California's Slow Speed Amtrak Trains See Ridership Gain

It's not just the High Speed Rail project making news these days in California. The three 79 mph, state-subsidized inter-city lines: Capitol Corridor, San Joaquin, and Pacific Surfliner (nation's second busiest), all registered riderships gains.

The article focuses mostly on the San Jose/Oakland to Sacramento/Auburn Capitol Corridor line, the nation's third busiest Amtrak line, noting it's main competition: Intestate 80. The route now boasts the 'highest on-time performance rate', key to its 10.6% ridership increase over prior year.

"David Kutrosky, Capitol Corridor managing director, also credits a successful partnership with Union Pacific Railroad, which owns the rails and has worked with the Capitol Corridor to keep them in good shape and to reduce delays.

Amtrak California, the state partnership with the national passenger rail corporation, carried about 5.1 million (19%) of the 27.1 million passengers who took Amtrak trains in 2009. And the number of riders is rising. California spends about $90 million a year on operating subsidies.

In November, the Pacific Surfliner drew 4.2 percent more passengers and the San Joaquin carried 2.3 percent more riders."

Thanks to Streetsblog San Francisco

Full Story: Calif. Amtrak ridership rising on state trains

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