Traveling in California:
Trends and Mobility (II)

Most Urban Areas Served by Commuter and Urban Rail

• The state's passenger rail system includes intercity rail, commuter, and urban (light) rail services.

Intercity Rail. This component of passenger rail primarily serves business and recreational travelers going between cities in California

and to other parts of the country. Currently, Amtrak operates all intercity rail service in the state. On rail corridors where the state wishes to provide for expanded service beyond Amtrak-defined "basic service" levels, the state contracts and shares costs with Amtrak to provide for additional train operations.

Commuter and Urban Rail. These services are provided within urban or metropolitan areas with commuter rail generally offering frequent service during the commute hours, and urban rail providing regular service throughout the day. Because commuter and urban rail services primarily serve local and regional transportation needs, they are planned and administered by local and regional transportation agencies. Funding is provided with a combination of local, state, and federal funds.

Intercity Rail Ridership Remains Relatively Flat

• Intercity rail is a state program, funded from the Public Transportation Account. Currently, service is provided in three rail corridors:

Capitol, serving San Jose - Oakland - Davis - Sacramento - Auburn.

San Diegan, serving San Diego - Los Angeles - Santa Barbara - San Luis Obispo.

San Joaquin, serving Oakland - Sacramento - Fresno - Bakersfield.

• Total daily roundtrip service on the three corridors grew from 16.5 roundtrips in 1995-96 to 22 in 1998-99.

• Despite the increase in the number of daily roundtrips, overall ridership has fluctuated in recent years. After a relatively large increase between 1995-96 and 1996-97, ridership has remained flat.

• In 1998-99, about 2.8 million passengers used the intercity rail service. This represents an increase of 17 percent from 1995-96, when ridership totaled approximately 2.4 million.

The Bulk of Commuter Rail Riders Use BART

• California's commuter rail operators include:

Altamont Commuter Express (ACE), serving Stockton - Tracy - Fremont - San Jose.

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), serving Daly City - San Francisco - Oakland - Richmond - Pittsburg - Dublin - Fremont.

Caltrain, serving Gilroy - San Jose - Palo Alto - San Mateo - San Francisco.

Coaster, serving Oceanside - Sorrento Valley - San Diego.

Metrolink, serving Oxnard - Lancaster - Los Angeles - Pomona - San Bernardino - Orange County - Oceanside.

• By far, BART carries the largest number of commuter rail passengers. In 1998-99, over 98 million passengers used commuter rail. Approximately 83 percent of these passengers were riders of BART.

More People Are Using Urban Rail Systems

• From 1995-96 through 1998-99, urban (light) rail operators as a whole have experienced an increase in ridership of about 22 percent.

• California's urban rail operators include:

• Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA).

• Sacramento Regional Transit.

• San Diego Trolley.

• San Francisco MUNI.

• Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA).

• Historically, San Francisco MUNI has serviced the largest number of urban rail passengers. In 1998-99, however, LACMTA surpassed MUNI in terms of total annual ridership, serving over 39 million passengers.

• In 1998-99, over 115 million passengers used urban rail transit statewide.

Fares and Local Funds Comprise the Bulk of Transit Revenues

1998-99 Estimated

• Transit services are funded by a combination of passenger fares and local, state, and federal funds.

• Local funds such as local sales tax revenues provide the largest source of operating funds. The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority estimated that about 89 percent of its revenues in 1998-99 came from local sources. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority estimated that local funds comprised about 61 percent of its total revenues in 1998-99.

• Passenger fares comprise an important source of revenues for operators. For instance, BART generated about 43 percent of its total revenues in 1998-99 from passenger fares—more than any of the other transit operators shown.

• The proportion of total revenues from state and federal funds varied among transit operators. These revenues are estimated to range from 0.2 percent of BART's total revenues (about $0.9 million) in 1998-99 to 19 percent for San Diego Transit (about $11.6 million).


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