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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Tri-Met sets trip record in FY09; Capitol Corridor authority posts ridership drops in June

During fiscal-year 2009 ending June 30, the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (Tri-Met) set a ridership record at 101.5 million trips, up 2.5 percent compared with FY2008 ridership.

The agency recorded 66.2 million trips via buses, 35.2 million trips via MAX light-rail trains and 125,000 trips via WES commuter-rail trains. Weekday trips averaged 107,800 on MAX and 1,180 on WES trains.

In June, Tri-Met registered 8.4 million trips, down 4.3 percent compared with June 2008’s total. The recession, double-digit unemployment figures and lower gas prices contributed to the decline, Tri-Met said.

Meanwhile, the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority’s three intercity passenger-rail lines also registered ridership drops in June.

The Pacific Surfliner moved 206,813 passengers, down 25.5 percent; Capitol Corridor handled 131,670 riders, down 9.5 percent; and San Joaquins moved 81,026 passengers, down 16 percent compared with June 2008 totals.

However, all three lines improved or maintained on-time performance (OTP). The Pacific Surfliners’ OTP reached 85.2 percent; Capitol Corridor’s OTP clocked in at a “solid” 92.5 percent; and San Joaquins’ OTP improved to 93.6 percent, according to the authority.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/14/2009