ACE’s 25th Anniversary

October 19, 2023

ACE’s 25th Anniversary

David Lipari

ACE Celebrates 25 Years of Express Service

The San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission (SJRRC) is excited to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the ACE train service all year long. SJRRC will be celebrating ACE’s silver anniversary with a series of activities starting October 2023. Celebration activities include ridership appreciation giveaways, sharing stories from riders and community leaders, celebrating the milestones of the service virtually, and working with partners for a celebratory event.

“Our story is one that is filled with overcoming challenges. Whether dealing with early naysayers or the difficulty of starting something new, the SJRRC team and every iteration of our board of directors has strived to bring excellent passenger rail service to our passengers and communities for 25 years, and I can confidently say that we are accomplishing that mission,” says Stacey Mortensen, Executive Director.

As SJRRC spends this year celebrating 25 years of ACE service, the future of ACE looks incredibly bright. With SJRRC becoming the managing agency of the San Joaquin Joint Power Authority (SJJPA) which oversees the Amtrak San Joaquins, SJRRC and SJJPA have embarked on the ambitious $1.6B Valley Rail Program which will transform access and frequency of passenger rail transportation between the Central Valley, Sacramento, and Bay Area.

“As the current Chair, it is an honor to continue the tradition handed down from chair-to-chair – to lead an agency that is always pushing to improve the quality of life of our passengers and expand the service that we steward on behalf of our communities,” states Leo Zuber, Chair of SJRRC. “To all of our past commissioners and everyone who has had the pleasure of riding ACE, join us in celebrating 25 years of excellence, and here’s to 25 more!”


How ACE got its start:

Thirty years ago, the Silicon Valley, Tri-Valley, and Central Valley areas of California were steadily gaining in population but were poorly connected by public transportation. Interstates 205, 580, and 680 were becoming increasingly congested, with no end in sight. A workable and efficient public transportation solution was envisioned in order to address the transit needs of the region’s rapidly increasing number of residents.

In 1989, the San Joaquin Council of Governments, the Building Industry Association of the Delta, and the Stockton Chamber of Commerce began a bold initiative to develop a modern and versatile transportation system that would be the solution for an underserved population. In order to source the funding for such an ambitious project, local voters in November 1990 passed Measure K, a half-cent sales tax that would be allocated toward financing a number of transportation enhancements.

In April 1995, the seven cities and the County of San Joaquin approved a joint powers agreement that created the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission (SJRRC). The purpose of the SJRRC was to improve existing rail service and implement a rail system in San Joaquin County. This included pursuing the participation and agreements for commuter rail service with both Santa Clara and Alameda counties.

The Altamont Commuter Express, now Altamont Corridor Express (or ACE as it’s most commonly known), rail service began operations on October 19, 1998, through a contract between the SJRRC and Herzog Transit Services. The initial schedule included two westbound morning trains and two eastbound trains in the evening. By 1999, the rail system was serving 1,000 daily riders in each direction. At its peak, ACE grew to proudly serve nearly 1.4 million people on an annual basis.



Governed by a Board of Directors consisting of six full-voting members from San Joaquin County and two special-voting members from Alameda County, SJRRC owns, operates, and is the policy-making body for the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) service, which has been transporting passengers between the Central Valley and Bay Area since 1998. For more information about SJRRC and ACE, visit or connect through Facebook (@AltamontCorridorExpress) and Twitter (@ACE_train).

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