Students on campus

Travel Green for Back to School

August 27, 2017

As summer comes to an end and schools prepare for the new academic year, many students from the University of California (Davis and Berkeley), Santa Clara University, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo use the Capitol Corridor train as a greener way to travel between school and home. Here are a few of the reasons why the Capitol Corridor is the environmentally-friendly travel choice of college co-eds:

1. Trains emit a million fewer tons of CO2 than cars.
Each Capitol Corridor train can carry about 350 people, which means we can fit 70 times more people on our trains than the average passenger car. Because intercity passenger rail is over 30 percent more energy efficient than automobiles, eco-conscious students are embracing the train more than ever before. Super green students can reduce their carbon footprint even more by taking multiple modes of public transit (with a free Transit Transfer for certain partner agencies), ridesharing, biking, or walking to our train stations.

2. Purchasing tickets online reduces paper usage.
Purchasing tickets online through the Capitol Corridor website or the Amtrak Mobile App is not only faster and more convenient, but it will also save a lot of trees! Just show your e-ticket on your mobile device without the need to print out. Students who ride frequently can save money as well by using one of the Capitol Corridor’s multi-ride ticket options – the monthly or 10-ride ticket – that can also be purchased as eTickets. All students (age 13-25) save 15% on travel regardless of when and how often they ride.

3. Bikes are welcome on board and at stations.
In a 2016 onboard passenger survey, an impressive 13% of Capitol Corridor riders said they arrived at one of our stations via bicycle. With such high demand for bike access, the Capitol Corridor makes pedaling to the train a breeze, and it’s a surefire way to maximize your C02 emissions. Secure BikeLink eLockers, as well as free bike racks are available at most Capitol Corridor stations. If you are taking your bike on board, each train has two “bike cars” with enough capacity to hold about a dozen bicycles. Each train car also has three bike racks on the lower level, making safe and convenient storage accessible while you travel.

4. Many menu items in the Café Car are made with locally-sourced ingredients.
With new menu items in the Café Car, such as the grilled vegetable hummus wrap and the chicken banh mi, hungry students can enjoy healthy food, made with locally-sourced ingredients. Breakfast items are made with cage-free eggs, and other food items use antibiotic and hormone-free meat. Plus, excess food is being donated to local missions every day!

5. We take recycling and waste seriously.
The Capitol Corridor is committed to sustainability for a healthier planet, and to that end, we are committed to recycling on board the train. Recycling bins are located in the Café Car, at the top of each stairwell, and next to the luggage compartments. Be sure to sort your recycling containers and trash properly into the right bins. Reduce waste even more by bringing your own water bottle on board; you can refill them from our water dispensers in all cars.

Want to know more about how green your train travel can be? Check out our Green Travel page and measure your monthly average carbon footprint!



  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2014. (2016). Table 2-13 “Transportation-Related Greenhouse Gas Emissions (MMT CO2 Eq.)”.
  • U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration, Public Transportation’s Role in Responding to Climate Change. (2010). 1-5.