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Commuters can thank an almond grower
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The folks at the American Public Transportation Association are impressed with San Joaquin County residents.

They issued a report this week noting the Altamont Corridor Express ridership rose 15.66 percent in 2014. That’s more than five times the rate of national commuter rail ridership that went up 2.87 percent last year. The ACE increase was the highest in the country.

At the same time there was a 2.28 percent increase in San Joaquin Regional Transit District bus ridership. That compares to a national 1.13 percent decrease in bus ridership.

The Bay Area Rapid Transit ridership was up 6.07 percent in 2014. That is double the 3.22 percent increase nationally that heavy rail ridership enjoyed last year. It was also a record increase for BART.

And for those who don’t think farmers are visionaries, ACE exists today because of the determination of Bob Cabal to bring commuter rail service to the valley. The late Cabral was an Escalon almond grower and served on the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors. The ACE station in Stockton is named in  his honor.

Cabral held firm even though a sea of doubters questioned the wisdom of investing money in a commuter rail system in car happy California.