As Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authorityâ€™s (CCJPA) Managing Director, itâ€™s my pleasure to welcome the many new riders who are hopping on board our trains!
2011 is starting off to be a remarkable year for the Capitol Corridor as previous ridership records were smashed right out of the gate. We were fortunate to experience double-digit increases in ridership and revenue in both January and February. The positive results can be attributed to a combination of high gas prices, an improving economy, and Capitol Corridorâ€™s stellar 95+% on-time performance, which makes the Capitol Corridor intercity passenger rail service a viable transportation alternative to driving alone.
New â€œRide Guideâ€ Helps to Make Your Train Experience a Positive One
If youâ€™re one of our seasoned riders, youâ€™ve probably noticed many new faces on board your train. Because we want to ensure that everyoneâ€™s Capitol Corridor trip is a pleasant experience, my team and Amtrak staff worked together to publish the Capitol Corridor Ride Guide and Travel Policies. For those who know the drill, you know loud raucous music, lone riders taking up two or more seats, shoes on seats or folks leaving litter behind arenâ€™t conducive to the Capitol Corridor experience. Our handy â€œRide Guideâ€ is aimed to help educate all of our passengers on courteous customer conduct and key policies.
Kids Ride Free on Weekends; Senior Half Off Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; and 25% Discount to Aâ€™s Games at the Coliseum
If youâ€™re planning a weekend trip with the kids, catching an Aâ€™s game at the Coliseum or if youâ€™re a senior seeking a mid-week getaway, the Capitol Corridor is offering three discounts valid through the end of October.
The Kids Ride Free on Weekends promotion allows children aged 15 and under to ride for free on weekends now through October 30, 2011 and is applicable up to two children who are accompanied by a full-fare paying adult. Passengers must use discount code V486 when buying your ticket to get the Kids Ride Free discount. Seniors aged 62 and over can save 50% off their travel aboard Capitol Corridor trains if they travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays, now through October 27, 2011. This is a huge savings from Capitol Corridorâ€™s everyday 15% senior discount. To take advantage of this offer, refer to discount code V730 when buying your ticket and select â€œadultâ€ as passenger type when booking travel. Use Code H855 when purchasing an Aâ€™s Game Fare Discount Ticket to get 25% off the adult fare. Tickets for these promotions may be purchased online at capitolcorridor.org, at a staffed station, a Ticket Kiosk ticket vending kiosk, or onboard, if boarding from an unstaffed station.
National Train Day
May 7 in Martinez
Weâ€™re excited to help host National Train day this year! National Train Day commemorates the ceremony held in May 1869, when railway officials drove the â€œgolden spikeâ€ into the final tie that joined 1,776 miles of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railways in Promontory Summit, Utah, ceremonially creating the nationâ€™s first transcontinental railroad. To celebrate that auspicious occasion, four years ago Amtrak created â€œNational Train Day.â€Weâ€™ve teamed up with Caltrans Division of Rail and Amtrak to host a community celebration at the Martinez Station on Saturday, May 7, 2011 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Our website, capitolcorridor.org, lists the dayâ€™s activities, including the presentation of the 2011 Golden STate Advocate of Rail (STAR) Award. This award was established to honor individuals who champion intercity passenger rail here in California. We invite you to head out to Martinez and join us for this free family-friendly event.
CCJPA Projects Help Create Jobs
Last year was the first year in history that intercity passenger rail got support at the federal level. We were grateful to benefit as the Federal Rail Administration (FRA) obligated High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Grant awards to several of our projects. This financial boost also benefits you, as well as the communities we serve, because these projects create jobs along our corridor, enhance passenger safety and maintain our excellent service reliability. Here are the status updates of these federally-supported programs:
Modernizing the Sacramento Station. The City of Sacramento is reviewing construction bids to install a new, longer passenger platform and construct other upgrades to modernize this station. We expect they will break ground on this work in the summer.
Expanding San Jose Station Platforms. Construction is underway to expand station boarding platforms here as well. Expansion will result in greater reliability and efficiency for all the train services (Caltrain, Capitol Corridor and ACE) using this station.
Constructing the Yolo West Crossover Project: We are working to finalize the Yolo West Crossover agreement with Union Pacific and Amtrak, which will facilitate the $5 million FRA grant to build a crossover in Yolo County. Currently, there is a 13 mile stretch where trains are unable to cross between tracks. When the crossover is installed, it will improve on-time performance by providing train dispatchers the option to use the crossover during heavy train traffic periods.
Customer Service Project Updates
Customer service is our top priority. We strive to seek solutions and technologies that will enhance your train experience. As just three examples, last year we rolled out a pilot program involving hand-held ticketing devices for our conductors that will eventually make buying tickets easier. In the beginning of this year we surveyed bike riders and formed a Bicycle Users Group to address the growing needs of bicyclists who ride our trains. Finally, hereâ€™s some long-awaited news: by the end of 2011 we expect to have free wireless internet for you, our customers! Updates on these projects can be found online at capitolcorridor.org.
Once again, Iâ€™d like to express my appreciation to our new and loyal Capitol Corridor riders. Our goal is to deliver you, our paying customer, a high-quality transportation experience. Let us know how weâ€™re doing! Contact us via capitolcorridor.org or at 877-974-3322.
Thanks for riding the Capitol Corridor!
David B. Kutrosky
CCJPA Managing Director