On behalf of the team at Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA), I’d like to wish you a joyful holiday season! In fact, if you’re on Train 538 on December 7th or Train 544 (between San Jose and Martinez) on December 9th come join me in the Café Car—where we will host our quarterly Rider Appreciation Events—so I may extend my season’s greetings to you in person!
The holiday season is often the time one reflects on the high points of the year while preparing for the next. From our perspective, the CCJPA has much to be thankful for this past year. Despite a shaky start, we’re ending 2010 on a positive note. Because of new and loyal passengers, ridership and revenue are steadily climbing. Our host railroad, Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR), has helped us achieve a stellar on-time performance (OTP) of 96%, which continues to make Capitol Corridor the nation’s OTP leader. We are pleased that this year you, the passengers, rated Capitol Corridor and Amtrak, our operating partner, the highest satisfaction levels since we began the bi-annual on-board surveys over ten years ago.
Part of our customer service strategy is to improve communications with our riders and enhance security and safety on our trains, in the stations and along our corridor. Our 2010 projects included:
Replacing the wall display board in the Sacramento station as well as the Passenger Informational Digital Signs (PIDS) at each station along the corridor. The new signs can carry more text and are easier to read.
Using Proposition 1B (the voter-approved transportation bond) money to fund the completion of new fencing in Richmond and Oakland-Jack London Square which will help deter trespassers.
Deploying our hand-held automated ticketing validation (ATV) device pilot program.
Looking Ahead In 2011
Use Proposition 1B funds toward installing fences at other UPRR-identified areas to prevent trespassers.
Full deployment of ATV devices on all trains. The goal of the ATV project is to improve ease of ticketing for passengers. Implementation of these devices lays the groundwork for print-at-home ticketing once Amtrak launches its “E-ticketing” program.
Work with Amtrak to install a wireless system onboard our train cars so our passengers may have free access to the internet while riding our trains.
Changes to the Board
CCJPA Introduces New Chair and Vice-Chair
On November 17, the CCJPA Board of Directors unanimously voted in Director Bob Franklin as CCJPA Chair and Jim Spering as CCJPA Vice Chair for the 2011-2012 term. Chair Franklin, who represents part of Contra Costa and Alameda counties, will have the distinction of concurrently serving as the Bay Area Rapid Transit District Board President in 2011 as well. He has served on both Boards since 2004 and brings a wealth of transportation and green initiatives to the dais. Vice Chair Spering is fondly known as the “father of Capitol Corridor” as he played a key role in establishing the service. He represents Solano County Board of Supervisors.
Farewell to Directors Dickinson, Augustine and Chu
Three members of CCJPA’s 16-member board will be leaving us in 2011: Roger Dickinson, Len Augustine and Dean Chu.
I extend hearty congratulations to CCJPA Director Roger Dickinson, a leading progressive voice on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, who was recently elected to represent the 9th Assembly District. He has served on the CCJPA Board since 2000.
I wish all the best to Director Augustine, who in July of this year announced his decision to retire and to not run for re-election. As former chair of the Solano Transportation Authority and long-time Mayor of Vacaville, the CCJPA benefited from his years of public service and transit leadership.
Finally, I want to thank Dean Chu, Metropolitan Transportation Commissioner and former City of Sunnyvale Mayor, for his role in representing Santa Clara County on the CCJPA Board. Director Chu will finish his tenure on our board at the end of 2010. This was his second term on our Board as he also served as a CCJPA Director in 2006 and 2007.
Support Parity Between Parking & Transit Commuter Benefits
Does your employer offer you pre-tax transit benefits? If you’re one of the thousands of employees who take advantage of the IRS increased transit benefit of $230/month, you may want to act today to help preserve it. The increased transit benefit, which puts it equal to the parking benefit, is set to expire on December 31, 2010. Please visit preservethelimit.com to add your voice to the thousands of others who have emailed their Congressperson or Senator asking them to permanently enact the $230 pre-tax transit limit.
Let me again wish you a joyful holiday season and extend our gratitude for your continued loyalty. We hope that we have succeeded in making your Capitol Corridor experience a pleasant one. Our continued goal is to deliver you, the paying customer, a high-quality transportation experience. If I don’t see you on one of our trains, please contact us via capitolcorridor.org or at 877-974-3322 to let us know how we’re doing!
David B. Kutrosky
CCJPA Managing Director