April California Intercity Passenger Rail Performance

Reported by David B. Kutrosky, Managing Director, CCJPA

After the first increase in 13 months, ridership for the Capitol Corridor in April 2010 was just slightly below April 2009 by 0.5%. As mentioned in previous monthly reports, the greatest impediment to ridership gains is the on-going mandate of three (3) Friday furloughs per month for state government employees (which also impacts businesses, vendors, and service industries in the Capitol).

Revenues for April were below projection (-5.7%) but above prior April (+1.9%) with YTD revenues slightly above (0.4%) with last year.  As a means of increasing ridership and revenues, the CCJPA has restarted two marketing campaigns targeting mid-day travel (discounts for school groups and seniors) and weekends (Kids Ride Free on Weekends/Fridays).

April On-Time Performance (OTP) was a phenomenal 94% and represents the highest reliability score for the current fiscal year.  With the completion of the two (2) tie-renewal programs that took place from mid-January to mid-March, the railroad is in a good state of repair and there are NO slow orders on the route affecting Capitol Corridor trains.

Current projections indicate that the deficit in the State FY 10-11 Budget will worsen as income tax receipts are below estimates.  Staff is watching the state legislative budget process as it is unclear how this increased deficit will impact the operating and capital funds for the Capitol Corridor and the CA Intercity Passenger Rail (IPR) Program.

(Download:  April 2010 Performance Report)

Capitol Corridor (April 2010):

  • Ridership: 137,871 riders; -0.5% vs. Apr 2009; -5.2% vs. prior YTD; -3.4% vs. FY10 Plan; +0.2% annual growth compared to 2 years ago
  • Revenue: +1.9% vs. Apr 2009; +0.4% vs. prior YTD; -4.6% vs. FY10 Plan
  • On-Time Performance: 94%, best month yet in FY10; YTD result of 92% keeping the service #1 in the nation for multi-frequency trains.
  • System Operating Ratio: 46% YTD vs. 47% in FY09; expenses remain under control, while revenue is still below plan
  • The Capitol Corridor route still continues to be third busiest route in the country, with ridership at 1.55 million for the last 12 months

Pacific Surfliners (April 2010):

  • Ridership: 234,158 passengers; +6.8% vs. Apr 2009, and +1.0% ahead of prior YTD; continues 3-month streak of with ridership increase over prior year month; remains second busiest route in the nation, by a wide margin.
  • Ticket Revenue only: +9.7% vs. Apr 2009, and +5.3% vs. prior YTD
  • On-time performance for Apr 2010:  80% (YTD FY 2010 on-time performance: 80%)

San Joaquins (April 2010):

  • Ridership: 84,044 passengers  +6.2% vs. Apr 2009, and +5.6% v.s prior YTD; one of longest streaks of positive growth in Amtrak system
  • Ticket Revenue only: +18.2%  vs. Apr 2009, and +9.0% vs. prior YTD
  • On-time performance for Apr 2010:  94%, besting the Capitol Corridor (94.2% vs, 94.1%) as #1 train in Amtrak system for April 2010 (YTD FY 2010 on-time performance: 90%)
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