California Corridors December stats

Reported by  Eugene K. Skoropowski, Managing Director, Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority  After the relatively modest November growth in Capitol Corridor riders (+2.7%), we were expecting to see a significant slowing of ridership growth on the Capitol Corridor in December, reflecting the impacts of both the economic downturn, as well as falling gas prices.  It did not happen.

Rather, ridership and revenue both grew in the +8-9% range on the Capitol Corridor, creating another record high for ridership in the month of December 2008.  The San Joaquins also saw similar ridership and revenue percentage growth.  Only the Pacific Surfliner service saw a substantial loss in riders and downturn in revenue.  This may be a reflection of a more significant economic deterioration in Southern California than in Northern California.

Sustained on-time performance on the Capitol Corridor has helped keep riders, and improved on-time performance of the San Joaquins is also likely helping to sustain growth there.

Capitol Corridor (December 2008)
130,261 passengers   +9.0%  vs. December 2007
This is a new December record, and keeps the Capitol Corridor third busiest route in the country, still by a wide margin.  Passengers for the last 12 months: 1,729,401 , now pushing towards the 1.8 million barrier!

$1,822,259  December 2008 ticket revenue    +8.4%  vs. December 2007

The farebox recovery   revenue-to-cost ratio for December is 43.3% ,
reflecting the increased Amtrak cost base due to labor contracts and fuel adjustments (FY to date: 46%, a bit lower than the 50% target). Traditionally, January through April our farebox recovery rate is lower than May through September, so we still have a ways to go to get ‘on budget’.

On-time performance  for December ‘delivered to the customer’ was:   93.0%  still the best of any corridor service in the country, reflecting sustained Union Pacific performance at 98-99%  and continued good Amtrak operational performance.  (FFY to date: 92.6%)  This is our best year-to-date quarterly report ever for on-time performance. 

These first quarter stats are a good start to the Fiscal Year, and Capitol Corridor on-time performance is now the best in the country, topped only by the once-a-day Pennsylvanian (Philadelphia-Pittsburgh) and still well above the premier Acela Express service on the Northeast Corridor (86.1%).


Pacific Surfliners (December 2008)
195,887 passengers  -8.1%  vs. December 2007, but still the second busiest route in the nation, by a wide margin

$3,551,818 December 2008 revenue: -5.3% vs. December 2007

On-time performance for December 2008: 85.2%   (FFY to date: 80.5%)


San Joaquins (December 2008)

80,920 passengers  +9.3% vs. December 2007

$2,762,135  December 2008 revenue:  +8.9%  vs. December 2007

On-time performance for December:  87.6%  (FFY to date:  88.0%)


Total California Intercity Corridor Ridership for December 2008:  407,068
Total Northeast Corridor ‘Spine’ ridership for December 2008:    825,191
For December 2008, the California Corridors are 49.33% of Northeast Corridor ‘Spine’ Boston-Washington ridership

Total Northeast Corridor ridership for December 2008
with branches to Springfield, MA; Albany, NY and Harrisburg, PA:  1,034,737
For December 2008, the California Corridors are 40% of the total Northeast Corridor ridership.   Overall NEC ridership declined by -6.0%, but the Keystone service (Philadelphia-Harrisburg) grew by +14.5%.

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