October California Intercity Passenger Rail Performance

Reported by David B. Kutrosky, Managing Director, CCJPA

Capitol Corridor is continuing its eight-month streak of positive results.  The first month of Fiscal Year 2011, October 2010, indicates increases in all performance indicators. October ridership was 141,350, up 3.1% versus October 2009 with revenue up a remarkable 7.2% compared to the same period last year; and of course, OTP for the Capitol Corridor continues to lead the nation with 96%, thanks to Union Pacific Railroad’s (UPRR) superior dispatching and a decrease in bridge-related delays. Most impressive was the projected System Operating Ratio in October 2010, which started the fiscal year at a stunning 51%.

Once again, these positive ridership results occurred despite midday track work along the Oakland Embarcadero near the Oakland Jack London Square Station during the last week of October and first week of November and the three furlough Fridays per month for all state employees, which were still in effect in October 2010.

In regards to state funding, on October 8, 2010, California legislators enacted the State Budget Act of 2010. This means funding for California’s three Intercity Passenger Rail (IPR) routes will remain the same as the levels from the prior fiscal year (FY 09-10) and will be provided through the Public Transportation Account (PTA). The Prop 1B Transit Safety/Security allocation will be the same as prior years at $100 million, which equates to $1.9 million for the CCJPA.  In order to save additional funds in the FY 10-11 budget, the Governor reduced the proposed level of Prop 1A High Speed Train Connectivity Funds from $235 million to $101 million, leaving funding for projects that will implement Positive Train Control.  This action eliminated the $4 million in FY 10-11 state matching funds for the CCJPA’s proposed FRA FY2010 HSIPR application for the Fremont reliability projects, which did not receive an award notification from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

As you are aware, in August the CCJPA submitted applications for two projects to the FRA as part of the FY2010 HSIPR capital grants program.  Unfortunately, the FRA did not award FY2010 Capital Grant funding to any of the CCJPA-led projects. Subsequently, the FRA briefed CCJPA staff as to the reasons why the program and projects within were not selected. While the application materials were technically eligible, there was scarce funding available for FY2010 ($2.4 billion) and due to the intense competition for the available funding, the FRA felt that the benefits to the program/projects were not as worthwhile or as strong as other applications.  To help make future applications more competitive, the FRA suggested that the CCJPA refine the benefits of the UPRR-partnership projects, such as expanding service to/from Auburn.

In closing, our continued high on-time performance combined with our commitment to superior customer service and our targeted marketing efforts have all helped to jump-start performance gains for FY2011.  We are confident that Capitol Corridor service performance (ridership, revenue, OTP) will continue to show positive results as our economy slowly recovers.

(Download:  October 2010 Performance Report)

Capitol Corridor (Oct. 2010) results:

  • Ridership: 141,350 riders; +3.1% vs. October 2009; YTD 141,350 riders, +3.1% vs. FY10 YTD Plan; +1.7 versus FY11 Plan
  • Revenue: $2,141,307; +7.2% vs. Oct 2009; 7.2%% vs. prior YTD; -1.3% FY2011 vs. FY10 YTD Plan
  • On-Time Performance: 96%, YTD OTP 96% (keeping the service #1 in the nation.)
  • System Operating Ratio: 51% YTD vs. 49% in FY09; expenses are offset by revenue and ridership increases.
  • The Capitol Corridor route still continues to be third busiest route in the country.

Pacific Surfliners (Oct. 2010):

  • Ridership: 219,284 passengers; +1.4% vs. Oct. 2009, and +1.4% ahead of  prior YTD
  • Ticket Revenue only: +10.2% vs. Oct. 2009, and +10.2% vs. prior YTD
  • On-time performance for Oct. 2010: 83% (YTD FY 2011 on-time performance:  83%)

San Joaquin (Oct. 2010):

  • Ridership: 76,793 passengers +2.9% vs. Oct. 2009, and +2.9% vs. prior  YTD
  • Ticket Revenue only: +15.6% vs. Oct. 2009, and +15.6% vs. prior YTD
  • On-time performance for Oct. 2010: 92% (YTD FY 2011 on-time performance:  92%); 3rd most reliable service in Amtrak system.
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