Friday, August 3, 2012

June Surfliner ridership down, revenue up

Information about June is now out.

Ridership:
Surfliner -3.0%
San Joaquin +3.9%
Capitol Corridor -0.6%
Coast Starlight +0.6%
Nationwide +3.2%
Metrolink +1.1%
Coaster +1.8%

Revenue:

Surfliner +4.6%
San Joaquin +6.1%
Capitol Corridor +9.3%
Coast Starlight +0.1%
Nationwide +8.8%

Surfliner on time performance dropped to 74.3% in June thanks to BNSF tie work between Los Angeles and Fullerton, though Metrolink's OC Line only dropped to 88.5% with a more demanding set of criteria (5 minutes grace vs 9 minutes). The Express train dropped to 52.4% OTP, but with a slight uptick in ridership, to an average of 190 riders, though that's a 37.4% drop since June 2011.

It's noted that the peak fare issue is no longer applicable as we are now into the summer months and the fare is what it would have been raised to anyhow, so we're back to the mystery of declining ridership.

An interesting comment made in the June meeting is that it would be substantially pricier for the state to utilize Amtrak's reservation system if the Surfliner were to transition to a completely reserved system. I'm not certain why it should cost the state any extra for what should be simply changing a few settings, though it's possible that ARROW is a sufficiently horrible kludge that it does involve a major degree of work to do. However, with PRIIA 209 coming into effect and the forthcoming high speed rail system, it may be worthwhile for the state to develop its own reservation system and require operators of Amtrak California to work with the state's reservation system instead of requiring the state to pay significant sums for access to Amtrak's reservation system.

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