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Rail News: Passenger Rail

California's Capitol Corridor marks December ridership gain

Capitol Corridor ridership rose 3 percent in December 2013 compared with December 2012, the first time in fiscal-year 2014 that the rail service posted a year-over-year monthly ridership gain.

As a result, revenue rose 3.5 percent in December, Capitol Corridor's Managing Director David Kutrosky said in his monthly report.

December's ridership increase was attributed to the Thanksgiving travel week extending into Dec. 1, he reported. On-time performance for the month was "an extraordinary 98 percent," which he attributed in large part to "excellent dispatching" by Union Pacific Railroad and Caltrain, and to a significant drop in Amtrak mechanical delay minutes.

Meanwhile, California Gov. Jerry Brown included in his fiscal-year 2014-15 budget proposal $108.9 million for the three California intercity passenger-rail services: Capitol Corridor, San Joaquin and Pacific Surfliner. The draft budget also calls for $300 million in proceeds from cap-and-trade auction revenue for the state's rail modernization program: $250 million for the initial operating segment of the state's high-speed rail program; and $50 million for projects that connect public transit-rail services with the high-speed train, Kutrosky's report stated.

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