CA Rail Statistics

Capitol Corridor Monthly Report (April, 2013)

And statistics for the other California Corridors
By David B. Kutrosky,
Managing Director, Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority

Ridership continues to decline for the Capitol Corridor in FY2013; however, the drop in ridership for April 2013 was not as significant as prior FY2013
results. For April 2013, 151,080 passengers used the Capitol Corridor, representing a 1.8% drop compared to April 2012. While initial revenue estimates for April 2013 indicate a 5.3% decrease, year-to-date (YTD)revenues are up 0.5% compared to last year. On a positive note, a record was set for on-time performance (OTP) — 98% of all Capitol Corridor trains arrived on-time, which improved YTD OTP to 95% and moved the Capitol Corridor into the #2 spot as the most reliable service in the Amtrak
system. YTD system operating ratio is at 52%, which meets business plan projections.

While detailed statistics are not yet available for April 2013 ridership, I do have the details on ridership for March 2013. Compared to prior FY2013 monthly results, the ridership losses on substandard weekday trains are lessening (weekend trains continue to perform better than last year) and the five stations – Sacramento, Davis, Roseville, Fremont, and Richmond – that had experienced significant declines in ridership earlier this FY [-10% or worse] showed increased boardings last month.

Capitol Corridor photo 5-2013

Record Service Reliability

Service reliability reached its apex in April 2013 when only 14 trains were
late out of the 836 operated, representing an OTP of 98%. In fact, for
the 30 days in April the Capitol Corridor passengers experienced twenty-one
(21) days of “100% on time” days. UPRR continues its superb dispatching of
freight and passenger train on this busy shared use corridor. Only three
late trains were attributable to mechanical malfunctions – an enormous
improvement compared to Fall 2012. Delays due to bridge lifts of the
Suisun-Martinez rail drawbridge continue to decrease thanks to the improved
protocol developed and implemented by the UPRR, Coast Guard, Amtrak, CCJPA
and the Bar Pilots (tugboat operators).

California Passenger Rail Advocacy Forum – April 11, 2013, Sacramento

At the request of CCJPA Chair Jim Spering, a passenger rail advocacy event
hosted by the City of Sacramento, was held on April 11 in the Sacramento
City Council. Speakers at the event included state legislators
(Assemblymember Roger Dickinson and Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson) and
leaders of the various California passenger rail agencies. Special guests
included California transportation funding experts Josh Shaw (California
Transit Association) and Mark Watts (Transportation California). One key
highlight of the forum was the call to develop a Passenger Rail Caucus
within the State Legislature that would form around guiding principles that
include: continued appropriation of state funds to support the operation of
California’s three (3) intercity passenger rail services as well as any
emerging IPR routes; developing of stable sources of capital funds for
safety initiatives and service expansion; consistent planning and
coordination among all rail systems and users within the California
railroad network [including passenger high speed, intercity and commuter
rail as well as freight systems]; and maximizing partnerships with federal,
state, regional and local governments and agencies.

Project Updates

  • Yolo Causeway West Crossover Project. On April 14, 2013, the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) completed the final work in activating the signal system for the new universal crossover located west of the Yolo Causeway bridge. The completion of this project marks the conclusion of the third and final
    project along the Capitol Corridor using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
  • The other ARRA-funded projects that have been completed on the Capitol Corridor are the San Jose-Diridon South Terminal (February 2012) and the Sacramento Valley Station Track Relocation Project (August 2012).
  • Summary

    Monthly ridership results for the Capitol Corridor in FY2013 continue to
    decline compared to last year’s all-time ridership records. Year-to-date,
    ridership is down 3.6% versus last year, yet the recent monthly losses
    appear to be lessening. Despite this ridership decline, other performance
    measures continue to be steady: YTD revenues are up 0.5%, system operating
    ratio is meeting business plan standard of 52%, and OTP is at a stellar 95%
    and improving, keeping the Capitol Corridor trains as one of the most
    reliable services in the Amtrak system. The CCJPA continues to work with
    Amtrak to develop a revised weekday train schedule that will reallocate
    some of the poorer performing late morning trains to other more attractive
    times that will increase ridership, optimize revenues and maintain/reduce
    operating costs. The CCJPA team working with our service partners, has
    achieved progress in improving service reliability and continue to reinvest
    in safety initiatives along the route while also moving ahead on completing
    the pre-development work for the service expansion projects (San
    Jose/Salinas, Placer County) and introducing customer enhancement
    initiatives (bike access/storage, e-Ticketing upgrades).

    Capitol Corridor April 2013
    – Ridership: 151,080 riders; -1.8% vs. April 2012; -3.6% vs. prior YTD
    – Revenue: $2,409,627; -5.3% vs. April 2012; +0.5% vs. prior YTD
    – On-Time Performance: 98% [historical record for the service], YTD OTP of
    95% (#2 in the nation).
    – System Operating Ratio: 52% YTD vs. 52% in FY12
    Pacific Surfliners April 2013:
    – Ridership: 221,376 passengers; -2.4% vs. April 2012; +3.2% vs. prior YTD
    – Ticket Revenue: -6.9% vs. April 2012; +8.6% vs. prior YTD
    – On-time performance: 86% (YTD FY13 on-time performance: 87%)
    San Joaquin April 2013:
    – Ridership: 94,561 passengers -8.0% vs. April 2012; +6.2% vs. prior YTD
    – Ticket Revenue only: -14.7% vs. April 2012; +2.7% vs. prior YTD
    – On-time performance: 56% [lower OTP due to track maintenance projects]
    (YTD FY13 on-time performance: 80%)

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