Capitol Corridor Monthly Report (January, 2014) February 20th, 2014
David B. Kutrosky, Managing Director
Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority
Service Performance Overview
The service performance results in January 2014 for the Capitol Corridor were mixed. Ridership for January 2014 slightly increased 0.6% compared
with prior year-month results, while revenue was 3.8% below January 2013. On-time performance (OTP) was once again a spectacular 97%, moving year to-date (YTD) OTP up to 97%. Capitol Corridor continues to be the most reliable train service in the Amtrak system. These ridership and OTP results are even more remarkable as Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) began a night-time tie replacement project [mid-January through February 2014] that resulted in two late night trains being replaced by buses.
Initial analyses have identified ridership losses at specific stations and trains and staff has been working with our partners to address these
· Sacramento Station: Meetings with the City of Sacramento have begun to determine near-term projects that can improve access; in addition, within the next 3 years, Sacramento Regional Transit anticipates its light rail platform will be relocated to the tunnel portal, which could reduce travel time between Capitol Corridor and Sac RT light rail trains by up to 50%.
· Davis Station: Discussions with the City of Davis are continuing to determine near-term efforts to increase parking at satellite locations as the current Depot lot is filled by 7am on weekdays.
· Trains serving Placer County stations (one in each direction): Meetings have begun with local transit bus agencies in Placer County to review the feasibility of coordinated schedules and fares with the one Capitol Corridor train to/from Sacramento.
· Midday weekday and weekend trains: Targeted promotions have been initiated, and staff is awaiting results from Amtrak.
FY 14-15 Draft State Budget
The California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) formed a work group to establish priorities for transportation expenditures and evaluate how state government can best direct and assist in the development of high priority investments that will meet the state’s infrastructure needs. To that end, the CalSTA Secretary and this stakeholder group developed a plan titled “California Transportation Investment Priorities” (CTIP). The Governor’s
Draft FY 14-15 Budget (released on January 9, 2014), using input from the CTIP team, recommends focusing on three areas: maintaining existing
transportation infrastructure, modernizing rail, and supporting local governments as they implement sustainable community’s plans pursuant to SB 375.
· CA Intercity Passenger Rail Operating Budget – The Governor’s Draft FY 14-15 Budget provides funding of $108.9 million to support the operation on the three intercity passenger rail routes (San Joaquin, Pacific Surfliner and Capitol Corridor), which is equal to last year’s FY 13-14 budget. The Governor’s draft budget may be updated as part of the May Revise based on Amtrak’s submittal of final FY 14-15 operating (and ridership and revenue) estimates which are expected from Amtrak in late March 2014.
· Cap and Trade Auction Proceeds – The Governor’s Draft FY 14-15 Budget also includes $400 million in revenues from Cap and Trade auction proceeds:
– $300 million for Rail Modernization: $250 million for the California High Speed Rail Authority to start construction of high speed train system in the Central Valley plus $50 million for Caltrans’ allocation of competitive grants for existing rail transit agencies to integrate rail systems and provide connectivity to HST.
– $100 million for Sustainable Communities Strategies: Strategic Growth Council will allocate these funds to support investments towards the implementation of SB 375 sustainable communities strategies (i.e., transit and transit?oriented development, active transportation).
Select Committee on Passenger Rail (Senate and Assembly)
On January 22, 2014, the State Senate Rules Committee approved the formation of the Senate Select Committee on Passenger Rail. State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) has been appointed as Chair of the Select Committee with Senator Mark DeSaulnier, serving as Vice-Chair. Other committee members include Senator Marty Block, Senator Anthony Cannella, Senator Cathleen Galgiani, Senator Jerry Hill, Senator Carol Liu, and Senator Alex Padilla. The first hearing of the select committee is planned in Spring 2014. The Guiding Principles adopted by the CCJPA Board were used to help formulate the mission of the select committee, which will examine investment (from state and federal and local funds) to (1) continue the success of the state’s IPR services and (2) ensure investment also supports an integrated passenger rail network of intercity, commuter and high speed trains.
Customer Service Program Upgrades
· February 17, 2014 Timetable/Schedule Change: The CCPA implemented a timetable change on February 17, 2014 to coincide with UPPR’s completion of its tie renewal program (between Richmond and Martinez). Highlights of this timetable change are later start times for the last night train (weekday and weekend) out of the Bay Area to Sacramento in order to provide travel home options for Capitol Corridor passengers attending weekday Oakland A’s and Raiders night games as well as weekend evening events in San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland.
· CCJPA Bicycle Access Program: Retrofitting of cab cars in the Northern California fleet for additional bike storage has been completed, but before the Bicycle Access Program can be launched, each of these cab cars must have Positive Train Control hardware installed, which is scheduled for completion in May 2014. This will allow each Capitol Corridor train to have a cab/bike car (the 8300-series or 6400-series) and a coach/bike car (the 8200 series) in position #1 of each weekday train consist, therefore nearly doubling the storage capacity for bikes on each train (from 15 to 29 spaces). For at-station bicycle amenities, the CCJPA is completing the funding request materials, specifically the environmental documentation, to obtain $556,000 from the California Transportation Commission (CTC) to install the eLockers and folding bicycle rental systems. CTC action is anticipated no later than May 2014.
· eTicketing Upgrades: At the CCJPA’s request, in January 2014 Amtrak has launched conductor wireless printers for seat-checks and sales receipts as well as software upgrades to allow for print-at-home multi-ride tickets, which can be stored on mobile devices.
· Improvements to CCJPA Website and Automated Interactive Voice Response System. Staff has begun the procurement process to update the CCJPA website and improve the CCJPA train status web/mobile device application. Once a vendor is selected, it is anticipated that these updates will be done in 6 to 8 weeks (late Spring 2014).
· Safety Fences: With the approval of Phase 2 of the 2013 Fencing and Security Enhancements project, a total of 15,802 feet of fencing will be constructed along the Capitol Corridor in 2014.
· Positive Train Control. Installation of the PTC equipment on the state-owned equipment is currently proceeding with all locomotives equipped and installation on cab cars underway (~80% complete). Completion is expected by April 2014.
· Sacramento to Roseville 3rd Track Environmental Review/Preliminary Engineering: A variety of design options along the existing route between Sacramento and the Roseville area have been considered which mainly involve on which side of UPRR’s track right-of-way would accommodate the planned 3rd track with the optimal location for the Roseville Station at its current location. Within the vicinity of the station, the project team is evaluating the potential locations for layover facility/yard that does not jeopardize the operation of the UPRR’s Roseville Yard. The CCJPA anticipates that a Notice of Preparation (NOP), which launches the environmental documentation, will be initiated in approximately April 2014. An extensive public participation will be launched along with the NOP. This public participation process includes hosted meetings in the Roseville and Sacramento areas plus an extensive online presence with other tools and public participation opportunities for people to interact with the project on their own time.
· Oakland-San Jose Phase 2 Track Project. CCJPA staff is currently in negotiations at this time with BART staff assisting with the normal audit of the top team’s compensation rates. A signed contract between CCJPA and the selected vendor is expected by mid-February 2014. The team will be responsible, on a task order issued basis, for leading the design and environmental effort for a series of sub-projects that will be part of the overall Oakland to San Jose Phase 2 track improvements.
Outlook – Closing: Ridership for the Capitol Corridor for the first third of the FY2014 (October 2013-January 2014) is slightly below FY2013 YTD and revenue has dropped 3%, which in turn has reduced the system operating ratio to 49%. Yet other service performance sectors — on-time performance and customer satisfaction — are increasing. UPRR has been able to maintain its commitment to superior OTP for the Capitol Corridor, which has resulted in the lowest amount of delay minutes in the Amtrak system. Staff will continue to analyze and implement feasible scheduling options to improve system performance [increased ridership/revenues, reduced operating costs] while ensuring that the Capitol Corridor remains a safe, customer-focused, reliable, premier intercity passenger rail service.