Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Amtrak (again) sets ridership record

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Another year, another ridership record: Amtrak Wednesday released its fiscal year 2012 ridership results (ending Sept. 30), 31.2 million passengers, up 3.5% from FY11 and the ninth ridership record in the past 10 years.

Ticket revenue also rose, up 6.8% in FY12 from the previous year. System on-time performance rose to 83% in FY12, up from 78.1% in FY11 and the highest level in 12 years, Amtrak said.

"People are riding Amtrak trains in record numbers across the country because there is an undeniable demand to travel by rail," said President and CEO Joe Boardman. "Ridership will continue to grow because of key investments made by Amtrak and our federal and state partners to improve on-time performance, reliability, capacity and train speeds."

Northeast Corridor risership rose 4.8% in FY12 to a record 11.4 million. Short-distance and state-supported train ridership rose 2.1% to a record 15.1 million. Long-distance train ridership, up 4.7%, notched its highest level in 19 years.

During FY 2012, ridership on the Northeast Corridor rose 4.8% to a record 11.4 million, state-supported and other short distance routes rose 2.1% to a record 15.1 million, and long-distance ridership was up 4.7% to its best showing in 19 years at 4.7 million. Since fiscal year 2000, Amtrak ridership is up 49%, the railroad said.

Boardman said he expects ridership growth to continue, aided in part by the extension of Downeaster trains to Freeport and Brunswick, Maine, begin Nov. 1, and when Amtrak Virginia Northeast Regional service is extended to Norfolk, Va., starting Dec.12.

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