In Fiscal Year 2017 (FY 2017), the Capitol Corridor continued its steady climb to smash ridership, revenue, and system operating (farebox) ratio records. Northern California’s intercity passenger rail (IPR) service carried more than 1.6 million riders, bringing revenues up to $33.97 million—representing a 3 percent increase in ridership and 5.3 percent growth in revenues over FY 2016. Capitol Corridor’s FY 2017 farebox ratio shattered all previous records by achieving an all-time high of 57 percent. This increase in operating efficiency can be attributed to reduced operating expenses, targeted marketing strategies and actual ridership and revenues that exceeded budget forecasts. As the managing agency for the Capitol Corridor trains, the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) has overseen steady, consistent growth while building a track record of financial and operational success. In FY 1998, when CCJPA took over managing the service, annual ridership was just 463,000; nearly 20 years later, ridership and revenue have more than tripled.
19 YEAR IMPROVEMENT
REVENUE TO COST
“Convenient for daily commute, and good value.”
While On-Time Performance (OTP) slipped slightly below 90 percent standards in the beginning of FY 2017, Capitol Corridor finished the fiscal year as the second most reliable service (breaking the string of seven consecutive years as the most reliable service in the Amtrak system).
Fortunately, in the last six months of FY 2017, Capitol Corridor’s OTP rose from 91 to 94 percent. The improved reliability was the result of the commitment from the CCJPA’s service partners—Amtrak and Union Pacific railroad (UPRR)—to target underperforming segments of the operation thus minimizing passenger-delay minutes.
Customer satisfaction held steady at 88 percent of customers stating that they are “Highly Satisfied.” These results, rated through Amtrak’s customer satisfaction index, are collected via electronic surveys sent to riders in real-time after they finish their train trip.
For FY 2017, service levels remained at 30 weekday trains with 22 trains on weekends and holidays. This is the second highest level of service frequency in the Amtrak system, behind the Amtrak Northeast Regional train service, and represents the highest amount of annual trains operated for the 27 state-supported Amtrak routes in the nation. This high level of train frequency offers a safe, customer-focused, travel-time competitive mobility choice for the traveling public in the Northern California Megaregion.
These achievements were made possible by the CCJPA’s continued focus on operational efficiency, safety and security; collaborative planning and partnerships; a commitment to superior customer service; and adoption of new technologies to make the passenger experience safe, enjoyable and convenient.
TICKET TYPE FY2017
- Round-trip/ One-way
RIDER PROFILE FY2017
|Drop off/Pick up||25%||26%||+1|
The CCJPA’s priorities and guiding values are described in our Vision Statement. We exist to:
- Provide high-quality passenger rail and connecting bus service that is safe, frequent, reliable and affordable;
- Develop rail service as the preferred means of travel connecting the three Northern California metropolitan regions (Sacramento-San Francisco/Oakland-San Jose/Silicon Valley);
- Deliver cost-effective expansion of superior passenger rail service; and,
- Build on constructive relationships with our partners: riders, local communities, National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR), Caltrain, and the State of California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).
Capitol Corridor intercity trains operate along a 170-mile corridor between San Jose and Sacramento/Auburn with stops at 18 train stations (Fairfield-Vacaville opened November 2017) and a bus connection to San Francisco. Capitol Corridor trains operate on tracks primarily owned and dispatched by UPRR, and a small two-mile segment in Silicon Valley owned by Caltrain. The CCJPA manages the service through an operating agreement with Amtrak. Trains provide direct connections with 19 local public transit systems and five passenger rail or rail transit systems, including BART, VTA, ACE, Caltrain, Sacramento Regional Transit, San Francisco Muni and Amtrak’s national train network.
To supplement the train service, dedicated feeder bus and local transit routes serve communities south of San Jose (Santa Cruz, Monterey, Salinas, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara); north of Martinez (Vallejo, Napa, Santa Rosa, Eureka); and east of Sacramento (Truckee, Colfax, Reno, South Lake Tahoe). Together, these transit systems serve the second largest urban area in the western United States.
“I take Capitol Corridor daily to get to and from work and it is always a pleasure.”
SERVICE PLAN HIGHLIGHTS
Despite limited state and local funding sources supporting IPR, the CCJPA has successfully moved forward with several capital improvement projects,which include:
- Securing funds to complete several state-of-good repair projects performed by UPRR, aimed to maintain Capitol Corridor’s reliability and superior OTP as well as an award from the California Transportation Commission for the final design and right-of-way acquisition phases of the Sacramento-Roseville 3rd Track Phase 1 (SR3T Ph1) project;
- Working with Caltrans and Amtrak to complete the design phases of an On-Board Information System (OBIS) for deployment on all California intercity trains;
- Conducting a successful pilot test of a replacement in-car bicycle rack that increases on-train bicycle capacity; and
- Nearly completing the construction of the $10 million FY 2015 Cap and Trade Travel Time Savings Project with Union Pacific. This project was funded in part by the 2015 Cap and Trade Transit/Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP). When this project is complete, Capitol Corridor trains traveling between Sacramento and San Jose will realize up to 10 minutes in reduced travel time.
The CCJPA oversees the reinvestment of State of California (State) funds for the rail vehicles assigned to the Capitol Corridor. Equipment changes in FY 2017 aimed to enhance safety, security and maintain healthful air quality while also reducing operation costs include:
- Installed Positive Train Control (PTC) collision avoidance equipment on all 17 locomotives and all 19 cab cars;
- Replaced HVAC units and installed upgraded flooring on all passenger cars (a project that will continue throughout FY 2018);
- Secured delivery of six Tier 4 charger locomotives that will reduce pollutants and improve fuel efficiency; and
- Developed a plan to begin testing renewable diesel (RD) to fuel the legacy F-59 locomotive. RD provides roughly a 66 percent reduction in carbon lifecycle missions over traditional petrol diesel, significantly reducing the greenhouse gas impact of locomotive emissions. The RD used in this pilot program is derived primarily from processed animal fat and is formulated to meet the same fuel standards as traditional petrol diesel, which is currently used by the locomotives assigned to the Capitol Corridor.
The CCJPA considers safety and security to be a major priority.
- Passenger injuries decreased from five in FY 2016 to three in FY 2017. Trespasser fatalities went down from 22 to 16; however, trespasser non-fatalities rose from two to four within the same time period.
STATION UPGRADES LAUNCHED IN FY 2017 INCLUDE:
- Security: Camera and surveillance equipment at the Auburn, Rocklin, Roseville and Suisun-Fairfield stations. When complete, all unstaffed Capitol Corridor stations will be equipped with security cameras and surveillance equipment.
- Bicycle security: With the exception of Oakland Jack London and Santa Clara-Great America stations, Bikelink™ elockers were installed and are fully operational at the stations that were scheduled for these upgrades.
- Researched best policies and practices for integrated electronic ticketing in partnership with the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) and Caltrans; and
- Launched SMS service to enable riders to access train arrival times on their mobile devices.
MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS
Marketing efforts focused on promoting off-peak ridership, primarily using social media and online channels to increase brand awareness of Capitol Corridor throughout the Northern California Megaregion. in FY 2017 the Marketing and Communications team:
- Developed a new creative campaign called “Every Ride Has A Story” that features Capitol Corridor’s many unique amenities for riders, and touts the service’s convenience compared to congested freeways;
- Renewed the popular “Take 5 for $5” offer for small groups on weekends, and the “Seniors Ride Half Off Midweek” program, and introduced a new “Buy-One/Get-One” on Saturdays offer, all aimed at boosting off-peak ridership;
- Carried over the “Friends and Family 50%” off discount every day, also targeted at small groups;
Ridership (in Millions)
Annual Revenue (in $ Millions)
On Time Performance
“I couldn’t do my commute without the trains.”
FY 2018 SERVICE PLAN HIGHLIGHTS
With limited new capital funds (and timely arrival of additional rolling stock delayed significantly due to factors beyond CCJPA’s control), the CCJPA will focus on maintaining the 30-train weekday/22-train weekend service plan and reinvesting in the service to improve safety, service performance and reliability. Programs planned or underway will allow for the following improvements through FY 2018:
- OBIS system: Prototype installation and testing of this system is scheduled to begin by the end of FY 2017.
- Standby power at Auburn layover site: Construction is underway of a standby power system that will allow shutdown of the locomotive’s diesel engines during overnight layover servicing, saving diesel fuel and reducing diesel emissions and ambient noise levels. The system is expected to be completed in December 2017.
- Richmond Station platform improvements: Installation of a courtesy light to facilitate transfers of passengers connecting from BART to Capitol Corridor and a Clipper Card Parking Validation Machine, both to be completed by end of 2017.
- Fairfield-Vacaville Station (FFV): By the end of FY 2017 the City of Fairfield was close to finishing FFV and it projected FFV would be complete for its November 13, 2017 opening date.
- Bicycle access: Bikelink™ eLockers installations at Oakland Jack London and Santa Clara/Great America Stations are expected by the end of December 2017. We are also working to advance partnerships to support the start-up of folding bicycle rentals at selected stations.
- Security cameras: Complete installation of security cameras at Auburn, Rocklin, Roseville and Suisun-Fairfield stations.
- RD fuel project: If the use of RD proves viable on Capitol Corridor’s legacy locomotive, a second test will be performed on a new charger locomotive. If all tests show that RD is operationally suitable, the CCJPA will shift towards the use of RD for normal operations. More importantly, if RD is deemed viable, results of the tests will determine the feasibility of using such alternative fuels on all state-owned locomotives with the intent to reduce GreenHouse Gas (GHG) emissions.
- Megaregional rail planning: Advocate planning and coordination in accordance to anticipated draft State Rail Plan objectives is underway. This endeavor began when the CCJPA hosted the June 21, 2017 workshop to facilitate laying the groundwork for linked service planning and integration across Northern California.
- Expansion: Staff will apply for SB 1 funding to complete future phases of service expansion between Oakland and San Jose, as well as the second phase of Sacramento-Roseville service expansion; and to initiate the design effort for the SR3T Ph1 project, which includes construction in Placer County.
- Travel Time Savings Project improvements: The TIRCP supported project to reduce travel time by up to 10 minutes for trains traveling between Sacramento and San Jose is expected to be complete by mid-2018.
- Positive Train Control: Software installation and testing of rail vehicles and implementation of a remote server to communicate the train’s position to UPRR’s dispatch center is expected to be completed in spring 2018—making way for PTC testing on Capitol Corridor trains to follow. By mid-2018, certain event recorders and modems will be updated to match the new technology. Final implementation of this control system will await final Union Pacific testing and coordination between both UPRR and Caltrain, who are both working hard to implement PTC. System demonstration testing for PTC for Capitol Corridor trains is scheduled to begin in mid-2018.
- Equipment: When the Tier 4 Charger Locomotive testing is complete, it will enable this new technology to run as lead units in revenue service. CCJPA expects continued training as well as infrastructure expenditures to accommodate the fueling and maintenance technology. Door overhaul and replacements in dining cars are scheduled to begin August 2018.
- Technology: Staff will work with CalSTA and Caltrans to develop the basis for statewide integrated electronic ticketing and trip planning.
MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS
The Marketing team will continue to build programs to increase brand awareness and ridership throughout the Northern California Megaregion. Partnerships pairing digital (online, mobile, social media) and traditional (radio, print, television) media will promote the Capitol Corridor as a convenient travel option. This mix of digital and traditional media allows for a cost-effective and trackable means of increasing brand visibility and customer engagement. Promotional discounts will bolster ridership in key markets and during weekend/off-peak periods. Additional marketing strategies may include:
- Targeted promotions aimed to boost off-peak ridership to/from sports and entertainment centers e.g. Golden 1 Arena, Oakland Coliseum, and Levi’s® Stadium, and popular day-trip destinations;
- Explore new fare offers for niche markets to further boost off-peak ridership; and,
- Develop additional ways to communicate service alerts on our website and other channels.
“Was able to buy ticket in two minutes, got a seat on the train, wi-fi worked.”
FY 2017 Legislative Agenda
FY 2017 STATE ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Enactment of Senate Bill 1 (Beall): On April 28, 2017, Governor Brown enacted and signed into law senate Bill (SB) 1 (Beall/Frazier), which was passed by both the Senate and Assembly on the evening of Thursday, April 6, 2017. As background, SB 1 provides over $5 billion per year in added funds to various state transportation accounts that would be available to fix the state’s crumbling transportation infrastructure. The CCJPA sent a letter to the members of the State legislative delegation along the Capitol Corridor route thanking them for their votes to approve SB 1. Governor Brown also enacted Assembly Constitutional Amendment (ACA) 5 (Frazier/Newman), which protects these new transport funds. ACA 5 will be submitted to the California voters for approval in 2018.
SB 1 positively impacts the CCJPA/Capitol Corridor by making approximately $5M per year in dedicated funds (for operating and/or capital) available from a portion of the 0.5% increase in State diesel sales tax and creating opportunities to apply for $0.5B in annual competitive grants. With SB 1, a path was created to help advance various security/safety initiatives, enhance service amenities, and expand Capitol Corridor frequencies to San Jose and Roseville; as well as procure added rail cars and locomotives to support these added frequencies.
Senate Bill 595 (Beall) Regional Measure 3 Bay Area Toll Expenditure Plan:
Senator Beall introduced SB 595, which would provide the authority to the Bay area Metropolitan Transportation Commission to place a ballot measure (referred to as “regional Measure 3”) in the nine Bay Area counties to increase tolls on the region’s bridges. On July 10, 2017, the CCJPA sent a letter supporting SB 595. The bill includes an expenditure plan of various projects with a nexus to the region’s bridges with the intent that these projects will bring much needed congestion relief along these corridors. The CCJPA has been involved in discussions and is included in the expenditure plan for the project list in SB 595, specifically the Oakland-San Jose Phase 2 project, which has a nexus with the Dumbarton Bridge crossing.
FY2017 FEDERAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Federal FY 2017 Rail Title Appropriations: For the first time, federal funds have been made available for IPR services (Amtrak and state-supported routes) via the Rail Title in the FAST Act of 2015. The USDOT is currently developing guidelines for the grant applications, project uses and other requirements for the expenditure of these federal funds. The CCJPA is eligible for the following funding from the FY 2017 appropriations to the FAST Act Rail Title account:
- Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI): $68 million. Competitive grants to finance improvements to passenger and freight rail services in terms of safety, efficiency, or reliability. PTC and other technology improvements and rail line relocation are also eligible for funding. A 50 percent match is required.
- State of Good Repair (SOGR): $25 million. Competitive grants for projects to improve qualified railroad assets. A 20 percent match for these grants is required.
FY 2018 ACTION PLAN
The CCJPA will seek to leverage limited regional, state and federal funds to advance projects that will create jobs, and expand and improve service that in turn will reduce vehicular congestion and corresponding GHG emissions in the Northern California Megaregion. The CCJPA will work with legislative, air quality, transportation and finance officials on the following:
- State Opportunity(ies) to apply for $0.5B in annual competitive grants, approximately:
- $245M/year in TIRCP funds (capital uses) through a portion of increased Vehicle License Fees (VLF), plus a one-time transfer of $236 million in FY 2018 for a payback in General Funds to the TIRCP account.
- $250M/year in Congested Corridors Program Funds (capital uses) through a portion of increased VLF revenues for multimodal, multi-county solutions to address heavily congested travel corridors.
- $5M/year in State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) Interregional funds (fixed guideway capital uses; not operating or rolling stock) through a portion of increased gas excise tax revenues.
- Pursue and secure federal, state and other funds to finance the capital
infrastructure investments to meet the CCJPA’s goal for expanded train service to San Jose and Roseville/Auburn;
- Apply for grants to enhance customer amenities such as bike access improvements; and,
- Seek funding to implement and complete projects to enhance system safety and security to protect employees, passengers and facilities, including PTC and right-of-way fencing.
Our goal remains to improve the quality of life in the communities we serve by providing safe, convenient, affordable, reliable, and environmentally friendly passenger rail service.
CCJPA will continue to work with its project partners to develop financing plans and grant applications to reinvest in the Capitol Corridor service and implement initiatives in line with its vision for the rail service.
As we sustain Capitol Corridor’s success and growth into the future we will continue to implement projects that will:
- advance the safety and security of our trains;
- meet changing demographics and demand for service in the Northern California Megaregion;
- ensure that we meet the State’s sustainability goals; and
- improve the quality of life for the diverse communities we serve.
CAPITOL CORRIDOR JOINT POWERS AUTHORITY
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Placer County Transportation Agency
Bridget Powers (alt.)
Sacramento Regional Transit District
Steve Hansen (alt.)
Rick Jennings (alt.)
San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District
Rebecca Saltzman, Vice Chair
Joel Keller (alt.)
John Mcpartland (alt.)
Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
Solano Transportation Authority
James P. Spering
Len Augustine (alt.)
Yolo County Transportation District
Lucas Frerichs, Chair
Robert Davis (alt.)
Grace Crunican, Executive Director
David B. Kutrosky, Managing Director
Matt Burrows, General Counsel
Kenneth A. Duron, Secretary
Rose Poblete, Controller-Treasurer