July Amtrak California Corridor Ridership and ticket revenue results

Provided by Gene Skoropowski, Managing Director, Capitol Corridor JPB. RailPAC thanks Gene for this information and commentary he sends us each month: Gene says, “We have received the ridership and revenue results for July 2007 from Amtrak, and, once again, the Capitol Corridor is setting records, the 10th month in a row.

“After 10 months in our fiscal year, we continue to AVERAGE a +13.8% growth rate in riders and +20.4% growth in revenue. While the only thing inhibiting greater growth, particularly in peak weekday travel periods, is availability of more coaches to add to existing trains, Caltrans has contracted with Amtrak to repair and renovate Amtrak Superliner coaches in exchange for 6 years of use here in California to help our capacity in peak travel periods. The first 2 such “Caltrans-liners” have already been completed by Amtrak, delivered to Oakland, and are now in service. You need to look carefully from the outside to see them, as their paint scheme is our standard Amtrak California paint scheme. Caltrans Division of Rail should get an award for this innovative approach to help meet our continuing passenger growth needs until new coaches arrive.”

Capitol Corridor:
● 121,991 passengers +18.6% vs. FY06 and another record for the month!
● $1,571,625 ticket revenue +14.6% vs. FY06

“July 2006 had 102,845 riders, so the 18.6% growth in July to 2007 to nearly 122,000 riders is consistent with the incrementally increasing growth in the prior 9 months. Total riders for the past 12 months is now well past 1.4 million at 1,417,975. If on-time performance can be improved and sustained to 90% or above, we should, with only modest growth in the coming year, approach or exceed 1.6 million passengers by September 30, 2008.

“Revenue is now +20.4% above last year, with revenue-to-cost ratio now at 46.5%. We continue to expect that the revenue in August and September will push this ratio to 50% by close of the fiscal year at the end of September.

“On time performance improved for the first 3 weeks of July (it was 84% on July 25th), but poor performance in the last week of the month dragged it down to 81.4%. Union Pacific performance is still running in the mid-high eighties (87% approximately), but mechanical failures have increased, especially in late July and early August. All partners (CCJPA, Amtrak, UPRR and Caltrans) are still striving to deliver a quality, reliable service on the Capitol Corridor, and the customers are clearly responding. We are still looking forward to a state budget package that will provide the at least some of needed capital for reliability/track improvements and to enable Caltrans Rail to initiate the procurement of additional California Cars for all three of our state-supported Amtrak-operated passenger services. If at least some capital for infrastructure investments can be provided for intercity rail, UPRR will be able to construct track improvements that are already designed, and these improvements will help on-time reliability.”

Pacific Surfliner:
● 268,475 passengers +1.2% vs. FY06
● $5,082,760 ticket revenue +5.2% vs. FY06

San Joaquins:
● 76,107 passengers +1.6% vs. FY06
● $2,335,680 ticket revenue -6.0% vs. FY06

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