Over the past several weeks, two words have been on my mind: optimism and vigilance.
Optimism because COVID-19 cases and vaccinations are trending in all the right directions. As counties along our route move into less restrictive tiers, we expect to see, and have been seeing, more people getting back on the train for work, school, and leisure trips.
Vigilance because we are not out of the woods just yet. It is imperative we all continue to adhere to the health and safety protocols we’ve become accustomed to over this past year. This includes social distancing, wearing face coverings, and of course our continued commitment to enhanced cleaning and air filtration.
For this Message to Riders, I would like to focus on optimism by highlighting some good news and exciting plans for the Capitol Corridor.
June 2021 Service Increase
At our Board meeting on April 21, the Capitol Corridor Board of Directors gave us the green light to increase service starting on June 7 based on growing ridership demand, funding support, equipment availability, and improving public health conditions. Our plan is to move from our existing 16 weekday and 10 weekend trips to 22 and 18, respectively. This plan will result in a return to our full, pre-pandemic service between Oakland and San Jose and sets us on a path to restore our complete pre-pandemic schedule by 2022.
Return of Café Service
This will be thrilling news to many I am sure! In addition to a new schedule, we plan to bring back Café Car service with a limited menu. We know people have missed being able to grab a snack or drink on the train, so this is an exciting milestone that we are doing in alignment with public health guidelines. The initial phase of our menu offerings will focus on beverages and grab-and-go items for quick service. You can expect to see additional menu items during subsequent phases.
Improved On-Time Performance
As you may know, we introduced a new schedule last month on March 29. This interim schedule change did not increase trip frequency, but it did include significant time changes designed to enhance service efficiency. While we recognize that some of the changes were not ideal for everyone, I am happy to report this new schedule has already brought improvements to our overall operations. Since the new schedule went into effect, On-Time-Performance (OTP) has been an impressive 95%. And in fact, 60% of our service days since March 29 have had 100% OTP!
If you haven’t been on the train in a while, you will be in for a pleasant surprise when you log onto our new, on board Wi-Fi. It’s super-fast so you can maximize your online time while traveling. On our Wi-Fi portal, called “YourTrainWiFi”, you’ll enjoy fresh and relevant content, including audiobooks and podcasts; curated selections from local magazines; and the latest station and weather information. There’s also an interactive tracking tool that provides real-time train status and a “Share My Train” feature that lets loved ones know when your train will be arriving.
I hope this email finds you feeling as optimistic as I am. Our team looks forward to these exciting changes and to seeing more of you on our trains and buses in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, stay healthy, safe, and vigilant!
All the best,
Managing Director, Capitol Corridor