In 2016 Cascades performance numbers are getting better. Ridership, on time performance, recovery rate, and other metrics, as of August, are better than last year and likely the past two years.
Cascades 2016 ridership data looks very promising. 2016 is currently a better year than both 2015 and 2014 when comparing ridership totals up to August. Total ridership this year is up 7% compared to the same point in 2015. It is possible 2016 could be an even better year for ridership than 2013. This reverses four years of declines.
On time performance also improved. Trains are arriving on time more often and there have been no dismal months. In 2015 there were two months where trains arrived less than 70% of the time. This year each month has been above 70%.
Average income per rider is nearly the same compared to 2015. In 2015, up to August, the average was $37.89. This year the average is $37.19. The increased numbers of riders should greatly improve the recovery rate as well. Briefly looking at Amtrak’s report for per mile seat loss and overall loss, year over year, makes me believe the recovery rate at the end of this year will easily exceed 60%. The highest recovery rate on record for Washington trains is from 2011 at 66.2%, however a different cost structure was in place where Amtrak picked up some costs. Last year, the second year with the new cost structure, ended with a recovery rate of 58.6% and 2014 was 58.1%.
Expect at the end of the year total ridership to be at 800,000 or greater, 80% or higher on time performance, and possibly even a 62% recovery rate.