Greetings from the Capitol Corridor team! As seasons change it serves to remind me that it’s time to send an updated Message to Riders.
Although temperatures didn’t rise much this summer, Capitol Corridor’s performance and ridership did! Ridership began trending upward in May with a 1.4% increase compared to the same period in 2009. In June, ridership jumped 7%. Additionally, a remarkable 5% more riders chose to ride the train instead of drive their cars in both July and August.
Also in July and August, the Capitol Corridor attained a 97% and 96% on-time performance respectively—the best in our history. Kudos to the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) and Amtrak, our rail partners, for helping us achieve this milestone!
Tips for Riders
With more people on the trains, here are a few of our top tips to help your experience on Capitol Corridor go smoother:
Please be ready to present your ticket to the conductor once you are seated, or to the motorcoach bus driver at the time of boarding. Even if you are a frequent rider, hold a multi-ride ticket and are familiar with the conductor or driver, you must still present your ticket every time.
It’s a good idea to purchase tickets in advance and arrive early at stations as parking is limited at many stations.
Please make sure to have a valid government-issued identification card with you when purchasing tickets and at all times when riding the train.
Riders are limited to two pieces of carry-on baggage. Each carry-on bag must weigh less than 50 pounds and be tagged with your name and address.
We ask that you be considerate of your fellow passengers and keep your shoes off the seats.
September is Rail Safety Month in California
California lawmakers have designated September as “Rail Safety Month.” The Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) is working with Amtrak, Union Pacific and Caltrans Division of Rail staff to build public awareness about safety near railroad tracks. Rail Safety Month gives us the opportunity to remind the public that they need to keep safety in mind each time they approach a rail crossing—trains can’t swerve to avoid people walking, playing or illegally crossing railroad tracks.
Since the very first Rail Safety Month was declared in 2009, rail trespassing incidents involving Capitol Corridor trains decreased 58% compared to the prior year. We want that trend to keep spiraling downwards, so we ask that you please follow these safety precautions and share them with your friends and family:
Stay off the tracks, stay alive!
CCJPA Seeks Federal High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Funds to Improve Service
In my June Message to Riders, I shared CCJPA’s investment plan to enhance our service. On August 5th we threw our hat in the competitive grant process ring for the Fiscal Year 2010 (FY 2010) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) funding awards. CCJPA submitted an application for $57 million that if awarded, will allow us to increase service frequency between Auburn and Sacramento by adding one additional round trip as well as improve reliability between Fremont and Newark. If we are successful in getting FRA HSIPR dollars, UPRR will commit $10 million of their own resources to complete the track upgrades for the added train to/from Auburn. This match of private funding helps put the CCJPA’s application on the competitive edge as it shows this project can create jobs and be up-and-running sooner rather than later.
Our application also includes upgrades for our South Bay passengers as well. We hope to get funding to lengthen the Fremont platform, which will improve train meets at that station. The improvements include connecting the sidings between Mowry Avenue and Automall Parkway, which will improve reliability for trains operating between Oakland and San Jose.
These FY2010 project applications set the groundwork to link the Capitol Corridor to the future High Speed Rail system at Sacramento and San Jose stations.
Get Connected to Capitol Corridor!
This summer, the CCJPA team enhanced communications with our passengers by migrating to a new digital subscription service that allows users to subscribe to one or more Capitol Corridor-related topics. Through the E-Updates programs you’ll still get the CC Rail e-newsletter, but you can also sign up to receive schedule changes and service alerts. Service alerts for major train delays can be delivered to you via email or SMS text messages.
Thank you for your continued loyalty. We strive to be your preferred travel choice. Many of you ride our trains for business travel and we hope you choose Capitol Corridor for your leisure travel as well. Take advantage of the discounts we are offering to seniors, families with kids, group travel, and A’s and Raider fans. Details of all our discounted promotions can be found at capitolcorridor.org.
We consider customer service and passenger safety to be our top priorities. Our goal is to deliver you, the paying customer, a high-quality transportation experience. We’d like to know if we are successful in meeting that goal. Let us know how we are doing via our website at capitolcorridor.org or by phone at 1-877-9-RIDECC.
David B. Kutrosky
CCJPA Managing Director