By Gene Skoropowski, Capitol Corridor Managing Director
The ridership and revenue numbers continue to be VERY GOOD across the board in California, and indeed across the nation. The June 2008 Capitol Corridor statistics from Amtrak are an all-time high for the month of June, as are the stats on the state’s other two intercity passenger corridors, with the San Joaquins sustaining last month’s big leap upward in ridership.
There is no doubt we can confirm that Californians have “discovered” intercity trains as a real travel option in many parts of the state. The price of gasoline is not hurting ridership, and many folks ‘are continuing to do the math’ on the comparative costs of driving versus the train. The train is still winning.
Capitol Corridor (June 2008):
145,482 passengers +16.6% vs. 2007
(another record for the month, still the third busiest route in the country, by a wide margin)
Passengers for 9 months YTD: 1,288,743 (9 months YTD: +13.6%)
(total riders for the latest 12 months: 1,597,390, +14.2% above prior 12
$1,966,359 revenue +17.3% vs. 2007 (9 months YTD: +21.2%)
The farebox recovery revenue-to-cost ratio for June is 57.1%, and the year-to-date revenue-to-cost ratio is still about 55%.
On-time performance for June: 66.6% (track renewal project for 4 weeks, 30 track miles renewed, 44,000 new ties, bus bridge mid-day Suisun-Martinez) The year-to-date on-time performance delivered to the customers after 9 months 84.6%, an enviable record. Only the Keystone Corridor and the Hiawatha Corridor have higher on-time stats. The premier Acela Express service on the Northeast Corridor is 83.6% on-time for the same 9 month period.
The ridership growth is all the more impressive since we had the trackwork going on for four full weeks (and reduced train frequencies every day for most of June). A mitigating factor may have been some increased riding between Davis and Sacramento due to Yolo County Transportation District’s (YCTD’s) subsidy program for new rail riders during the month in connection
with the California DOT (Caltrans) I-5 highway reconstruction/closures in downtown Sacramento during the same time period. (Union Pacific performance in June was 77%, again reflecting the delays from the now-completed track renewal project. UPRR performance year to date is above 90%)
Pacific Surfliners (June 2008):
277,760 passengers +19.2% vs. 2007, (still the second busiest route in the nation, by a wide margin)
Passengers for 9 months YTD: 2,068,418 (9 months YTD: +6.6%)
$5,056,572 revenue +18.2% vs. 2007 (9 months YTD: +7.7%)
On-time performance for June: 75.3% YTD on-time: 77.3%
San Joaquins (June 2008):
96,476 passengers +34.0% vs. 2007, (now sixth busiest in the nation,
but during the last 2 months the SJs are giving the Empire Corridor and
the Keystone Corridor a run for their money on fourth place)
Passengers for 9 months YTD: 580,474 (9 months YTD: +12.6%)
$2,686,956 revenue +21.2% vs. 2007 (9 months YTD: +14.5%)
On-time performance for June: 78.3% YTD on-time: 84.4%
Total California Intercity Corridor Ridership for June 2008: 519,718
Total Northeast Corridor ‘Spine’ ridership for June 2008: 907,316
For June 2008, California Corridors are 57% of Northeast Corridor ‘Spine’ Boston-Washington ridership
Total Northeast Corridor ridership for June 2008 with branches to Springfield, MA; Albany, NY and Harrisburg, PA: 1,126,052 For June 2008, California Corridors are 46% of the total Northeast Corridor ridership