Capitol Corridor considers Draft Business/Operating Plan

Report and a Commentary by Mike Barnbaum, RailPAC Associate Director
Part 2 from January 26, 2011 day of two meetings. Headlines:

    Implement additional service to Placer County
    Reduce number of trains from 16 roundtrips to 15

After riding Train #521 from Sacramento to Oakland at 4:30am and Train #712 from Oakland to “Atwater”/Merced for the San Joaquin Valley Rail Committee, this writer/rider boarded Train #713 from “Atwater”/Merced to Emeryville for the goal and purpose of meeting Train #538 that was operating from San Jose to Sacramento. The connection was successful and entry was made in the rear-most Coach Car where Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority Transportation Officer, Hubert Hanrahan was onboard having a few seats held for riders wanting to take in the conversation of the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority Draft Two-Year Business Plan.

Much about the business plan was discusses from Wi-Fi and food service to baggage service and bicycle storage. The main topic of this Business Plan Workshop focused on service frequencies, service consolidation, service expansion, and funding.

A temporary Capitol Corridor Timetable will be issued prior to the May 2012 Service Changes solely for the purpose of introducing riders to the joint CalTrain – Capitol Corridor Station known as Downtown Santa Clara/University Station. More information will be provided about this station in the Managing Director’s Report to the CCJPA Board on February 15, 2012 beginning at 10:00 A.M. inside Suisun City Hall Council Chambers.

The majority of the discussion was mainly about what is coming in May. From a page out of the “Draft” Business Plan, here is what is coming as far as proposed service is concerned and what riders should look ahead to. The wording in the “Draft” Business Plan Reads as Follows and was a major topic of the conversation held back on January 26th aboard Train #538 between Richmond and Sacramento:

FY 2012-13 and FY 2013-14 Operating Plan

FY 2012-13. With the completion of the Sacramento Railyards Relocation Project (Phase 1) and recognizing the limited financial (operating and capital) support from the State, the CCJPA plans to implemant a service plan for FY 2012-13 that optimizes available resources and meets ridership demand. The CCJPA will redeploy the trainsets used in the morning, which will reduce the weekday service levels from 32 trains (16 round trips) to 30 trains (15 round trips) by eliminating a low performance Oakland-to-Sacramento morning train (20 riders per weekday) and merging two, late weekday evening Sacramento-to-Oakland trains into one trip. The lost ridership and revenue (less than $100,000) are offset by the larger operating cost savings of approximately $1 million. This rationalization of the service plan will keep operating costs, especially diesel fuel purchases, under control, while ensuring the continued operation of high-performing trains. The corresponding CCJPA’s operating plan for FY 2012-13 will be as follows, unless additional capital funding is secured to implement more train service to Placer County resulting in a net increase in system ridership and revenue:
Sacramento – Oakland: 30 weekday trains (22 weekend day trains)
Oakland – San Jose: 14 daily trains
Sacramento – Roseville – Auburn: 2 daily trains (potential expansion to 4)
Closing Report Comments: CCJPA “Draft” Business Plan & “Draft” Operating Plan for Fiscal Years 2012-2013 & 2013-2014
All of the above in CCJPA’s “Draft” Business Plan are true and correct to what has been written. The “Draft” Business Plan is subject to approval by the CCJPA Board on Wednesday 15 February 2012 beginning at 10:00am in the City Council Chambers of the City of Suisun City.

In this section, I will provide written comments to the “Draft” Operating Plan. These are my own comments and through this disclosure, do not necessarily reflect the views of the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority, its Board Members, CalTrans Division of Rail, Union Pacific Railroad, any transit agency that supports the Capitol Corridor, nor do these comments reflect the views of any rail advocacy group including, but not limited to Train Riders Association of California (TRAC), Rail Passenger Association of California (RailPAC) or the Station Host Association of California, which consists of Volunteer Station Hosts for the staffed stations throughout Northern California, San Luis Obispo, and the San Joaquin Valley. Here then is my take on the “draft” operating plan:

    Continue to Operate Train #518 (Oakland – Sacramento) if it can be interlined into Train #702 (Sacramento – Bakersfield).

    While consolidating weekday Train #549; Train #551 into 1 (Sacramento – Oakland) run, allow “Aero” to transfer to bus #4768 @ OKJ, not EMY.
    A quick footnote in that currently, Bus #4768 (Oakland – Santa Barbara) departs Jack London Square at 10:00pm, transfers riders to Train #768.

    Interline Train #703 (Bakersfield – Sacramento) @ SAC into a new Capitol Corridor Train that would terminate at Oakland Jack London Square.

    Extend Eastbound Capitol Corridor Train #538 (San Jose – Sacramento) to Roseville, Rocklin, Auburn and then terminate at Auburn Conheim.

    Originate Capitol Corridor Train #527 (Sacramento – San Jose) at Auburn Conheim and serve Auburn, Rocklin, Roseville first, then Sacramento.

    Originate Weekend #720 and Weekday #520 in San Jose as the eighth Eastbound train “from” San Jose Diridon Station.

    At 7:10 P.M. Daily, operate likely new Train #549; existing #749 from Sacramento to San Jose as the eighth Westbound train “to” San Jose.

E-mail: mike_barnbaum@comcast.net

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