Reported by David B. Kutrosky, Managing Director
Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority
Service Performance Overview
The Capitol Corridor ended FY 2014 with a bang. In September 2014, a total
of 119,034 passengers rode Capitol Corridor trains, an impressive increase
of 7.6% compared to September 2013, which also marks the sixth consecutive
month of ridership increases for the service. Revenue for September was
2.4% over revenue in September 2013. The year to-date (YTD) Operating Ratio is 50%, below the business plan standard of 53% due to revenues being
budget projections. While September 2014 On-time Performance (OTP) dropped to 93% primarily due to en route and terminal delays from mechanical
malfunctions and failures, the YTD OTP for the Capitol Corridor is 95%,
maintaining Capitol Corridor as the most reliable service in the Amtrak
system for the fifth year in a row.
The following are ridership highlights from September 2014:
– Similar to August 2014, average weekend ridership for September 2014 was
up by 11% compared to weekend ridership in September 2013. This spectacular growth was primarily due to heavy ridership on trains serving the regular season 49ers games at the new Levi’ s Stadium, which is adjacent to the Great America/Santa Clara Station.
– Average weekday ridership was up by 4% compared to September 2013, which was primarily due to continued growth in ridership for the trains traveling
to and from San Jose/Silicon Valley and a recent upswing in ridership on
the two trains serving the Placer County stations.
– Detailed data for the top 25 city-pair stations through August is
– Detailed data OTP by train is provided below for August 2014 and YTD FY
2014 (Oct. 2013 – Aug. 2014). This table illustrates the overall superior
reliability of the Capitol Corridor service with most trains operating at a
minimum of 90% OTP, except for the notable exceptions of weekend trains 748
and 751, which tend to be delayed by road vehicles that get high-centered
on the tracks running through the Oakland Embarcadero.
Customer Service Program Upgrades:
* CCJPA Bicycle Access Program: Using the available rolling stock, CCJPA
has worked with Caltrans Rail and Amtrak to ensure that there are in most
cases two cars on selected trainsets (in the cab car, opposite the
locomotive, and car # 2 positions), with extra bicycle capacity. This
on-board program was instituted in response to the growing number of
passengers who board Capitol Corridor trains with a bicycle – an increase
from 5% mode share four years ago to 11% today.
To provide additional bike capacity, consistent with the adopted CCJPA
Bicycle Access Plan, the CCJPA is seeking an allocation of $556,000 at the
October 2014 California Transportation Commission (CTC) meeting to install
bicycle eLockers at 13 of the 17 stations Capitol Corridor serves.
(Exceptions being joint Capitol Corridor/BART stations and Caltrain
stations, which already have bike lockers.) Concurrently, the CCJPA is
working to implement a folding bicycle lease program to further reduce
on-train bicycle crowding and/or induce more convenient and safe Capitol
Corridor travel with bicycle access as the first/last mile portion of the
* Improvements to CCJPA Train Status Feature on Website: A vendor is now
under contract to implement upgrades to the train status feature on the
CCJPA website. It is anticipated that these initial updates will be tested
by the end of November 2014. The first element will be a visual map display
of train status.
* Security Cameras at Capitol Corridor Stations: With initial engineering
design complete, the installation of camera and surveillance equipment at
the Auburn, Rocklin, Roseville, Suisun, Martinez, Emeryville, Oakland Jack
London, and Fremont stations will begin.
* Platform Safety Upgrades: In early 2014, CCJPA and Amtrak staff initiated
a program of safety access upgrades at selected Capitol Corridor train
stations. The upgrades include, but are not limited to, replacing broken
platform tactile edges, repainting platform tactile edges, restriping
yellow safety lines along the main platform, repainting safety text along
platforms, and installing safety signs. In May 2014, upgrades were
completed at the Davis station followed by work completed in July 2014 at
the Roseville, Suisun, Berkeley, and Fremont stations. The next stations to
receive safety upgrades will be Santa Clara/Great America, Hayward,
Oakland-Coliseum, Richmond, and Auburn.
* Positive Train Control Update: The Union Pacific’s plan for PTC
implementation remains the same in that the Los Angeles basin will be
first, with the Northern California area following. Initial reports are
that the implementation of PTC in the LA Basin has been delayed to the
third quarter 2015, putting PTC installation on the Capitol Corridor route
sometime after the fourth quarter of 2015, or perhaps later. A recent
report by the Government Accounting Office has suggested that PTC
installation could be delayed further by a variety of technical and
administrative challenges. However, the recent serious accident on the
Metro North commuter railroad in New York has renewed the visibility of the
PTC installation project.
Installation of the PTC equipment on the state-owned locomotives and cab
control cars is complete, with all locomotives and cab cars equipped. A
schedule will be developed with Caltrain to test state-owned PTC-installed
Capitol Corridor trains in Caltrain territory once the PTC trackside
equipment on the Caltrain route is installed and ready for testing.
* CCJPA Oakland-San Jose Phase 2 Project: The first task has begun for this
project with surveying and conceptual design for the extensions of the
double track in the segment between Fremont to Santa Clara/University
stations. This work does not include the five-mile section of single track
in the Alviso wetlands area. This effort is continuing in parallel with
discussions including UPRR and the California State Transportation Agency
* Sacramento to Roseville 3rd Track Environmental Review/Preliminary
Engineering: A Notice of Preparation (NOP), as part of the environmental
documentation compliance process with the California Environmental Quality
Act (CEQA) for the project, was completed and the project team is now
performing the environmental analysis for the preparation of the respective
CEQA and NEPA environmental documents. Staff will continue discussions with the affected resource agencies and the cities of Roseville and Sacramento.
Additional phases of stakeholder engagement, as well as public meetings,
are on schedule for release of the draft EIR/EA in late winter 2015,
leading toward CEQA adoption of the EIR in November 2015 by the CCJPA
Board. NEPA approval will be subject to the Federal Railroad Administration
Outlook – Closing
For FY 2014, the Capitol Corridor service performance improved over the
last six months of the fiscal year with ridership and revenue increasing by
3% and 2%, respectively, compared to the same six-month period last fiscal
year. With record OTP for this fiscal year, the Capitol Corridor remains
the most reliable train service in the national intercity passenger rail
network, which has kept customer satisfaction levels at the highest levels
in the history of the service. Credit goes to our host railroads, Union
Pacific Railroad and Caltrain, and our operating partner, Amtrak, for their
continued dedication to making the Capitol Corridor a safe, frequent,
reliable, and high-quality transport service.
In fact, research and surveys have shown that the Capitol Corridor trains
are becoming a primary travel choice for Northern Californians and grabbing
a larger share of the travel market along the congested I-80/I-880/I-680
Looking forward, in FY 2015 new public transportation funding opportunities
should begin to matriculate thanks to the enactment of the Cap and Trade
legislation earlier in June 2014. The CCJPA will develop project plans that
meet the guidelines for these Cap and Trade funds and implement the service
expansion programs contained in the most recent CCJPA Board’s Vision Plan.
In a parallel effort, staff will implement various technology initiatives
to enhance ticketing transactions, improve passenger communications, and
better utilize and manage data to increase operating efficiencies and cost