Rail News

Amtrak Set Another Thanksgiving Ticket and Ridership Record

Amtrak ridership and ticket revenue both set records for the Thanksgiving period as customers across the country increasingly choose America’s Railroad(r) for holiday travel.

Amtrak carried a record 737,537 passengers during Thanksgiving 2012, up 1.9 percent over the previous year and the prior record set in 2011.  In addition, Nov. 21, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, was the single busiest day in the history of Amtrak with 140,691 passengers.  Ticket revenues were a best ever $56.1 million, up 8.4 percent versus 2011.

Amtrak recovered quickly from Superstorm Sandy and served the same number of Northeast Corridor holiday passengers as the year before.  Ridership was up 3.4 percent on state-supported and other short distance routes and up 0.8 percent on the long-distance services.  The Thanksgiving 2012 travel period extended from Nov. 20 – 26.

“Amtrak is a key element of the regional response to Sandy and it was critical for us to restore service and operate our full and expanded schedule to connect families for the holiday-and with the help of our commuter partners we did it,” said President and CEO Joe Boardman.
When compared with Thanksgiving 2010, the two-year increase is even more impressive, 737,537 vs. 704,446 passengers, up 4.7 percent and $56.1 million vs. $47.6 million in ticket revenues, up 17.9 percent.

Amtrak eTicketing

Helping smooth the way was this year’s nationwide implementation of eTicketing, enabling passengers to print their own boarding documents or have their smartphones scanned by Amtrak conductors, reducing lines at ticket windows and Quik-TrakSM kiosks.

Amtrak accommodated additional passengers with extra trains scheduled in the Northeast Corridor, the Chicago Hub, the Pacific Northwest and in California.  In addition, Amtrak added capacity to many other trains in the 46-state national network.

This was the first Thanksgiving for the new extended Downeaster service to Freeport and Brunswick, Maine, and for Amtrak Thruway bus service in Eastern North Carolina that provides rail connections for eight communities to the Palmetto service.

Also, Amtrak partnered with VIA Rail Canada, which provided several passenger railcars to help make additional seats available on Northeast Corridor trains and on the Albany – Montreal segment of the Adirondack service.

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