Amtrak Carry More Than 31.2 Million Passengers in Financial Year
Amtrak, the US’ national passenger operator has announced that at the end of it’s financial year on 30th September, it has carried more than 31.2 million passengers. This is the companies highest annual ridership total in its 41 year history and it continues to break another ridership record; the ninth in the last 10 years.
Compared to the financial year ending in 2011, 2012’s financial year ridership grew 3.5% while ticket revenues increased by 6.8% to a record high of $2.02 billion. On-time performance also increased by 4.9% to its highest level in 12 years at 83%.
Growth in Rail Passenger Ridership for Amtrak
The growth in ridership was seen across long distance services which increased by 4.7% to a 19 year high of 4.7 million passengers and also in state-supported and other short distance routes which grew by 2.1% to a record 15.1 million passengers. Passenger numbers on the Northeast Corridor grew by 4.8% to 11.4 million which again is a new record.
Joe Boardman, Presdient and CEO of Amtrak said “People are riding Amtrak trains in record numbers across the country because there is an undeniable demand to travel by rail. 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.”
The 2013 financial year is expected to start very strongly for Amtrak as the Downeaster services to Freeport and Brunswick in Maine are being extended at the beginning of November and the Virginia Northeast Regional service to Norfolk will also be extended starting 12th December. These extension projects along with improved passenger services such as Wi-Fi and eTicketing, high fuel 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 are all hoped to contribute to Amtrak’s long-term ridership growth.