Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Board Meeting Report

February 17, 2010 Meeting

Reported by Michael Barnbaum, Associate Director

The Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Board met for the first time in 2010 and for the first time under Managing Director David Kutrosky. Chair Jim Holmes representing the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency called the meeting to order. He reported on the legislative meeting that took place on February 10th and the Governor’s Budget Proposal.

In reviewing the bills, the focus was on SB 409 by San Diego Senator Denise Moreno Ducheny. CCJPA Staff would like to see the “5-year Strategic Rail Connectivity Plan for the state” to be every two years. This is a bill that all rail passengers should watch, and should be given attention in the upcoming Rail Passenger Association of California Conference and Convention in Los Angeles on April 17th. There will be one more CCJPA Board Meeting prior to the April 17th Los Angeles Meeting/Conference/Convention in partnership with the National Association of Railroad Passengers.

The CCJPA Board also approved four projects in a list that will be submitted to CalTrans under the Proposition 1A Improvement Program. The projects will improve connectivity between Capitol Corridor Trains and the future California High Speed Rail Services.

The four projects are as follows:

  1. Oakland to San Jose Phase 2
  2. San Jose Terminal Phase 2
  3. Sacramento to Auburn Track Improvements
  4. Roseville 3rd Main Track/Sacramento Layover Facility

The layover facility will likely occur either west of Roseville or near McClellan Business Park.

CCJPA and its Board have also adopted a project to install security cameras at many of their unstaffed stations. Staff has identified an increase of criminal activity at several of their unstaffed stations. Stations identified for this project under their item with the Board included Auburn, Richmond, Berkeley, Oakland Coliseum, Hayward, and Santa Clara at Great America.

In the Managing Director’s Report a slide show presentation was delivered to Board Members by Staff. Highlighting the report were the fact that the Federal Railroad Administration funded three out of six American Recovery Reinvestment Act – High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail grant applications

  1. Sacramento Rail Relocation Project – $6.2 Million
  2. Yolo Crossover – $5.0 Million
  3. San Jose Diridon station platforms and tracks expansion – $18.0 Million

Staff also discussed the downtrend in ridership mainly attributed to Furlough Friday’s. The “Causality in Ridership Loss” as Staff put it, also shows that there is a 2% ridership loss on weekends because folks have lost discretionary loss of income and are forgoing travel. That particular slide showed a 2% loss in ridership on Tuesdays/Wednesdays and a shift in buying patterns from Monthly Passes to 10-ride/45-day tickets contributing to heavy economic uncertainty. The overall loss in ridership is at 9% because of what the slide described as “Complex cause and effect interactions with furlough effect clearly seen.”

The Marketing report included some upcoming programs that will launch in April including:

  1. Kids Ride Free on Weekends
  2. Seniors ride half off midweek
  3. Oakland A’s Promotional Partnership

Board Members also commented on Marketing in that they want to see some marketing and promotional activities done in conjunction with Amgen’s Tour of California. Several stages will take place in May throughout Northern California in which Board Members felt that the Capitol Corridor could gain some very positive exposure. A report back might come at the April 14th Meeting as well as a presentation from the City of Hercules on their station project.

The business plan circulated to riders and Board Members received unanimous approval with a comment from this writer about the Sacramento to Sparks bus service in which the Managing Director in turn requested an electronic draft proposal be submitted so that the ideas and the proposal can be better digested by the Managing Director if it is in writing.

As another matter of business meetings that would not be in conflict with the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce’s Capitol-to-Capitol Trip Board Members took up a revised meeting schedule which would change the date of the April CCJPA Meeting from the 21st to the 14th. Members present approved the revised meeting schedule with a unanimous vote.

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