by Steven Blackwelder
I live in the Los Angeles area, and I go to the Sacramento and San Francisco Bay areas for most family holidays. I've been riding the San Joaquins trains and short-route connector buses since 2000.
I have more fun by taking the San Joaquins than by traveling any other way because I arrive more rested and ready for a good time. The Amtrak California stations and bus stops are closer to my home and my family's homes than any airports or long-distance bus stations are.
Trains let me stretch my legs onboard. Buses and airplanes allow walking only to the toilet, while stopping my car to stretch my legs only makes the drive longer. Airplanes and buses don't have tables, and trains have better seatback trays than airplanes. Trains don't restrict electronics, even providing household electric current sockets at the tables.
Furthermore, I spend less money on the San Joaquins. Amtrak California fares cost less than either airport stress and airfare or driving stress and total car costs (fuel, maintenance and repairs more often, and depreciation).