Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Recession keeps cutting into Amtrak ridership

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July marked the ninth straight month Amtrak ridership dropped as cuts in business travel impacted ridership, attributable to the ongoing recession, the national passenger rail corporation says.

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Ridership fell 8.4% to 2.5 million from the year-ago month. Short-distance route riders declined 9.6%; long-distance ridership fell 4.9%. Northeast Corridor ridership fell 6.5%, paced by a 12% decline in Acela travelers.

The decline follows six straight year of ridership records by Amtrak, and began last November. It also occurs as federal stimulus funds have allowed the carrier to begin rehabilitating sidelined passenger equipment to expand capacity.