The agenda for LOSSAN's May 10th meeting is now up and with it an interesting presentation by Amtrak regarding the Amtrak Thruway service:
1. 1 in 6 Amtrak California riders use a Thruway bus.
2. There are 107,000 bus passengers taking a Santa Barbara-San Luis Obispo-Oakland bus. Many of these would presumably transfer to the Coast Daylight when it starts.
3. There are 10,000 passengers on Amtrak Thruway buses between the Coachella Valley and Fullerton. Amtrak's continued refusal to make the Sunset Limited a daily train is puzzling since these would be a shoehorn in for it. Yes, Union Pacific is resistant to it. But Amtrak isn't even fighting over something that they themselves identified as lowering annual losses.
4. The LA-Bakersfield Gap sees 212,000 annual riders by Thruway bus, all of which requires a connecting ticket to another Amtrak train (though the holder is not required to make that connection of course). The importance of completing the infrastructure for a one-seat ride between LA Union Station and Bakersfield cannot be overstated.
The Surfliner finally had a ridership gain in March (1.6%), compared to a previous year, after declines from October through February due to track work playing merry hell with train delays and cancellations. Impressively, it was accompanied by a 22.3% revenue increase. The San Joaquin was up 15.9% and 18.1% respectively.