July California Intercity Passenger Rail Performance

Reported by David B. Kutrosky, Managing Director, CCJPA

July ridership started off weak, but ended up strong as we posted a fiscal year-best of 141,479 passengers for the month.  This is a 5.0% increase in ridership above July 2009!  Revenue continued its positive trend with +14.7% growth over June 2009. On-time performance (OTP) was 97%, the best result in the history of the Capitol Corridor.  Obviously, with these extraordinary results the Capitol Corridor continues be the nation’s OTP leader–it’s the most reliable train service in the Amtrak system.  The UPRR continues its commitment to keeping the Capitol Corridor trains on schedule while managing the increased levels of rail freight traffic as the economy begins its slow recovery.

The three Friday Furloughs per month for state employees had a momentary reprieve in July, which helped boost Friday ridership counts. The Governor, however, reinstated these Friday Furloughs in August in response to the
lack of progress on a FY 10-11 state budget.

In regards to delays, the Amtrak mechanical team in Oakland has begun making progress to reduce mechanical-related delays  (primarily due to locomotive prime mover/head-end power and cab car control failures) by implementing improvements in maintenance processes and cycle times. CCJPA staff has also initiated meetings with the US Coast Guard to limit delays from drawbridge openings, while not adversely impacting marine ship traffic (which has the right-of-way).

Working with our service partners, the CCJPA will continue to focus on passenger safety, superior customer service and keep the momentum to finish the fiscal year (ending Sept. 30, 2010) with strong results in service performance.

CCJPA FY2010 FRA HSIPR Grant Applications

On August 5, 2010, the CCJPA submitted applications to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) requesting $57.2 million in FY2010 High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) Program capital grant funds. These funds included a 20% non-federal match of $14.3 million. Two projects were identified in these applications:   track infrastructure upgrades between Roseville and Donner Summit and between the cities of Fremont and Newark.  These projects will allow the CCJPA to increase train service to Placer County by one daily round trip train and improve service reliability in Alameda County. Union Pacific Railroad is supporting both projects including a commitment of $10.3 million of its own resources to the $51.1 million Roseville-Donner Pass Project. The Fremont-Newark Project includes the extension of the platform at the Fremont/Centerville Depot, which will allow for improved schedule coordination of the Capitol Corridor and ACE train service at this station. Both projects are included in Caltrans Division of Rail’s $582 million funding request to connect its existing passenger rail system to California’s future high-speed rail system. The FRA plans to announce the awards of these FY2010 HSIPR grants by September 30, 2010. The CCJPA, UPRR and Amtrak worked on the attached news release, which provides details on these applications.

(Download:  CCJPA Vies for $57 Million in Federal High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Funds)

(Download:  July 2010 Performance Report)

Capitol Corridor (July 2010):

  • Ridership: 141,479 riders; +5.0% vs. July 2009; -2.3% vs. prior YTD; -1.0% vs. FY10 YTD Plan
  • Revenue: +14.7% vs. July 2009; +3.2% vs. prior YTD; -3.5% vs. FY10 YTD Plan
  • On-Time Performance: 97%, the highest monthly reliability in the service’s history; YTD OTP of 92% keeping the service #1 in the nation.
  • System Operating Ratio: 48% YTD vs. 47% in FY09; expenses stabilizing with revenue growing in concert with ridership increases.
  • The Capitol Corridor route still continues to be third busiest route in the country, with ridership at 1.57 million for the last 12 months

Pacific Surfliners (July 2010):

  • Ridership: 263,417 passengers; +2.7% vs. July 2009, and +1.4% ahead of prior YTD; ridership exceeded Amtrak’s premier Acela service in July 2010.
  • Ticket Revenue only: +14.8% vs. July 2009, and +6.9% vs. prior YTD
  • On-time performance for July 2010: 69% (YTD FY 2010 on-time performance: 77%)

San Joaquin (July 2010):

  • Ridership: 98,377 passengers +11.2% vs. July 2009, and +6.2% vs. prior YTD; solidifying the San Joaquin as the fifth busiest corridor in Amtrak system.
  • Ticket Revenue only: +20.5% vs. July 2009, and +12.4% vs. prior YTD
  • On-time performance for July 2010: 95% (YTD FY 2010 on-time performance: 91%); right behind Capitol Corridor as 2nd most reliable service in Amtrak system.

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