Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Amtrak carries most passengers ever

Amtrak carried more than 31.2 million passengers in Fiscal Year 2012 ending September 30, marking the highest annual ridership total since America's Railroad® started operations in 1971 and the ninth ridership record during the past ten years.

A year-over-year comparison of FY 2012 to FY 2011 shows ridership grew 3.5 percent to a new record of 31,240,565 passengers and ticket revenue jumped 6.8 percent to a best ever $2.02 billion. In addition, Amtrak system-wide on-time performance increased to 83 percent, up from 78.1 percent and its highest level in 12 years.

"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."

During FY 2012, ridership on the Northeast Corridor is up 4.8 percent to a record 11.4 million, state-supported and other short distance routes is up 2.1 percent to a record 15.1 million and long-distance services is up 4.7 percent to their best showing in 19 years at 4.7 million.

Boardman noted ridership numbers for FY 2013 will get an early boost this fall when the extension of Downeaster service to Freeport and Brunswick, Maine begins Nov. 1, and Amtrak Virginia Northeast Regional service is extended to Norfolk, Va., starting Dec.12.

Factors contributing to Amtrak long-term ridership growth include improved passenger services such as Wi-Fi and eTicketing, high gasoline prices, continued growth in business travel on the Northeast Corridor, the increased appeal and popularity of rail travel, dissatisfaction with congested highways and air travel and effective marketing campaigns.

Amtrak intends to provide FY 2012 ridership information by state and station next week.

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