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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Capitol Corridor registers record April ridership, receives $68 million from feds for rolling stock


Capitol Corridor’s ridership rose 11 percent to a record 152,781 passengers in April compared with 137,871 in April 2010.

The results represented the fourth consecutive month of ridership increases for the corridor, said David Kutrosky, managing director of the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA), in a prepared statement.

Kutrosky attributed the increase to rising fuel prices influencing commuters’ mode choices. With 1.7 million riders registered during the past 12 months, Capitol Corridor is the third-busiest passenger-rail route in the country, he said.

Growing ridership also was reflected in Capitol Corridor’s revenue, which climbed 16 percent to $2.4 million in April compared with a year ago. Year-to-date on-time performance was 95 percent.

Other CCJPA passenger-rail systems also registered ridership increases last month: Pacific Surfliner’s ridership rose 8 percent to 253,275 riders and San Joaquin ridership soared 18 percent to 99,391. Ticket revenue jumped 16 percent for Pacific and 23 percent for San Joaquin.

Meanwhile, CCJPA welcomed news from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), which announced earlier this week that California’s intercity passenger-rail service will receive $68 million to procure 15 new rail cars and four locomotives. The new vehicles will be distributed among Capitol Corridor, San Joaquin and Pacific Surfliner, and are scheduled to be delivered in the next three to four years, officials said.

The award for the California fleet cars was included in the USDOT’s redistribution of $2 billion in high-speed rail funds.

“The arrival of these new train cars and locomotives couldn’t come at a better time to accommodate the steadily growing ridership on all three corridors,” CCJPA Chairman Bob Franklin said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/11/2011