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Rail News: Passenger Rail

California's Capitol Corridor caps off fiscal year with ridership, revenue drops


In September, Amtrak’s Capitol Corridor in California handled 126,692 passengers, down 12.5 percent from a record 144,797 riders in September 2008.

Ridership dropped 4.1 percent on the Pacific Surfliner, 7.8 percent on the San Joaquins line and 4.3 percent for long-distance trains.

In fiscal-year 2009, which ended Sept. 30, the Capitol Corridor registered 1.6 million riders, down 5.5 percent compared with 1.7 million riders in FY2008. However, FY2009 ridership increased from FY2007’s level by 10.4 percent.

The increase from FY2007’s count is “an indication that many of the FY2008 ridership surges were refugees from high gas prices, and that most of them returned to driving when gas prices declined,” said Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority officials in a prepared statement. “The good news … is that not only did we retain our base riders, with some modest growth [in FY2009], but we also kept some of the gas-price refugees.”

The corridor’s revenue declined 9.6 in September. But FY2009 revenue was relatively flat, falling 0.7 percent vs. FY2008, according to the authority.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/2/2009