A passenger car is cleaned at Amtrak's Ivy City maintenance facility in Washington D.C. on May 7, 2020. (Photo courtesy of Marty Katz)

Capitol Corridor trains and buses will start operating on a new schedule next week to reflect an uptick in ridership amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Capitol Corridor officials said Tuesday.

The new schedule, which goes into effect March 29, includes the addition of direct, round-trip train service between Auburn and San Jose, a sixth round-trip train between San Jose and Oakland and adjustments to train and bus departure times to make them more predictable.

Capitol Corridor train service will be updated later this spring and this summer but is not expected to resume full, pre-pandemic levels until next year, according to Capitol Corridor officials.

“There are a lot of variables involved in planning our return to our full, pre-pandemic level of service, including public health conditions, train equipment availability and budget,” Capitol Corridor Managing Director Rob Padgette said. “But now is the time to start moving in that direction, and this schedule puts us in a position to achieve that goal.”

Capitol Corridor service was cut from 30 trains per day pre-pandemic to just 10 per day, seven days per week last year.

Weekday service increased to 16 daily trains last June, but ridership is still nearly 90 percent below pre-pandemic levels, according to data from Capitol Corridor’s February 2021 performance report.

The new schedules can be found at https://www.capitolcorridor.org/schedules. Riders can also check how full their train may be to properly observe social distancing at https://www.capitolcorridor.org/ccjpa-performance.

“We cannot wait to welcome our passengers back,” Padgette said.