January CA Intercity Passenger Rail Performance

Reported by David B. Kutrosky, Managing Director, CCJPA

(Download:  January 2011 Performance Report)

The Capitol Corridor achieved amazing performance results for January 2011.  Ridership in January soared a remarkable 11 percent compared to January 2010.  A record-breaking 130,863 passengers rode Capitol Corridor trains, making January 2011 ridership and revenue thresholds the highest January results in the history of the service.  Along with the double-digit spike in ridership, revenue rose 13 percent compared to the same period last year.  Finally, the Capitol Corridor’s on-time performance (OTP) was 97 percent—keeping us number one for OTP in the nation.

It’s notable that this was a month when the Capitol Corridor wasn’t offering any special deals or seasonal discounts.  It was simply a period when Northern Californians ditched their cars and rode our trains instead.  Our two-year hold on the national OTP top spot has helped to convince drivers that the Capitol Corridor is a reliable, convenient, cost-effective and stress-free way to travel between Auburn and San Jose and a viable, green alternative to driving alone.  Once we begin our strong advertising campaign and popular discount offers this spring and summer, ridership and revenue will continue to show favorable results this year.

We are certainly grateful to UPRR, our host railroad for its continued reliable dispatching.  We are also relieved that we began 2011 with a significant reduction of trespasser incidents along our corridor as well as reduced bridge and mechanical-related delays.

Also in January, the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) received good news from the California Transportation Commission (CTC).  After years of looking for funding the CCJPA is steps closer to securing wireless internet service on our system.  The CTC approved use of the $3.75 million in cost savings from CCJPA’s track upgrades in Emeryville towards installing a high-quality, wireless network on intercity passenger trains. This decision benefits both the Capitol Corridor and San Joaquin services as both systems share rail fleets (locomotives and passenger coaches). The shared fleet will be equipped to provide free wifi service for passengers as well as secure a platform to transmit and receive wireless communications to support “e-Ticketing,” credit card authorization, on-board passenger information systems and security camera transmission.

Because free wireless is a top amenity requested by passengers, we expect even more customers once the service is launched, which will be rolled-out by the end of this calendar year.

Capitol Corridor (January 2011):

  • Ridership:  130,863 riders; +11% vs. January 2010; +7% vs. prior YTD
  • Revenue: $2,087,269 +13% vs. January 2010; +11% vs. prior YTD
  • On-Time Performance: 97%; YTD OTP of 96% (keeping the Capitol Corridor service #1 in the nation)
  • System Operating Ratio: 48% YTD vs. 45% in FY10; continued growth in ridership and revenue keep ratio at standard
  • The Capitol Corridor route continues to be third busiest route in the country, with ridership at 1.62 million for the last 12 months

Pacific Surfliners (January 2011):

  • Ridership: 208,134 passengers; +7% vs. January 2010, and +5% ahead of prior YTD
  • Ticket Revenue only: +12% vs. January 2010, and +9% vs. prior YTD
  • On-time performance for January 2011 80% (YTD FY 2011 on-time performance: 78%)

San Joaquin (January 2011):

  • Ridership: 72,395 passengers +2% vs. January 2010, and +3% vs. prior YTD
  • Ticket Revenue only: +10% vs. January 2010, and +12% vs. prior YTD
  • On-time performance for January 2011: 90% (YTD FY 2011 on-time performance: 91%).
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