Reported by Eugene K. Skoropowski
Managing Director, Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority
April numbers on the Capitol Corridor were somewhat improved from March, and a strong showing on the San Joaquins and positive numbers on the Pacific Surfliners were among the few corridor services to show improvement nationally.
It is likely that we will have to wait until the May numbers are in before we can make a determination if there is a continuing trend up or down. In fact, the busy Northeast Corridor continues to get hammered the worst with April ridership down -8.9%, and year-to-date ridership down -9.4%.
Only the long distance trains across the country showed consistent positive ridership growth both during April (+5.6%) as well as year-to-date (+5.8%).
April 2009 Capitol Corridor ridership was down -4.6% compared to April 2008, (but was still a respectable 138,623 for the month of April 2009), and revenue was actually up +6.6%. The San Joaquins ridership spiked in April +15.8%, with revenue up +10.8% compared to April 2008. The Pacific Surfliner also turned around with an increase in April 2009 riders of +2.7% and a revenue increase +17.4% compared to April 2008. Both of these routes were likely benefitting from the fact that Easter fell in April this year, as opposed to March last year.
Capitol Corridor on-time performance for April was an outstanding 95.9%, among the best months ever for on-time performance. The San Joaquins April 2009 reliability improved to 92.8% on-time, and the Pacific Surfliners
slipped a bit from March to 83.0% on-time in April.
Overall, given the economy, the California Corridor services are holding up fairly well, particularly compared to the downturn on the Northeast Corridor.
Capitol Corridor (April 2009):
The rate of decline in April is half that of March, and daily counts for May are showing a steady increase. The Capitol Corridor route is still the third busiest route in the country, by a wide margin.
Passengers for the last 12 months: 1,705,246
YTD ridership is +1.3% ahead of last year, after 7 months.
The farebox recovery revenue-to-cost ratio for April is 45.2%, (FY to date: 44.6%, still a bit lower than the 50% target). We are hoping that our upcoming Kids-Ride-Free-on-Weekends/Holidays will help improve our farebox recovery rate. This promotion will continue through the summer. YTD revenue is running +5.7% ahead of last year.
Union Pacific performance rebounded to 99% on time. The proportion of delays attributable to Amtrak mechanical performance has begun to creep up,
and we are working with Amtrak to address these concerns. (FFY to date on-time: 92.1% on time) This is our best-ever 7 month year-to-date on-time performance.
These first month stats keep the Capitol Corridor on-time performance (92.1%) the best in the country, topped only by the once-a-day Pennsylvanian (Philadelphia-Pittsburgh) and still well above the premier Acela Express service on the Northeast Corridor (86.5%).
Pacific Surfliners (April 2009):
San Joaquins (April 2009):
YTD ridership is up +6.5%, after 7 months
Total California 3 Intercity Corridors Ridership for April 2009: 436,960
Total Northeast Corridor ‘Spine’ ridership for April 2009: 865,339
For April 2009, the 3 California Corridors are 50.5% of Northeast Corridor ‘Spine’
Total Northeast Corridor ridership for April 2009 with branches to Springfield, MA; Albany, NY and Harrisburg, PA: 1,070,553
For April 2009, the 3 California Corridors are 40.9% of the total Northeast Corridor
ridership. Overall NEC Spine ridership declined by -8.9%, but the Keystone service (Philadelphia-Harrisburg) grew by +4.1%.
YTD 3 California Corridors ridership is 2,880,608
YTD NEC Spine ridership is 5,738,595
YTD NEC Spine + branches ridership is 7,156,789