amtrak suisun, 12/10/12

A Capitol Corridor train pulls into the Suisun City Amtrak station earlier in December. Capitol Corridor trains saw a decrease in ridership in November 2012 but an increase in revenue over the year before. (Brad Zweerink/Daily Republic)

Solano County

Capitol Corridor ridership sees slight dip

By From page A3 | January 02, 2013

FAIRFIELD — Capitol Corridor trains in November 2012 saw a slight decrease in ridership, but continued to meet revenue targets.

The service carried 147,845 passengers for the month. That was a 1.8 percent drop from November 2011, something Managing Director David Kutrosky in a press release attributed to a decrease in ridership during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

But the Capitol Corridor service for the month brought in $2.7 million, a 4.6 percent increase from November 2011.

Trains for the month had an on-time performance of 94 percent. That means 94 percent of the trains arrived at the end of their runs within 10 minutes of schedule. The Capitol Corridor goal is 90 percent. The service has made improvements since 2007, when the on-time performance was only 75 percent.

Delays caused by trespassing, the raising of the drawbridge over the Carquinez Strait and mechanical difficulties are rising but haven’t affected the overall system on-time performance, Kutrosky wrote.

“That being said, I recognize this is an unsettling trend,” he wrote in his report.

Capitol Corridor officials have met with officials from the Coast Guard and other agencies to talk about the delays associated with the Carquinez Strait drawbridge, he wrote. The ships in the strait have the priority, but there are protocols to minimize the effects on trains.

The Capitol Corridor service runs along 170 miles from Placer County to Santa Clara County and has 16 stops. The sole Solano County stop is at the Suisun-Fairfield station on Main Street in Old Town, Suisun City. Fairfield and Vacaville are working to open a second Solano County stop near Vanden and Peabody roads in Fairfield within a few years.

A June 2012 customer survey found that 23 percent of Capitol Corridor riders come from Sacramento County, 20 percent from Alameda County, 12 percent from Placer County and  9 percent from Yolo County. No percentage was listed for Solano County.

The average rider is 44 years old and makes 127 one-way trips annually on the train, the survey found.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.

Discussion | 4 comments

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  • LilJanuary 01, 2013 - 1:06 pm

    "No percentage was listed for Solano County." That's because they only listed the most used stations. The lowest listed, Yolo County (Davis), is listed as having 9% of ridership. Which means that Solano County is below that. For the month of November, Capitol Corridor had 147,845 riders. Solano's share of that would be no more than 13291. But if you assume that the train is used for commuting, that number doesn't really represent 13000 individual people since commuters go into work five days a week, four weeks a month. This number actually represents only about 664 unique individuals taking the train from Solano County for the month. So we are spending all this money to build a new station for about 664 people? Even if the new train station encourages a few more people to take the train to commute, it's not going to be more than just a handful of people. Even if it increases ridership by 50%, that is still only another 300 people. How much is the train station going to cost again? I will vote against any city council person who voted for this. I am done with these people going forward with pet projects while the rest of the city falls into decay.

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  • Typical County WorkerJanuary 02, 2013 - 10:20 am

    The problem is that it is too expensive compared to other modes of transportation.

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  • DonaldJanuary 02, 2013 - 3:07 pm

    as conservatives it's up to us to remind others that it's always more expensive to run a lane of rail than add a lane of concrete. Road building is cheaper and creates more jobs with fewer taxes without rewarding bloated Union workforces on railroads. if roads and airports pay for themselves with gas taxes and fees, why cant rail? if the Liberals are worried about the fuel consumption all they need to do is let us drill domestically not force us into cattle cars of rail socialism. roads and cars are the antithesis of socialism and we need to support them accordingly.

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  • John MurphyJanuary 03, 2013 - 1:39 pm

    Donald - on what planet are roads and airports paid for by gas taxes and fees? Example: The new Doyle Drive is a completely earmarked project with ZERO percent coming from state or federal gas taxes. While tolls are increasing on the Bay Bridge, they will NOT pay for the bridge replacement. Federal gas taxes only pay for federal roads. State gas taxes pay for state projects. The road through downtown Suisun is paid for by local taxes - a.k.a. your property taxes or by grants from the state a.k.a. state income and sales taxes. As a Conservative - you should do some RESEARCH

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