Pleasanton is an ACE station that opened with the line rest of the line on October 19, 1998. It is one of the busiest ACE Rail stations and the busiest stop in the Tri-Valley. The station serves passengers that both use the station as their origin point, driving (or biking) to the station from their homes in the Tri-Valley to commute to jobs in the Silicon Valley riding ACE through Niles Canyon. It is also an important destination station use by passengers commuting from the San Joaquin Valley over Altamont Pass to jobs at various East Bay destinations as well as providing ACE's closest BART connection. LVTA Wheels Routes 53 and 54 are ACE shuttle bus routes (free with an ACE ticket). Bus route 53 runs basically (stopping at the Stoneridge Mall and a few corporate areas along the way) directly to the West Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station (it originally went to the original Dublin/Pleasanton Station until the West station that is closer to the ACE station opened in 2011). Route 54 is primarily for the Hacienda Business Park but also reaches the East Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station. County Connection Express Route 92X runs to and from the station to San Ramon, Walnut Creek, and Bishops Ranch connecting ACE riders with jobs in these areas as well as connecting commuters from these areas to ACE for jobs in Silicon Valley.
When ACE Rail began in 1998 with two-round trips per day and eight cars (four cars on each train) it became overcrowded from the start. Pleasanton was one of the busiest stations. From about November 1999 until a third round-trip up the Altamont Pass began on March 5, 2001 there was an additional AM rush hours only round-trip to and from Pleasanton. The first ACE trip to terminate in San Jose Diridon would make a non-stop express run back to Pleasanton (accepting revenue passengers, although no PM reverse peak train has ever been offered) and then provide a third trip from Pleasanton to San Jose stopping at Fremont and Great America.
The station is located on the southern edge of the Alameda County Fair Grounds and ACE Passengers normally use its fittingly named Western Pacific Parking Lot. During the approximate three weeks of the fare (late June through early July) most of this parking lot is in use by fairground attendees requiring most driving ACE passengers to park at a remote parking lot and use shuttle buses. The parking lot has become such a popular place to form carpools (with passengers able to use the railway as a back-up) that ACE parking staff has had to crack down on the process reminding parking cars that the lot is for commuters riding ACE Rail only. This parking lot is bounded by Pleasanton Avenue on one side and the rail platform on the other. The connecting buses don't stop directly on the platform but along Pleasanton Avenue requiring passengers to walk across the parking lot.
The platform itself is a simple single ACE platform on the northside of the track. It has a simple white fence and six bus shelters that provide the only amenities to waiting passengers. These were clearly installed in two waves. Three are a brown color without an advertising panel, and three are black with space for ads. Signage is all simple purple signs that say Pleasanton. The platform is a few steps above the parking lot alongside it (there is also the required ramp), and by one of these entrances is a ticket kiosk with a blue base and purple roof. Here an agent handles ACE ticket sales and is open 20 minutes before the 4 AM Peak Hour trains plus on the first two and last two days of the month for PM Ticket sales as passengers buy new monthly passes. Just south of the platform, the tracks go above Bernal Avenue that has an underpass.
All Photos taken on 14 June, 2013