Welcome Aboard

For so many reasons, FY2020 will be a year that many of us will never forget. The fiscal year began in October 2019 and by February 2020, by all indications, we were well on our way towards another record-breaking year of ridership and revenue for our service. However, by late March and into April 2020, the impact of novel coronavirus became palpable, as we realized an all-time low for our service with us carrying just 4% of normal ridership. Throughout the remainder of the year, as an essential service, we focused our efforts on providing a safe and healthy environment for all who needed to travel on the Capitol Corridor. This year’s report, though a bit of a departure from our historically flourishing performance, highlights how we successfully engaged with riders both on board and away from the train, communicated and upheld high safety precautions, and continued to plan for the longevity of our service through ongoing short- and long-term projects.

22 Years of Improvement

REVENUE $20,240,000




On-Time Performance

Overall Satisfaction

COVID-19 and the CARES Act

In response to the financial impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has awarded $1.02 billion of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to Amtrak. Of the amount awarded to Amtrak, $239 million of the CARES Act funding was allocated to mitigate the cost of operating Amtrak’s 28 State-supported Intercity Passenger Rail (IPR) routes which were facing severe declines in revenue and ridership due to the public health crisis. The legislation limits Amtrak’s FY2020 charges to State-supported IPRs at 80% of the FY2019 invoiced amount, which for CCJPA was $19.5 million. The CARES Act funding reduced CCJPA’s FY2020 charges by $8.5 million or 30%, allowing CCJPA to carryover $8.7 million of FY2020 surplus operations funding to be used in FY2021.

COVID-19 Ridership Impact

COVID-19 Revenue Impact

Return to Service Survey

Anticipating a reduction in Shelter-in-Place (SIP) travel restrictions, from May 18-May 27, 2020, we conducted a rider survey to ascertain their current and future travel plans as well as any health and safety concerns they might have had in regard to using our service. The 410 respondents were presented with 11 questions within the survey; below are some of those findings:


Plan to return to their normal work commute after SIP


Plan to ride 4-7 days a week after SIP

How riders feel about returning to our service

“I have no issue returning to the trains, especially if they are thoroughly cleaned and masks are required and enforced.”

Health and Safety

At the onset of the Shelter-in-Place (SIP) order for the Bay Area, the Capitol Corridor immediately implemented operational changes to ensure that it could safely transport essential workers who relied on our continued service during this time. As businesses and activities gradually opened up in May, returning passengers were met with increased health and safety protocols to ensure that they could continue to use the service with added peace of mind. By July, our Health and Safety page was launched as a centralized place for passengers to get updated information on operational updates and tips pertaining to traveling safely. Throughout the pandemic, the Capitol Corridor has remained committed to providing the highest level of safety for its passengers.

Enhanced Health and Safety Protocols









  • Cafe Car Service Suspension
  • San Francisco Thruway Bus Suspension
  • Station Hours Reduction
  • Reduced Train Schedule March through May
  • Face Coverings Required
  • Social Distancing of 6 Feet Required
  • Improved Air Filtration
  • Enhanced Cleaning Protocols
  • Hand Sanitizer at Stations and On Board Trains and Buses
  • Monitoring Ridership Levels for Train Capacity
  • Advertising and Promotions Suspension

“Looking forward to a ride to Jack London Square, have lunch and ride back to Sacramento.”


At the onset of this fiscal year, passengers were greeted with many of our traditional marketing and communications programs that included new offers and promotions, on board events, and even a San Francisco getaway sweepstakes. By mid-fiscal year, with so many of us spending most of our time at home, virtual connections became very important, and we offered Capitol Corridor branded Zoom backgrounds, as well as launched Corridor Conversations, our webinar series. In the midst of the pandemic, a social awakening began to spread across our country, and we joined many others in taking a stand against racism.

Offers and Promotions









Virtual Connections

The Capitol Corridor hosted its first “Corridor Conversation“, a virtual webinar featuring service and project updates by Managing Director, Rob Padgette, and other staff. The webinar attracted 55 unique attendees, who asked questions via the chat feature. We recorded the webinar and shared it on the Capitol Corridor’s YouTube channel and website.

Community Relations

2020 marked a time where standing in solidarity became essential, regardless of the color of your skin. In July, we released our anti-racism statement to publicly denounce racism. Additionally, to recognize the vital contributions of essential workers, we joined transit agencies across the country to Sound the Horn in their honor.

“It’s such an adequate service that I can build in my cycling and exercise into, and I’m in the air quality field so it’s all consistent with kind of my lifestyle.”

Customer Experience

In spite of the operational challenges that presented themselves during the pandemic, the Capitol Corridor team invested in innovation, improved upon its communication strategy, expanded the commitment to sustainability, and even collaborated with the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) to launch a joint company store. Through a partnership with the University of California, Davis, students from the Human Centered Design course help us reimagine the Capitol Corridor on board experience. Looking to the future, we hope to integrate the spirit of their creative ideas into the on board experience.



Exclusive Capitol Corridor and BART branded apparel, keepsakes, and trains became available for online sales when the store launched in July.


Planning for trips on the train while maintaining social distance became much easier with the launch of the Check Your Train feature on the website.


After the success of the evergreen signs at bus stops, the new station signs were rolled out along the route, allowing passengers to get current schedules via a QR code.


Understanding that passengers who purchase 10-ride passes might need more time to travel, the expiration date was extended from 45 days to 60 days.

“I care about climate change it’s one of the most pressing issues facing our time. One of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions is driving singular single occupancy vehicles, and so I think that’s one aspect that attracted me to the train—that and the fact that I can make an impact to reduce my carbon footprint.”


While CCJPA faced challenges in dealing with the effects of the pandemic, during the second half of the fiscal year our team continued to seize opportunities to move forward on service improvements in anticipation of increasing ridership demand as we move into calendar year 2021. For many of our projects, we rely on feedback from our passengers and the communities we serve. This year we conducted our Train Status Communication survey to learn more about how passengers receive updates about their travel, as well as published the findings from our Station Access Survey.

We also continue to look into the future as we make progress on the planning and design of projects to expand and enhance our service, including the South Bay Connect and the Sacramento to Roseville Third Track projects.

Sacramento-Roseville Third Track Service Expansion Project

Funding: TIRCP, Prop 1A, Prop 1B

With the addition of a third railroad track between Sacramento and Roseville, the Capitol Corridor would be able to increase frequencies between the two stations. In addition, an overnight train layover and servicing facility will also be a part of the project.

2015 Environmental phase complete
2016 Awarded $87M from TIRCP towards project design and construction
2019 25% design complete
2022 Phase one final design to be complete
2022 Phase one construction to begin

Next Generation Wi-Fi

Funding: Annual State Supplemental Allocations

The next generation Wi-Fi service will nearly double the bandwidth and will be continuously upgraded with newest improvements in Wi-Fi technology.

2018 Assumed management of existing Wi-Fi from Amtrak
2019 Wi-Fi service provider procured under new service model to include technology upgrades
2020 Installation of next generation Wi-Fi equipment on train to begin
2020 Installation complete

Renewable Diesel

Funding: CCJPA Operating Budget

In collaboration with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), CCJPA has identified and is currently testing alternative fuel options that will work with Tier 4 Charger locomotives which operate with high-pressure fuel systems.

2016 Exploration of alternative fuel options
2017 Renewable fuels tests on F-59 locomotives
2019 Renewable fuels tests on Tier 4 Charger locomotives
2020 Over 50% testing completed. (Testing was suspended for 3 months due to COVID-related service reductions
2021 Testing Completion

Right-of-Way (ROW) Safety and Security Improvements

Funding: SRA

The ROW includes the track and the area between the track and fencing. To protect people, workers, and equipment, ROW cleanup crews have been working to repair or add fencing in key areas; clear encampments, illegal dumping, and overgrown vegetation.

2017 Initial cleanup kickoff
2020 In addition to the cleanup and fencing installation and repair efforts, Union Pacific has installed “No Trespassing” signs along the Capitol Corridor right-of way
2021 Amtrak will be installing Suicide Prevention signage at the Capitol Corridor stations

California Integrated Ticketing

Program (Cal ITP) Funding: TIRCP

CCJPA is providing fiscal management to a CalSTA and Caltrans-led, multi-agency initiative to research, develop and implement an Integrated Travel Program (Cal ITP) that will enable California residents and visitors to plan and pay for travel across multiple modes of transportation, including bus, metro, light and intercity rail, paratransit, bike hire, and ride-hailing services in California.

2016 Case study of European models of integration and fare policies
2018 Cal ITP forum for sharing lessons learned
2019 Team assembled to build framework for comprehensive Cal ITP
2020 Conducted market studies and developed data models across various trip-planning and payment scenarios in preparation for pilot projects with select transit agencies
2021 Finalize RFP to determine potential vendors for pilot projects

Santa Clara Siding Improvement Design

Funding: SRA, TIRCP

This project creates a new place for trains to meet and pass south of the Great America Station, easing train congestion in the South Bay. Trains that have been impacted by congestion will see these related delays reduced to 5-10 minutes from an average of 30 minutes.

2017 Final design started
2021 Final project design to be completed
2022 Construction to begin

LED Lighting for Richmond and Martinez Stations

Funding: Minor Capital Improvement Projects

New LED lighting at Richmond and Martinez provides a safer experience for passengers at nighttime; offers better lighting for security cameras; requires less maintenance; and is more energy efficient.

2019 Project started
2020 Project completion

Surfliner Door Panel Replacement

Funding: Caltrans Division of Rail and Mass Transportation

Over time, there has been an increase in delays associated with the existing door panels on 22 Surfliner rail cars; the door panels are in need of replacement due to age. The new door panels will mitigate related delays, be more secure, and offer a quieter ride by reducing exterior noise.

2019 Procurement of new door panels for 22 Surfliner cars
2020 Installation of door panels to begin after Thanksgiving Holiday period
2021 Project completion

Link21 (New Transbay Rail Crossing)

Funding: TIRCP, Annual State Supplemental Allocation

The Link21 Program is a partnership between CCJPA and BART that includes plans for a new transbay rail crossing between San Francisco and Oakland. The new crossing opens the possibility of providing faster and more reliable passenger rail service to major destinations in the 21-county Northern California Megaregion. The program will include improvements to the regional rail (commuter, intercity) and BART systems.

2019 Funding awarded to survey project impact on employers and workforce demands
2020 Hire staff dedicated to managing project
2021 Conduct market analysis and develop program alternatives

Davis Station Improvement Project

Funding: PTA SRA, CCJPA Operations Budget

CCJPA is collaborating with Amtrak and Union Pacific for track and signal upgrades. This is the first phase of a larger future project of improvement initiatives at Davis Station that will improve safety and ADA access with a center island platform.

2019 $4M committed for track and signal upgrades
2021 Design completion
2022 Track and signal upgrade completion

Alviso Wetland Railroad Adaptation Alternatives Study

Funding: Caltrans Adaptation Planning Grant and CCJPA Operating Budget

This study is the first step in understanding the sea level rise adaptation design options for the railroad infrastructure between Newark and Santa Clara and the opportunities for passenger rail service improvements and habitat restoration that could be achieved concurrently.

2014 CCJPA Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment completed
2018 Alviso Wetland Railroad Adaptation Alternatives Study initiated
2020 Final report completed for the Alviso Wetland Railroad Adaptation Alternatives Study

South Bay Connect

Funding Source: TIRCP

South Bay Connect proposes to relocate Capitol Corridor service between Oakland Coliseum and Newark from the current route on the Union Pacific (UP) Niles Subdivision to the UP Coast Subdivision, which could save up to 13 minutes of travel time between Oakland and San Jose. The project also intends to facilitate new transbay connections for Capitol Corridor passengers between the East Bay and the Peninsula, an underserved market for the Capitol Corridor service.

2019 Project Definition Report completed
2020 Environmental documentation and review process initiated with Notice of Preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR)
2021 Draft EIR expected to be released
2022 Final EIR expected to be adopted
2024 Construction expected to begin
2027 Construction expected to finish and project operational

Passenger Information Display System (PIDS) Modernization

Funding Source: SRA

The existing PIDS was designed and implemented in the early 2000’s, and both software and hardware have been in use without major upgrades since then. The PIDS Modernization project will implement a new PIDS with new software and hardware that improves upon the functionalities of existing PIDS.

2020 Software development began
2021 Implementation at stations to begin

Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority Board

Placer County Transportation Planning Agency
John Allard
Jim Holmes
Cheryl Maki (Alt.)

Sacramento Regional Transit District
Kerri Howell
Steve Miller
Steve Hansen (Alt.)
Patrick Kennedy (Alt.)

San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District
Debora Allen
Bevan Dufty
Janice Li
John McPartland
Robert Raburn
Rebecca Saltzman, Chair
Elizabeth Ames (Alt.)

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
Teresa O’Neill
Raul Peralez

Solano Transportation Authority
Harry Price
James P. Spering
Ron Rowlett (Alt.)

Yolo County Transportation District
Lucas Frerichs
Don Saylor, Vice Chair
Gloria Partida (Alt.)

Executive Officers
Robert Powers, Executive Director
Robert Padgette, Managing Director