By Gene Skoropowski Managing Director, CCJPA
We have just received the March 2007 results, and for the Capitol Corridor it is yet another record high in both ridership and revenue, even with our still-lackluster 73% on-time performance (but that is getting better as well, April to date is 80%). Implementation of the Union Pacific’s test plan for limiting daylight freights to the ‘crack’ priority trains should further improve this on-time performance, as described by Mr. Tom Mulligan of UPRR at our last Board Meeting.
The rapid response by Union Pacific in rebuilding the fire-destroyed
trestle in Sacramento resulted in virtually no impact on Placer County
ridership in March (meaning that we did NOT lose riders, in spite of the
disruption, which was almost as a remarkable feat as the record 16 day
reconstruction of the trestle itself by UPRR!). In fact, you might say
that the Capitol Corridor service to/from Placer County received more
positive media publicity than we could have bought as a result of the fire
and record-reconstruction, thereby actually helping to stimulate Placer
ridership. TV coverage of the fire, its aftermath, the reconstruction and
the re-opening, and interviews with riders on the first day of restored
service all made many more people aware of our service. Amtrak Bus
Operations did yeoman work to take care of our Placer passengers during the
trestle rebuilding period.
The disparity between ridership growth at +10% and revenue growth at +24%
is a reflection of longer trips (more service to San Jose) and more
discretionary full fare travel.
This makes 6 months in a row (of the first 6 months of the current fiscal
year) with ridership growth of +10% or more (+12% YTD total) and record
high revenue over +20% YTD.
Summary of March ridership and ticket revenue results:
Â· 118,344 passengers +10.6% vs. FY06 and a record for the month.
Â· $1,433,105 ticket revenue +24.6% vs. FY06
Since we are ‘closing the gap’ on meeting our very aggressive
‘standards’ goal for FY2007-08, our revenue-to-cost ratio is still about
47% and will likely creep up to 50% over the next 6 months.
Â· 227,350 passengers +5.2% vs. FY06 and a record for the month.
Â· $3,581,783 ticket revenue +12.6% vs. FY06
Â· 61,854 passengers +0.4% vs. FY06
Â· $1,890,088 ticket revenue +5.4% vs. FY06