Reported by David B. Kutrosky, Managing Director,
Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority
Capitol Corridor Service Performance
For the first time in FY2013, the monthly Capitol Corridor ridership experienced an increase above the prior year month. A total of 140,533 passengers rode the Capitol Corridor trains in July 2013, an increase of 2.3% compared to July 2012. Year to Date (YTD) ridership is now 2.9% below last year. Revenue for July 2013 was just below last July 2012 by 0.1% with YTD revenue 0.8% under last year’s revenues. YTD system operating ratio is 53% thanks to continued lower diesel fuel prices. The Capitol Corridor has moved back into the #1 spot for on-time performance (OTP) in the Amtrak system with a July OTP of 94% and YTD OTP of 95%.
While detailed data is not yet available for June or July 2013, daily conductor counts transmitted from the e-Ticket readers showed:
occurred in the first week of July;
reverse peak direction trains (to Sacramento in the morning, to the
Bay Area/San Jose in the afternoon); and
Also without the detailed ridership data for June and July 2013, I am unable to determine if city pairs associated with Sacramento Station are continuing to have ridership losses.
Service Reliability: Improvements and Challenges
As mentioned, the Capitol Corridor has moved back into first place for OTP in the Amtrak system; however, the elevation was not an improvement in reliability as much as it was a decline in the performance of other trains in the Amtrak system. Third party delays (such as police activities, trespasser incidents and bridge lifts for ships) were down for July 2013.
The same cannot be said for the delay-minutes incurred by Capitol Corridor trains from host railroad/Union Pacific Railroad (primarily signal outages and unscheduled maintenance activities) and Amtrak mechanical malfunctions. These types of delay incidents have increased over June and July 2013. Staff has meet with UPRR and Amtrak to address the few incidents that have caused significant delays (30 minutes or more) to the Capitol Corridor passengers. All parties are committed to keeping the service performance and reliability at the superior levels that the CCJPA and the passengers have become accustomed to.
CA Intercity Passenger Rail Advocacy Strategies
Since the California Passenger Rail Advocacy Forum was held in Sacramento in April 2013, the Chairs and Vice Chairs of the various intercity passenger rail agencies and their staff are continuing discussions to advance the initiatives that were developed at the advocacy forum. Most notably, efforts are underway to (1) work with legislative leaders to develop a state passenger rail caucus and (2) prepare a report on the future needs for the state’s intercity passenger rail program, which
includes the integration with transit, and commuter and high speed rail services.
While the ridership increase for July 2013 can be considered a positive step forward, we will see if this ridership increase can be sustained. Concurrently, staff will continue to monitor and oversee other service performance measures (budget, reliability/delay-minutes and customer satisfaction) to keep the Capitol Corridor as the one of the best performing intercity passenger rail services in the nation. Currently YTD revenues are slightly below last year, yet the Capitol Corridor is on the positive with system operating ratio at 53% (vs. the 52% FY13 standard) and OTP in the top spot at 95%. Key projects and initiatives include implementing additional safety fence projects in the Richmond area, advancing pre-development work for the service expansion projects (involving San Jose/Salinas, Placer County) and implementing customer enhancement initiatives (station signage and e-Ticketing upgrades).
Capitol Corridor July 2013
– Ridership: 140,533 riders; +2.3% vs. July 2012; -2.9% vs. prior YTD
– Revenue: $2,421,246; -0.1% vs. July 2012; -0.8% vs. prior YTD
– On-Time Performance: 94%, YTD OTP of 95% (#1 in the nation).
– System Operating Ratio: 53% YTD vs. 50% in FY12
Pacific Surfliners July 2013:
– Ridership: 271,517 passengers; +2.1% vs. July 2012; +2.5% vs. prior YTD
– Ticket Revenue: +7.2% vs. July 2012; +7.2% vs. prior YTD
– On-time performance: 78% (YTD FY13 on-time performance: 86%)
San Joaquin July 2013:
– Ridership: 117,348 passengers +12.0% vs. July 2012; +6.7% vs. prior YTD
– Ticket Revenue only: +7.0% vs. July 2012; +2.1% vs. prior YTD
– On-time performance: 78% (YTD FY13 on-time performance: 77%)