should the need arise either way? House swap organizations work. Mutual-help people who meet before need should be even surer. They could work out things like pets, other family members and mutual rules. Perhaps they'd find new hiking buddies, mutual interests or new ones, and become friends. Groups they already belong to would influence favorable demographics. People say they visit back and forth with people they met on a cruise, at some conference or retreat or at some soccer game years ago. Activists should think about organizing this. Our current disaster isn't the last one that will displace people temporarily. Users, losers and wackos get the press, but most of us are good people and would happily make room for a friend in need. If known entities screened through other known entities, it wouldn't stop disasters from happening, but it would make them more bearable and offer a silver lining when the time comes that you, too, "need somebody to lean on."

RHS Jan 17, 2018 10:46 AM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

This whine is so offensive from so many perspectives including: Self satisfied presumption that the author's immediate need has priority over others. Almost certain probability that the author never spoke out in the past about the need to give Amtrak some funding and priority over private freight for profit. Smug assumption that Amtrak employees are less competent than s/he could solve this problem easily. Please help me hold to the idea that most people in this crisis have perspective about the reality and priority of the community.

CivilEngineer Jan 17, 2018 11:50 AM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

I appreciate this post and it highlights that not enough planning has been done for emergency transportation measures. The freeway is subject to disruption by floods and slides and earthquakes and oil spills. What planning has been done by our local agencies to address this? They seem to be blindsided by this situation. Take all of the billions they are throwing at the high speed train to nowhere and create double tracks and grade separated crossings all throughout California. Then run the trains on time. Simple.

SBPaul Jan 17, 2018 10:57 AM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

I redact any negative connotation I made towards Amtrak. There is not much nicer than riding business with a glass of wine and watching the time float by. Just don't expect them to become the mass public transit system that some seem entitled too. 100 years ago most people were walking.

ESL_teacher Jan 17, 2018 10:12 AM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

I called Amtrak and after persevering through the system finally was transferred to Customer Relations. After filing a complaint I was given a case number and the email address for "Corporate" : ocr@amtrak.com. So now we can all email that entity. I was advised to quote my case number in my message.

jak Jan 17, 2018 07:51 AM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

Note that even if Amtrak was very responsive to customer needs, they can’t “just add more trains to the schedule “ or “just add more cars”. They share the track with other scheduled trains on one hand, and on the other hand they don’t have many spare cars sitting around that they can just couple onto already scheduled trains. First, cars must be ready to roll, meaning that they are clean, safe, and compatible with other cars already in the train which means they can’t just borrow cars arbitrarily from other lines or resserect old cars from boneyards. Second, the train must be short enough tube safely compatible with each and every platform along the line. Santa Barbara can potentially kluge together accommodations for some seriously oversized trains but what about Goleta? Or Carp or Ventura or Lompoc? The train doesn’t start in Carp nor does it end in Santa Barbara.

EastBeach Jan 16, 2018 11:12 PM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

My employer is one of the largest in the Goleta/SB metro area per Goleta Chamber of Commerce. And according to our HR department, 40% (FORTY!) of our employees live outside Goleta/SB. This is in line with 2013 demographic data from SBCAG, Coastal Housing Coalition and other agencies. So there should be absolutely no surprise that Amtrack is getting overwhelmed regardless of how good a job one believes they're doing ..... our employer is now putting up employees in local hotels.

EastBeach Jan 17, 2018 10:14 PM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

MM1970 - you misunderstand. As many others have mentioned in this thread, employers are housing employees who are cut off by the freeway closure in local hotels so they can continue working. Mine included.

mm1970 Jan 17, 2018 11:57 AM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

That won't help. There is quite literally no way that any employer here could afford to pay higher wages so that everyone who works here, can live here. That's the case in every expensive, HCOL area. Added to that, some people don't want to live here. I mean, a condo in SB or a house in Ventura? For some, an easy choice. One spouse works in SB the other works in Camarillo? Again, a decision to be made.

mm1970 Jan 17, 2018 11:57 AM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

That won't help. There is quite literally no way that any employer here could afford to pay higher wages so that everyone who works here, can live here. That's the case in every expensive, HCOL area. Added to that, some people don't want to live here. I mean, a condo in SB or a house in Ventura? For some, an easy choice. One spouse works in SB the other works in Camarillo? Again, a decision to be made.

mm1970 Jan 17, 2018 11:58 AM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

That won't help. There is quite literally no way that any employer here could afford to pay higher wages so that everyone who works here, can live here. That's the case in every expensive, HCOL area. Added to that, some people don't want to live here. I mean, a condo in SB or a house in Ventura? For some, an easy choice. One spouse works in SB the other works in Camarillo? Again, a decision to be made.

yin yang Jan 16, 2018 08:38 PM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

This post sounds to me like an op-ed, in which the author is required to identify themselves. Most of us are in a new (for lack of a better word) situation. We've never experienced a disaster like this. It hurts a lot, in many different ways. Yes, CA and SB County should've taken the '95 freeway shutdown more seriously and planned. Imagine what a giant earthquake will be like. But we must now do the best we can.

Mesarats Jan 16, 2018 07:40 PM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

Talking to the young women at Shalhoobs meat market this Saturday. She walked to work from Summerland, along the railroad tracks . Said it only took 1:45. Not complaining and not whining. That’s a local girl for you.

wildturkeyway Jan 16, 2018 11:47 PM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

Sad to say that such a walk would be breaking numerous laws designed for hers and others safety once the Mandatory Evacuation zone was put into effect. I hope she doesn't make it a practice and get arrested or worse.

Roger Jan 16, 2018 05:57 PM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

I think they are doing their best it's not like there is more than one track going through town, plus Union Pacific owns the tracks. I think employers who want to keep good employees ought to come up with some cash to put them up in motels...Several could share a room..

Flicka Jan 16, 2018 04:22 PM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

A friend told me her boss is paying for Ventura employees to stay in Santa Barbara hotels. As the Sheriff said about Montecito evacuees, "If you have friends out of their homes please offer to have them stay with you." It could work for employees living in SB or Goleta, double up and have your fellow workers move in for the work week. This is a disaster and in disastrous times things aren't going to smoothly move along like clockwork. Everyone suffers.

SBPaul Jan 16, 2018 03:42 PM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

I just checked there are still a bunch of rooms available here in town some starting at 90$ a night. So if you need employees here why not get them here and put them up for a while and eat the cost and try and file for that in damages later or you use it as a write off. Of you can just complain about an archaic train system that is basically run by the federal government and ask your employees to pile into tin boxes for 2 hours each way... Adding 3 hours to their typical work day and asking them to pay anywhere from 20 to 60 dollars to come and make what I would assume to be less than 200 a day. Seems like this is more about money than it is about keeping things going and keeping people employed. Even if we had 12 trains running all with 400 per train where are you gonna park the 4800 vehicles? This is a commuting nightmare no doubt but expecting valuable resources like public transportation be constantly available during a disaster not realistic. All it takes is one boulder or god forbid someone dies on the tracks and the entire system is shut down again.

Nature Boy Jan 16, 2018 03:29 PM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

"Doctors, Nurses and medical professionals are allowed to board first, rightfully so, but it seems doubtful that there are 150-500 such professionals who live in Carpenteria alone." Isn't it possible that MOST of those people are from Ventura, or even further south, who went as far as they could by car and who now need the train to complete the last leg of the journey to SB?

Yeti Jan 16, 2018 11:37 AM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

All of the snide and sarcastic comments aside: Amtrak IS NOT working very hard at making this all better and helping the folks that Need to make it to Santa Barbara for work to pay their rent and put food on the tables.. period. Adding a couple cars on a few trains just is not doing enough!! IF they really cared and were pushed hard by local politicians, they could add actual commuter trains, solely for the purpose of getting folks to work. Maybe run ever hour on the hour starting at 6, 7, 8 ,9 & 10am to handle the volume. Simple round trip runs from Camarillo to SB. There are NO freight trains running right now so take over the unused capacity and make it happen to help lessen the tragedy. BUT, this is not happening and even worse, they are doing so little to allow more people on the few existing trains. They refuse to allow excess riders on the Business section for standing during the short ride from Ventura to SB. Truly pathetic and very low on the moral scale. If they put out the extra effort, maybe, just maybe, we would consider riding the train on a frequent basis not during emergencies.

GeneralTree Jan 16, 2018 02:58 PM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

Google - I found a lot about the cleanup efforts and the Amtrak schedule. You think the crews should just move all their equipment every half hour?

GeneralTree Jan 16, 2018 01:13 PM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

Additional cars were added over the weekend. Thanks Google!!!! The actual clean up effort itself is what is causing Amtrak not to be able to run more trips. I would assume people doing clean up need to cross tracks and be near tracks to do the actual cleanup. www.keyt.com/lifestyle/travel/additional-train-cars-added-to-train-service-between-santa-barbara-ventura-over-weekend/685212875

a-1519211636 Jan 16, 2018 11:36 AM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

People should take back the tracks! Start walking in protest en masse from Carp to SB. That really sucks, but I'll bet it would get Union Pacific's attention.

a-1519211636 Jan 16, 2018 11:21 AM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

Are people the business owners upset that their retail workers on State Street can't afford to live in town and aren't in their shops selling trinkets to tourists?

Kew Jan 16, 2018 10:29 AM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

Thank you, Cabana Home! Your first paragraph description of what is happening in Carpinteria at this time, is spot on! The current scene on the Carpinteria Amtrak platform is sheer madness. I'm seeing it first-hand. Just add the patena of dirt and residue left by the dirt haulers, and stir. And, all of this, of course, coupled with the current flu epidemic, it's a recipe for disaster. If you don't have to be in Santa Barbara at this time, then please, please stay away. If you want to help, please phone Amtrak 1-800-872-7245 to voice your concern. God Bless America!

SBPaul Jan 16, 2018 10:15 AM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

If you run a business and you do not pay your employees a wage that can allow them to live where they work you run the risk of them having travel issues. You took a risk by not paying a local living wage and you get to pay the consequences. Amtrak is a Federally monopoly and if you are hinging your businesses success on their ability to provide transportation. You are probably gonna have some trouble.

SBPaul Jan 16, 2018 10:58 AM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

Oh, please let me call amtrak up and let them know that their government subsidized business needs to kick it into gear so "his" government subsidized travel is more reliable. Give me a break. Thats about as left as it gets. When you start a business you take risk and you adapt and adjust to stay profitable. This is a consequence of that risk and now he wants the government to bail him out. Sounds like you were right about one thing we live in a "leftist paradise" where even the people who think they are "right" are bent west.

a-1519211636 Jan 16, 2018 10:30 AM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

And if he tried to pay "local living wages" he could probably also just close his business. Businesses have to be (marginally) "profitable" to SURVIVE. That is so even in "leftist paradises".

Ducky Jan 16, 2018 10:09 AM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

By the sounds of this post (please correct me if I’m wrong), people are not forming lines...?Couldn’t Amtrak put up some zig-zagged lines, like amusement park or some bank lines?

CivilEngineer Jan 16, 2018 09:40 AM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

All trains going SB to Vta are sold out for Jan 16. Earliest available ticket as of last night was Jan 17 at 9:30 am. Amtrak is not the culprit, they are just a bureaucratic federal business that can't adapt. What we need is for our state to step in, declare a state of emergency, and implement the shuttle during this disaster. We a losing a lot of revenue and tax dollars due to all of the lost work- if they need another reason to do it.

Roger Jan 17, 2018 05:40 PM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

My Father who though could be an ass at times was a True Blue compassionate Republican though he beat the crap out of me and put me in the hospital he saved a man from being hanged during the DNC Riots of 1968. My father read Fortune...I was a republican from 1080 to 1988 I campaigned for Dan Quail for congress in the 70's back in Fort Wane, Indiana and got to meet him. I have also met Robert Kennedy, Caesar Chavez, I protested at an protest with Abbie Hoffman while ducking from the CPD back in 1973... there were others...and I flipped off Ronald Raygun, he flipped me off right back too! I'm a distinguished jerk...

Roger Jan 17, 2018 05:40 PM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

My Father who though could be an ass at times was a True Blue compassionate Republican though he beat the crap out of me and put me in the hospital he saved a man from being hanged during the DNC Riots of 1968. My father read Fortune...I was a republican from 1080 to 1988 I campaigned for Dan Quail for congress in the 70's back in Fort Wane, Indiana and got to meet him. I have also met Robert Kennedy, Caesar Chavez, I protested at an protest with Abbie Hoffman while ducking from the CPD back in 1973... there were others...and I flipped off Ronald Raygun, he flipped me off right back too! I'm a distinguished jerk...

SBPaul Jan 17, 2018 03:49 PM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

So POTIF I think you get a double bogie and thats being generous. Roger is right about the golf cost but I am not sure how pertinent 20 mil is to our yearly budget. Once again not a fan but I think we all need to take a moment and consider the fact that Roger is reading Fortune Magazine and whatever that means, it certainly is an example of expanding ones library!

Roger Jan 17, 2018 03:02 PM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

Oh My excuse me I'm so sorry I have offended thee blessed right by mentioning the golfer in the white house who has donated 568,000.00 Dollars of his charity to charities may I lick thy blessed golf shoes and take a thousand lashes for my disruptions of thy blessed ways....According to Fortune Magazine his golfing trips have cost the Taxpayers over 20 million dollars...How do you like those Apples?

Potif Jan 17, 2018 02:08 PM
Overcrowded Amtrak Trains Causing Frustrations

As I understand, the 'golfer currently in the White House', is only taking $1.00 a year in salary. The rest goes to charities. At least, that is the last I heard.

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