December 17, 2018 Capitol Corridor Encourages Train Riders to Travel Safely This Holiday Season and Reach Out to Those Struggling with the “Holiday Blues”

December 13, Oakland, CA – The holiday travel season is upon us, and the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) wants everyone to make it home safely and take a moment to reach out to others who may be struggling.

If passengers see someone who appears to be in distress, it is ok to approach them and start a conversation if it seems safe to do so. Showing compassion can help a person in crisis. Passengers can also keep the Suicide Prevention Lifeline number in their phone to share with a person in distress.

Over the past six months, the CCJPA, in partnership with Amtrak, California Operation Lifesaver(CAOL), and Union Pacific Railroad, has been working with local shelters and community agencies throughout the rail corridor to increase rail safety awareness and suicide prevention.

Although, the overall number of trespasser incidents, including suicides, has slightly declined over the past year, one of these incidents is one too many,” said David Kutrosky, Managing Director of the CCJPA, which oversees management of the 170-mile Capitol Corridor route between San Jose and Auburn. “And as we enter the holiday season of joy and giving, unfortunately this is the time of season when many people feel isolated and alone.”

According to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, “more than 40,000 people die every year in the U.S. from suicide. Less than one percent of those deaths happen within the rail system. But, as with all suicides, rail suicides can have lasting, detrimental emotional effects on the victim’s family and friends.”

“We are concerned about suicides and feel that suicide is an important mental health issue,” said Nancy Sheehan-McCulloch, State Coordinator of CAOL. “It needs to be addressed by communities together and led by experienced professionals.” CAOL is a nonprofit organization specializing in rail safety education.

The CCJPA recognizes that rail safety is a year-long, day-to-day commitment and has been engaging in outreach efforts, independently and in collaboration with CAOL. These efforts include messaging via social media about safe behaviors around tracks and participation in outreach events at local shelters, and press activity during Rail Safety Month in September. As part of this ongoing community outreach initiative, the CCJPA will complete the installation of suicide prevention signs at stations along the route in early 2019.

For More Information

Olivia Irvin

Karen Bakar

Priscilla Kalugdan

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About the Capitol Corridor®

The Capitol Corridor is an intercity rail service connecting the most economically vibrant urban centers in the Northern California megaregion – from the Sacramento capital, to the tech hub of Silicon Valley, and including San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley. With a Café Car and free wi-fi on board, Capitol Corridor trains provide a convenient, reliable, and comfortable alternative to the congested I-80, I-680, and I-880 freeways for both work and leisure travelers.