By David B. Kutrosky, Managing Director,
Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority
Capitol Corridor Service Performance: Ridership for June 2013 was down 4% compared to June 2012 with Year to Date (YTD) ridership 3% lower than last year. YTD revenue is slightly below last year by 0.7%; however, YTD system operating ratio is 54% thanks to lower diesel fuel prices. As always, our On-time performance (OTP) continues to keep an element of performance on the bright side: for June our OTP was 95%; YTD OTP is 95% keeping the Capitol Corridor on top of the leader board in service reliability in the Amtrak system.
A detailed analysis of ridership information from the ridership database for the fiscal year from October 2012 to May 2013 indicates it is:
steady on the weekends
growing in the San Jose/Silicon Valley travel market
increases in the reverse peak direction trains (to Sacramento in the morning, to the Bay Area/San Jose in the afternoon)
continuing to have sustained losses in the Placer County trains and overall losses at the Sacramento Station that cannot offset increases noted above
In fact, those city pairs associated with Sacramento Station in the top 25 city- pairs represent a ridership loss of 4%, which coincides with the June dip in ridership.
Actions to Address Ridership Drop at Sacramento
Immediate term: effective July 15 morning trains coming into Sacramento from Placer County and the Bay Area will arrive 5 minutes earlier to accommodate the longer distance from the new platforms to the Sac RT light trains; this will ensure passengers can make that connection. Please note that staff has received emails from passengers praising this schedule adjustment.
Near term (2-3 years):
CCJPA staff has been meeting with Sac RT to help support Sac RT’s efforts to complete the design and environmental plans to move the current light train platform closer to the tunnel portal, which will shorten the transfer time between light rail and Capitol Corridor and Amtrak trains; the goal is to begin construction within the next two to three years.
FY 13-14 Adopted State Budget
Governor Brown enacted the State Budget Act of 2013 for Fiscal Year 2013-14 on June 24, 2013. The budget to support the three California IPR services included the base amount of $90.3 million plus $18.6 million from the May Budget Revise in order to meet cost increases that are incurred with the implementation of the PRIIA Section 209 pricing policy.
Capitol Corridor Customer Service Program Upgrades
CCJPA Bike Access Program. In February the CCJPA Board adopted the CCJPA Bicycle Access Plan. We delayed launching this program due to the installation of Positive Train Control (PTC) equipment on the cab cars to be done after we upgrade these cab cars with enhanced bicycle storage. In short, there will not be enough converted cab/bike cars available until the PTC upgrades are completed in fall 2013. We are moving forward with funding agreements for the at-station elements of the Bicycle Access Plan. We expect CCJPA will secure the state funding in fall 2013, which will support the eLocker and folding bicycle rental programs.
Amtrak eTicketing program: Amtrak and CCJPA are working on the next phases of the program – conductor printers for seat-checks and sales receipts and software upgrades to allow for print-at-home multi-ride tickets—which should also be complete in fall 2013.
NASCAR Express: On June 23, 2013, the CCJPA, in partnership with the Sonoma Raceway, hosted the first-ever Capitol Corridor NASCAR Express train on Sunday. This special train served the Sacramento, Davis and Suisun-Fairfield stations and then proceeded directly to the Sonoma Raceway via the Cal Northern and SMART railroads through the scenic wine country that can only be viewed through this rail route. Based on the feedback from the promotional partners and the passengers, this special train can be considered a resounding success and plans are already underway for other special trains to serve the raceway.
Safety Fences: Staff and UPRR have completed the surveys for the next phase of fence projects. Locations include south San Leandro, Union City and south Hayward.
Transportation of Law Enforcement Officers: This program is now fully implemented with over 50 law enforcement officers enrolled from various law enforcement agencies within the corridor route.
Passenger and Employee Injuries: The Capitol Corridor continues its superb commitment to passenger safety with a 28% reduction in passenger injury ratio compared to the prior year reporting period and no employee injuries for FY13 YTD.
Positive Train Control: All of the locomotives in the Northern California IPR fleet are now equipped with on-board PTC equipment and the cab control cars are at 40% outfitted. Discussions are continuing with UPRR on their plans and schedules to install track/wayside PTC signal infrastructure along the Capitol Corridor.
Sacramento to Roseville 3rd Track Environmental Review/Preliminary
Engineering: This project is about to begin the environmental process with
the advancement of selected alignment alternatives. The CCJPA will develop a public participation plan and move more formally into the environmental documentation phase of the project which will include the analysis of project alternatives for public review. Completion of these infrastructure improvements will allow for the increase from today’s two up to 20 daily trains serving Roseville.
Oakland-San Jose Phase 2 Project Environmental Review/Preliminary
Engineering: In March 2013, the CCJPA was allocated $3.5 million to fund
preliminary engineering (30% design) and project environmental documents for the track infrastructure upgrades for the Oakland-San Jose Phase 2 Project. The CCJPA has been working with Caltrain and San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission/ACE staff to combine our collective resources and funding to prepare the design plans, environmental documents and construction cost estimates for the those track capacity improvements, which will permit an increase of up to 11 Capitol Corridor round trips in the Oakland to San Jose corridor and up to 6 ACE round trips between Stockton and San Jose.
CCJPA expects to secure the services of a design and environmental consultant in the late summer or early fall period. Discussions and analysis are ongoing with UPRR and Caltrain, the respective host railroads, to ensure sufficient resources are allocated to the various subprojects.
For FY13, monthly ridership results continue to be 3.4% below FY12 (a record-setting year); yet other performance measures continue to be steady or improving: YTD revenues are slightly below last year, system operating ratio remains above standard at 54% due to lower fuel costs, and OTP remains at an impressive 95%, allowing the Capitol Corridor trains to remain in the number two spot for reliability in the Amtrak system. The CCJPA team has been successful in working with our service partners to limit service delays and keep reliability at an all-time high. Other
efforts include maintaining high customer satisfaction levels, implementing safety initiatives along the route, and gaining momentum on pre-development work for the service expansion projects (involving San Jose/Salinas, Placer County) and completing customer enhancement initiatives (bike access/storage, e-Ticketing upgrades).
Capitol Corridor June 2013
– Ridership: 138,293 riders; -4.4% vs. June 2012; -3.4% vs. prior YTD
– Revenue: $2,402,893; -5.5% vs. June 2012; -0.7% vs. prior YTD
– On-Time Performance: 95%, YTD OTP of 95% (#2 in the nation).
– System Operating Ratio: 54% YTD vs. 50% in FY12
Pacific Surfliners June 2013:
– Ridership: 231,236 passengers; -0.7% vs. June 2012; +2.6% vs. prior YTD
– Ticket Revenue: +2.4% vs. June 2012; +7.2% vs. prior YTD
– On-time performance: 80% (YTD FY13 on-time performance: 87%)
San Joaquin June 2013:
– Ridership: 108,140 passengers +3.1% vs. June 2012; +6.1% vs. prior YTD
– Ticket Revenue only: -4.4% vs. June 2012; +1.5% vs. prior YTD
– On-time performance: 60% [lower OTP due to track maintenance projects]
(YTD FY13 on-time performance: 77%)