Get on Board!

RIDER PROFILE | ON BOARD FOR 28 YEARS

July 14, 2022

In 2021, we published our first Rider Profile, which described how the coronavirus has impacted our riders’ travel, their health and safety concerns, and why—despite a world-wide pandemic—they chose to ride the train.

Throughout the pandemic Capitol Corridor has continued to be a transportation asset to Northern California. Like other public transit options, ridership dramatically dipped since COVID-19 and its variants spread; however, through it all we still have loyal as well as new riders who make Capitol Corridor their preferred travel option.

Pushpraj G. has been a faithful rider for 28 years and says, “It has been the best 28 years of my life.” Find out why in this edition of Capitol Corridor’s Rider Profile.

MEET OUR RIDER: PUSHPRAJ “PUPLA” G.

Pupla G.

Pushpraj, fondly known as Pupla, began riding Capitol Corridor in 1994. At first, he rode Capitol Corridor five days a week roundtrip from Sacramento to San Francisco; after the year 2000 his route was Sacramento to Fremont and back. Now he rides two days a week between Sacramento and Oakland Jack London Square.

On his very first train ride the conductor greeted him with a predictive welcome, “Listen, Pupla, you’ll not go back to driving again.” He turned out to be right.

“Those were very prophetic words,” Pupla said. “I would never drive to San Francisco on a regular basis.”

WHY HE RIDES

Pupla used to drive every day to San Francisco, but it was a grueling five-hour commute that prompted a different way to travel. That trip was so stressful, he seriously considered handing over his resignation that day. “I can’t do this anymore,” Pupla told his brother, with whom he worked. It was his brother who suggested Pupla check out Capitol Corridor instead of driving. The very next day he did, and what began as a new way to commute turned into an opportunity to be a part of a remarkable camaraderie, where he, and others Capitol Corridor dubbed the ‘CC Riders’, created memorable experiences and built enduring friendships.

Why does he describe his years on Capitol Corridor as his best? “I got to make a lot of friends on the train—and they became lifelong friends,” Pupla said. “Long-time riders used to say they only went to work for the train ride to enjoy the on-board camaraderie. They were able to socialize hour for two hours each workday. How many people can afford to do that in their regular lives?”

Pupla coined his own phrase for the phenomenon of interacting with people on trains, fellow passengers or train staff whom one would normally not have the opportunity to meet. He calls it ‘Amtrakism’.

YEARS OF REMARKABLE MEMORIES

Like all of us who have had a joyful and lengthy connection, Pupla remembers his years onboard with pleasant memories: from Capitol Corridor train events (he won three Cappys In one year!) to gatherings with CC Riders onboard or fun with its alumni at venues along the route. As he reminisced of the many activities his with his train friends, he shared many ‘small world’ incidents—experiences he only had because he was a passenger on our trains!

For example, the CC Riders, who typically rode in the first car, often played bridge while commuting. Conductors would reserve two tables for their bridge game and if they were ever short players the conductor would make an announcement on the train intercom inviting other bridge players aboard to fill in. On one such ride, an elderly woman who accepted the invitation turned out to be the former school librarian at Goswami’s high school in India.

Another time, Estelle S., who Pupla affectionately called the “Queen of the Train”, once introduced him to a passenger who was also from India. After several minutes of conversation, he learned his cousin, an obstetrician, was the doctor who delivered the young lady 18 years before.

Pupla also recognizes the love of trains is expansive. Coincidentally, when meeting his son’s future father-in-law in Arkansas, Pupla learned he was a fellow train fan who once flew to San Francisco just to ride the Capitol Corridor!

The pandemic, retirement, as well as the work-from-home scenario has broken up the group. Only one other passenger of his original cluster of train friends remains. She brings food, lays out a linen tablecloth and they celebrate the old days each Friday on their ride home to Sacramento.

Yet, despite the pandemic Pupla will not go back to driving to the Bay Area. “I still wear a mask in the mornings, I’m vaccinated and boosted, so I’m not worried about catching the virus,” he said.

Lately, he’s noticed more and more passengers riding the train and he’s sure the skyrocketing gas prices have much to do with more riders on his route. “Last week I filled up my tank and it cost $108! I suggest people get on the train–help support the train! Support Amtrakism!”

Explore What’s New in San Francisco

June 15, 2022

San Francisco remains on the list of top tourist destinations around the world—and for good reason. Whether you’ve made a trip or two over the past year, or you commute in regularly, there’s always something new and fresh to experience. From dining to entertainment, San Francisco continues to reinvent itself and renew interest from local visitors and those traveling from miles away. If you’re looking for a reason to make the trip, well we’ve got a fun list of activities and dining experiences that keep us returning to The City. But first, let’s go over some options for getting there and then how to get around once you’ve made it into San Francisco.

Getting to San Francisco from the Train

Taking the train for day trips into San Francisco is ideal as it offers great flexibility by connecting with other services:

BART: With shared stations at Richmond and Oakland Coliseum stations, transfers over to BART from the train area seamless.

Connecting Bus: Capitol Corridor’s dedicated bus connection allows passengers to travel by train to the Emeryville station and transfer to the bus and be dropped off in the Financial District in San Francisco at 555 Mission Street, between 1st and 2nd streets. From there, you’re just a 4-minute walk to the Market Street entrance to BART or SF Muni. Both services accept the Clipper Card (available in the Café Car) and the Clipper mobile app for payment.

SF MUNI: The sophisticated network of bus and light rail makes SF Muni the best option for getting around San Francisco once you’re there. Now that we’ve got the travel logistics taken care of, here are some notable experiences that are ripe with content for your next TikTok or IG Reel.

Concerts and Festivals Have Returned

Outside Lands
The famed 3-day festival that marries many of our favorite things all in one place: music, food, art, beverages and more! From August 5-7, you can find yourself swaying to the melodic sounds of headliners Green Day, Post Malone, and SZA; gorging out on truly original food creations; and washing it all down with wine, beer, and craft cocktails.
Get Tickets

 

Stern Grove
Not to be outdone, the Stern Grove Festival returns for its 85th season! On Sundays, from June 12 through August 14, attend any (or all) of the FREE concert series featuring top artists from a rainbow of musical genres like Leann Rimes, Tower of Power, Liz Phair, and Too $hort. If this is sounding like music to your ears, you’re not alone. This is a popular event, and while it is free to attend, you must reserve your ticket in advance.
Get Tickets

New and Notable Restaurants

What’s a trip to San Francisco without having a once in a lifetime dining experience at one of the new restaurants in town?

Egg yolk tonnarelli with Fort Bragg sea urchin, and salmon caviar, topped with spring onion and pink peppercorn.

Sorella

Sorella (‘sister’ in Italian) opened in December 2021 in the Nob Hill area. Sister restaurant to Acquerello, Sorella offers a more casual experience which is perfect for dinner with family or friends but promises sophisticated dishes that are not easily forgotten. I mean, can you tell me the last time you experienced egg yolk tonnarelli with Fort Bragg sea urchin, salmon caviar, spring onion and pink peppercorn?! They are open for dinner and will have you saying amore before the night is through.
More Info

 

The Palm Court at RH San Francisco

If you thought Restoration Hardware was only serving up home décor, then you only know the half!  After years of construction and design, last month RH opened the doors of its new 80,000-square-foot location. The building itself has become a true work of art and worth visiting; however, you’ll want to get inside to take in the five floors of luxury furniture, the rooftop park, and of course dine! Yes, they’ve made this a true destination with the inclusion of The Palm Court Restaurant and Bar. Brunch, lunch, and dinner are all being served up in the most refined manner: rustic country style Belgian waffles, fresh burrata with heirloom cherry tomatoes, Kaluga caviar, Wagyu ribeye, the list really does go on. This is surely one for the books!
More Info

 

Space Adventure Cobra cocktail and Bluefin Tuna Toast

Kaiyo Rooftop

We all have that hip friend that travels to the best new bars, restaurants or weekend getaways and dazzles us with tales from their latest excursion. If you beat them to Kaiyo Rooftop bar and lounge, it’ll be your turn for bragging rights. This hot new Japanese and Peruvian inspired rooftop cocktail bar and lounge opened at the beginning of year and is located next door to the San Francisco Giants stadium, on the 12th floor of the Hyatt Place Hotel. Hint of Spice, Effervescent, and Tropical are just a few of the drink categories that you’ll be introduced to. Many have familiar ingredients that have been represented in new and delightful combinations. A full restaurant is expected late this summer, but there’s no need to wait as they currently have mouthwatering small plates and sushi that are excellent for sharing.
More Info

Things to Do

With a vast offering of museums, live performances, and iconic sites, visitors are never at a loss for things to do in San Francisco—many of which you’re probably familiar with. But let’s check out a few that you may not have heard about just yet.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

From the page to the screen and now to the stage, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is currently running at the Curran Theater through early January 2023. This adventure-packed show features the favorite literary trio, Harry, Ron, and Hermione who return to Hogwarts School 19 years later for a live action performance of witchcraft and wizardry.
Tickets are on sale now!

 

Neverland (San Francisco) An Immersive Peter Pan Inspired Bar

Long before the world of J.K. Rowling came into our lives, we were all captivated by tales of Neverland penned by J.M. Barrie. During this one-of-a-kind experience, you’ll be completely immersed in the world of Neverland that’s been created in a pop-up bar that is completely designed to transport you back into the harrowing tales of Peter Pan, Tinkerbelle, and Captain Hook. Tickets are required for this unique engagement and includes a welcome drink, two cocktails, and a theatrical experience. You’ll have until August 7 to take in this event.
Get Tickets

 

Stagecoach Greens

Putter up for San Francisco’s only outdoor mini golf course with a twist. Skip the traditional putting greens and make your way through 18 California themed holes that feature replicas of the Sierra Tunnels Mining Co., Mission Bay Shipyard, a nod to the Transcontinental Railroad with a miniature locomotive, and more. Book your tee time online for this distinct activity.
Book Now

Travel With Flexibility

One thing that we have learned over the last few years is that we must be flexible. We are living in a time where things come up and plans may change. As an unreserved service, your Capitol Corridor ticket is valid up to one year from the original travel date. Need a later or earlier train? Or maybe you need to travel the following week? That’s no problem; you can use that same ticket without making any modifications, provided you are traveling within the same city-pair (i.e. Sacramento to San Francisco). Restrictions apply for tickets purchased with a promotion or discount.

Hispanic Heritage Month 2021

September 15, 2021

From September 15 to October 15, our country celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month by commemorating the history, heritage, and contributions of those who came from Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean, and South and Central America. Communities all over the United States mark the achievements of Hispanic and Latino Americans with festivals and educational activities.
National Hispanic Heritage celebrations originally started with one week of commemoration when it was first introduced by Congressman George E. Brown, Jr. (D-CA) in June 1968 as the result of the civil rights movement. During that period, many ethnic groups saw the need to finally recognize the contributions people of color made to US history.
For example, while many are familiar with how African-American slave, Irish, and Chinese labor were used to build America’s railroad system, some may not be aware of just how much Mexican workers helped to build railroads across the midwestern and western parts of our country. They faced dangerous working conditions with very little pay. To learn more, check the American Rails web site, which features a comprehensive review of Dr. Jeffrey Marcos Garcilazo’s book, Traqueros: Mexican Railroad Workers in The United States, 1870-1930.

Hispanic Heritage Month Activities

Current pandemic conditions have limited events in Northern California this year; however, here are two you may like to consider:

Saturday, September 25, 10:15am the Oakland Library will host Latinx Heritage Month Live Storytime, an on-line Bilingual Family Storytime event. Space is limited. RSVP via Eventbrite.

Sunday, September 26, 10:00am – 5:00pm the San Francisco Exploratorium will present its 22nd annual Día de la Ingeniería/Latinx Engineering Day 2021, which combines a bilingual panel discussion, presentations on the science and engineering heritage of Latinx people, and playful hands-on activities.