CA Corridor August statistics   September 21st, 2007

Summary of August 2007 ridership and ticket revenue on the California Corridors As received from Amtrak.
Reported by Gene Skoropowski
These results are good news for all intercity passenger rail services across California, and particularly good news for the Capitol Corridor service.

After 11 months, with every month in the fiscal year setting a new record high growth, we are AVERAGING +13% ridership growth for the last 12 months, and 21% revenue growth. On time service slipped a bit in August, back down to mid 70% range, with an unusually high proportion of these delays due to mechanical failures. These are being addressed with Amtrak, and reliability has improved substantially thru mid-September. Union Pacific performance has improved substantially (about 90%), in both August and so far in September, and if trends continue we should end September around 85-88% on-time, or better, total delivered service to the riders.

The revenue-to-cost ratio is now at 48%, and after eleven months, it appears the year will end about 49%, just below the targeted goal of 50%.

Capitol Corridor

130,568 passengers +18.7% vs. FY06 and another record for the month
$1,676,304 +22.6% vs. FY 06

July 2006 had 109,986 riders, so, once again, the +18.7% growth in July is consistent with the growth that really ‘jumped up’ starting in October, 2006, shortly after the new, more frequent service schedule was implemented. Not only has ridership ‘stayed up’, looking at a graph chart, ridership growth is escalating as time goes on.

On time performance will average about 75% or the year, but this belies significant improvement in the last month or so, again in the 85-90% range. Again, not yet where we want to be but a lot closer than at any time in the last few years. Union Pacific is performing well on dispatching and track maintenance (almost no slow orders on the entire route!), and UPRR stats show 89-92% performance. The recent ‘bug-a-boo’ of mechanical failures is being addressed jointly by CCJPA and Amtrak, and we are seeing progress on that front as well.

With 44 passenger trains on the line every weekday, 32 of them Capitol Corridor trains, conflicts are now less with freight trains than they are with other passenger trains. For the Capitol Corridor, the key to improved reliability lies in the provision of four capital projects:

  • West Causeway universal crossovers (ability to pass/run around trains on the 16 mile run between Davis and Sacramento)
  • Benicia crossover (cuts the distance in half between Vista (Martinez) and Cordelia (Suisun) and the delay time in half when Main Track #2, the lower-level track at Bahia, is blocked by freight trains working the yards)
  • Emeryville Station tracks and the ‘Wimmer’ crossover (reverses one crossover at the north end of the station to permits parallel moves into and out of the Emeryville Station, greatly reducing congestion and extends the station-side track about a mile farther south, allowing between passing opportunities for passenger trains, and reducing the number of times passenger trains block freight trains into-and-out of the Port)
  • Double track extension in Santa Clara County (extends double track north from ‘CP-Expressway’ to Great America Station area (or perhaps beyond), and provides and added crossover from the new main track north of CP-Coast to Main Track #1, permitting freights to occupy and pass other trains on the controlled siding between CP-Stockton and CP-Coast. This crossover will also be essential when the new downtown Santa Clara Station is completed with a platform directly serving UPRR Main Track #2
  • Lastly, additional coach cars are increasingly required, and they are the key to the Capitol Corridor’s ability to both increase capacity (longer trains) and improve our cost recovery from fares ratio. The two rebuilt/leased Amtrak Superliner Cars arranged by Caltrans are helping bridge the gap during the overhaul process, and hopefully will get us through the ‘crunch period’ until the planned new cars are delivered 4 years or so hence.

    Pacific Surfliners
    :
    286,313 passengers +3.5% vs. 2006
    $5,376,830 +9.4% vs. 2006

    San Joaquins
    :
    75,477 passengers +8.7% vs. 2006
    $2,359,864 +0.4% vs. 2006

    Eugene K. Skoropowski
    Managing Director
    Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority

    This entry was posted on Friday, September 21st, 2007 at 11:44 AM and is filed under Reports.