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Message to Riders: January 2024

January 19, 2024

Dear Riders,

I’m thrilled to share the remarkable accomplishments and exciting developments that marked our journey in FY2023 and the first few months of FY2024. Your continued support has played a significant role in the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority’s (CCJPA) success, and I extend my sincere gratitude to each one of you.

We are delighted to report significant growth in both ridership and revenue for FY2023. Throughout the fiscal year, more than 921,000 passengers traveled on our service. This resulted in $23 million in revenue, a 30 percent increase over the previous year. We recently posted our FY2023 Performance Report on our website and invite you to explore the report’s microsite to see all the positive growth we achieved. These milestones reflect the dedication of our team and the strong partnership we have with our valued riders.

In November, we introduced the Carry-On Pets policy, and since then, we’ve welcomed over 150 pets and their humans on board. This initiative was at the request of our riders. We hope it will enhance your travel experience.

As I mentioned in the previous Message to Riders, events to Levi’s Stadium were a major highlight of FY2023 and exceeded our ridership expectations, with over 9,500 passengers traveling to concerts and San Francisco 49er games. The post football season is now here, and the 49ers are serious contenders. We look forward to fans riding the train to this weekend’s NFC Divisional playoff game against the Green Bay Packers.

Breaking News

I’m thrilled to announce that we now offer GTFS-Realtime data feeds to third-party travel planning apps, which will allow you to view real-time train status and ETAs via your favorite travel apps. Currently, we are aware that and Moovit are using our Realtime data, but more apps may start in the next few months. This is an early result of our California Passenger Information Display System (CalPIDS) modernization effort, with more details coming soon. Thanks to MTC’s 511 Transit Data team for helping us validate and distribute our GTFS-Realtime feeds.

Please review our FY2024-25 & FY2025-26 Business Plan Update, also now available on the Capitol Corridor website. Highlights include future service expansion projects, service amenities, equipment updates, and much more. We would like to hear from you, so we’re hosting public workshops about the plan on select trains and virtual workshops so you can join the conversation. A two-week online public comment period will follow for you to share your thoughts. Your input is vital!

Onboard Workshops – Join us for Cappy Hour on January 23 and 24 onboard! Our staff will be at the Café Car to discuss the Annual Business Plan, answer your questions, and gather your feedback. For Cappy Hour, all trains will enjoy discounted beverages!

  • Tuesday, January 23: Train 540 (Oakland to Sacramento)
  • Wednesday, January 24: Train 538 (San Jose to Richmond) and Train 545 (Sacramento to Richmond)

Virtual Workshops – We’ll also conduct online public workshops in the afternoon, each requiring registration. Our staff will discuss the Annual Business Plan and answer questions towards the end of the session.

We’re anticipating another robust year and look forward to hearing from you every step of the way. Your support and feedback are crucial as we strive to enhance your travel experience on the Capitol Corridor.

See you on the train!

Rob Padgette, Managing Director, Capitol Corridor



October 13, 2023

Dear Riders,  

We have news on many fronts! We are renewing our commitment to communicate more frequently with our passengers. Below are a few highlights of what’s been happening since my last message to you. Our ridership is steadily on the rise. In the recently completed fiscal year ridership is expected to exceed 900,000, up more than 30 percent from the previous year. Although this is positive news, ridership and revenue is running more than 40 percent below pre-pandemic levels which is having an impact on our fiscal health. We are focused on identifying ways to reduce costs while maintaining a high-quality service.  

As our business continues to recover in this post pandemic world; we are encouraged by the number of new riders discovering the joys of traveling by rail and previous riders re-engaging with our service. We know some of you are starting to experience crowding on select trains. My team is working hard to monitor ridership and carefully allocate our limited equipment to make your trips as comfortable as possible. We do expect additional equipment in early 2024, so please hang in there! We appreciate your patience.    

Major Grant Awarded 

Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) recently received significant funding, a $42.51 million Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Grant Award by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to complete Phase 1 of the Sacramento to Roseville Third Track project. When the capital improvements are completed in 2029, we will be able to run two additional roundtrips between Sacramento and Roseville. This funding represents the first federal investment in our service since 2009 and the first expansion of it since 2006. We’re excited to bring train riders of Placer County more frequencies and better connections. I would like to thank all our partners for their ongoing support of this project. 

Special Event Trains  

Special events are back! We can attribute some of our ridership increase to our special trains to and from Levi’s Stadium for summer concerts including Taylor Swift (July), Beyoncé (August), and Ed Sheeran (September). The number of riders who traveled to all these concerts was quite impressive. Swift fans (Swifties) created their own onboard experience while traveling to the concert, producing some of the busiest trains since the beginning of the pandemic – more than 2,000 trips. While Swift performed shows on a Friday and Saturday night, Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran were single-day events. For the Beyoncé concert, we carried 1,000 more passengers than on a normal weekday. By taking the train, concert goers avoided the hassle of driving in and around Levi’s Stadium and saved quite a few dollars on parking fees.  

The San Francisco 49ers football season is underway and ridership to the first home games is off to a good start. We look forward to serving 49er fans and all football fans to Levi’s Stadium throughout the fall. Riders can enjoy free Wi-Fi, spacious restrooms, comfortable seats, and a Café Car, with specialty drinks.    

Special Offers/Activities 

  • To alleviate crowds on Train 538, we encourage those traveling between Oakland and Sacramento to consider Train 540 which runs just a half hour later. You’ll find a lot more room and we’re sweetening the deal by offering 50 percent off café items on Train 540 for the month of October. If you must ride Train 538, please be sure to place your bags under your seat or in the overhead compartment, keeping the seat next to you free for someone else. And please make room at the tables for four, so everyone has a comfortable ride home. 
  • Please join us for the next “Corridor Conversations” webinar on Tuesday, October 17 at 12:00 p.m. This lunchtime forum gives us a way to hear from you. It features the CCJPA staff and guests from organizations along our route.  Come with your questions and comments.
  • On Wednesday, October 25, Capitol Corridor will host “Cappy Hour” with discounted beverages on all trains traveling between 3:00 p.m. and 7 p.m.  

In closing, please stay tuned for an exciting new onboard amenity coming later this fall!  We think you’ll like it! Thanks again for making the Capitol Corridor service your first transportation option. 

See you on the train,  

Rob Padgette,
Managing Director, Capitol Corridor  


July 15, 2022

Dear Riders,

Many of you have experienced recent extended delays and may have been impacted by train cancellations for which I would like to express my sincere apologies. In particular, we recognize that July 15, 2022, proved to be an extremely challenging day as there were multiple events which took place involving a fatality in one segment of our route, an equipment strike in another, as well as a trackside fire. This series of tragic events caused major delays between Oakland and San Jose, leaving some passengers in a situation where they needed to find other means of transportation. Operations staff did explore alternative transportation options along that segment through a bus bridge; however, driver shortages from local transit agencies prevented that from being an option that we could utilize. AC Transit, BART, County Connection and VTA were able to provide passengers with mutual aid.

In this post-pandemic time, resource constraints continue to prevail, and we will continue to do our best to navigate around them. We appreciate the patience and flexibility many of you have shown during these unexpected incidents.

Thank you,

Rob Padgette
Managing Director, Capitol Corridor

Message to Riders: Passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

November 10, 2021

Dear Riders,

Like many of you, I was thrilled by the recent passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). I know that many of you are big supporters of the Capitol Corridor and of passenger rail more broadly, so I would like to give you more information on what this program means for our future.

Overall, it is hard to overstate the significance of this legislation to our service and the passenger rail industry. Historically, the Capitol Corridor has relied almost entirely on funds from the State of California for capital investments. With IIJA, we can now partner with the Federal government to dramatically enhance our service.

While Federal dollars have been available for many decades to support highway and transit investments, funds for intercity passenger rail have been limited. With this legislation, that situation has now fundamentally changed.

How will this new federal investment benefit the Capitol Corridor? 

In many ways, our agency is ahead of others across the country in that we are already poised to take advantage of this new opportunity for investment in passenger rail.

We bring a solid relationship with our host railroads (Union Pacific and the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board); state funding programs that provide a match to Federal investments; and a clear path for how we can invest in passenger rail as defined in our Vision Implementation Plan, as well as the California State Rail Plan.

Intercity Passenger Rail will receive a minimum of $10B more annually in federal funding.

At a minimum, the legislation provides $66B in intercity rail funding over five years, which comes out to more than $13B annually, with the potential for more than $100B. As a point of comparison, total rail funding in Fiscal Year 2021, not including COVID relief funds, totaled less than $3B.

The table below details intercity passenger rail programs in the legislation, including the five-year transportation bill authorization level of $35.78B (subject to annual budget appropriations), and the guaranteed one-time appropriation of $66B.

*Amounts shown below are in millions of dollars.

Infrastructure budget table

Which of these programs might benefit the Capitol Corridor?

The short answer is most of them. The first two programs listed – the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure Safety Program and Federal State Partnership for State of Good Repair – are two discretionary programs to which the Capitol Corridor may apply for funding.

Both these programs already exist, but with far fewer resources. Eligibility under the new legislation is relatively broad and will provide an opportunity for the Capitol Corridor to receive funds for a wide variety of projects.

This could include smaller improvements, like track siding to improve reliability, or more sizeable investments, like South Bay Connect, the Sacramento to Roseville Third Track Project, or the transformational Link21 Program. These larger projects will benefit not only Capitol Corridor riders, but anyone who travels in Northern California.

In addition, funds going directly to the Amtrak National Network also have the potential to benefit our service through investments in stations along our corridor, providing customers with a better experience and improved access.

I should also mention the newly created Grade Crossing Elimination Program, which has potential to substantially improve safety along our corridor. This has been, and will always be, one of our key priorities.

IIJA is a turning point for passenger rail.

In short, this legislation represents a turning point for intercity passenger rail in the United States. With this level of investment, we will have the opportunity to substantially grow and enhance the nation’s rail network. Your travel options by rail will improve, with connections to more cities, more frequent and reliable service, reduced travel times, better stations, and a more climate-friendly fleet.

I have no doubt that successful services like ours provided confidence to the Administration and to Congress as they considered these once-in-a-lifetime infrastructure investments. Now is our opportunity to build upon that success.

We appreciate your support of our service and look forward to making it even better.

All the best,

Rob Padgette
Managing Director
Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority