Category Archives: Ridership statistics

Amtrak sets record of 30 million passengers in past 12 months, the most since railroad created

From The Washington Post:

Amtrak trains carried more than 30 million passengers in the past 12 months, the most in one year since the passenger railroad was created four decades ago, railroad officials said Thursday.

Ridership during the budget year ending on Sept. 30 was 30.2 million passengers, up 5 percent over the previous year. Ticket revenue was up by more than 8 percent despite significant weather-related disruptions in much of the country.

Amtrak has set ridership records eight out of the last nine years. A decade ago, it carried 21 million passengers a year.

“Amtrak is fulfilling its national mission and is part of the solution to meet America’s growing transportation and energy needs,” Joseph Boardman, Amtrak’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Despite its success in attracting riders, Amtrak’s critics in Congress are squeezing the railroad’s federal subsidies and trying to take away its most valuable routes in the rail corridor that links Washington, Philadelphia, New York and Boston.

The House Appropriations Committee’s transportation subcommittee last month approved a budget that sharply reduces Amtrak subsidies. In June, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica, R-Fla., proposed soliciting bids from other railroads for the right to service the 456-mile Northeast Corridor, which is the heart of Amtrak’s operations. He said it was taking the railroad too long to achieve consistently high-speed service equivalent to trains in Europe and Asia.

Amtrak has proposed its own plan to upgrade its Northeast Corridor track and trains and to eliminate bottlenecks so that trains can travel up to 220 mph. Trip time between Washington and New York would be reduced to 96 minutes and between New York and Boston to 93 minutes. But the plan would be phased in over 30 years and cost $117 billion to implement. The railroad is seeking private investment to pay for some of the cost.

“Americans are returning to the rails in record numbers, yet Republicans are pulling out all of the stops in their rush to auction off Amtrak’s assets to the highest bidder on Wall Street,” Rep. Nick Rahall of West Virginia, top Democrat on the transportation committee, said. “It makes no sense to tear apart a railroad and its workforce while they are succeeding at their jobs.”

Amtrak was created by Congress in 1971 after passenger railroads failed in the face of competition from airlines and interstate highway travel. With the U.S. population expected to exceed 400 million people by 2050, nightmarish congestion is forecast for the nation’s already crowded highways and airports.

Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/amtrak-sets-record-of-30-million-passengers-in-past-12-months-the-most-since-railroad-created/2011/10/13/gIQAHHIAiL_story.html

MDOT: Amtrak sets ridership records in Michigan

From the Detroit Free Press:

Amtrak routes in Michigan are setting new ridership records, despite freight train delays that the state and federal government are investing millions to reduce, the passenger rail service said.

Amtrak said 503,290 passengers rode its Wolverine line on the Pontiac/Detroit-Chicago corridor in the fiscal year that ended in September, a 4.9% rise year over year, with ticket revenue up 11% to $18.8 million.

Ridership on the Blue Water line from Port Huron to Chicago grew 18.6% to 187,065 passengers, with ticket revenue increasing 22.3% to nearly $5.8 million. The Pere Marquette service from Grand Rapids to Chicago grew 4.7% to 106,662 passengers; ticket revenue grew 9.8% to nearly $3.2 million, Amtrak said.

“This past year marks the highest ridership totals ever on Amtrak services in Michigan,” Michigan Department of Transportation Director Kirk Steudle said. “All three lines, especially the Blue Water, have made great gains, despite the slowdowns on the Pontiac/Detroit-Chicago corridor. We’ve taken steps to repair the track between Kalamazoo and Ypsilanti, so that will help bring speeds back to what customers expect.”

Those steps include purchasing 135 miles of track between Dearborn and Kalamazoo, paid with federal matching grants that are part of an Obama Administration effort to boost high-speed rail nationwide. Michigan has received about $350 million from the feds to buy and upgrade track and equipment to boost passenger rail speeds to 110 m.p.h. over the next several years.

Source: http://www.freep.com/article/20111014/BUSINESS06/111014007/MDOT-Amtrak-sets-ridership-records-Michigan?odyssey=nav%7Chead

Amtrak marks 16 straight months of ridership growth

Increasing gasoline prices contribute to record February

From an Amtrak press release

WASHINGTON – February marked 16 consecutive months of Amtrak ridership growth and was the best February on record with 2,099,010 passengers.

“The ridership increase shows the continued popularity of rail travel and the need for continued investment in passenger rail service,” said Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman.  “We anticipate demand for rail travel will increase with the rise of gasoline prices, and Amtrak is prepared to be there for passengers who want to leave the car behind.”

This strong performance is part of a long-term trend that has seen America’s Railroad set annual ridership records in seven of the last eight fiscal years, including more than 28.7 million passengers in FY 2010. 

Specifically, there was a 7.6 percent increase in riders in February 2011 vs. February 2010, or more than 147,000 passengers.  The 16 straight months of ridership growth spans from November 2009 to February 2011 and averages a 6 percent growth rate over this period.

Factors that are contributing to the success of Amtrak include a moderately improved economic environment allowing some recovery of business travel along the Northeast Corridor, sustained high gasoline prices, the increased appeal and popularity of rail travel, effective marketing campaigns, and the introduction of Wi-Fi on the high-speed Acela Express trains.  

The highlights below compare the first five months of current FY 2011 (October 2010-February 2011) to the same period during FY 2010 and show increased Amtrak ridership across the country from coast to coast.

East Highlights
The high-speed Acela Express service continued its popularity with a ridership increase of 9.7 percent in the Boston-New York-Washington corridor.  Amtrak’s state supported Adirondack Service (New York City-Montreal) saw a 9.3 percent hike and the Piedmont service (Charlotte-Raleigh) experienced a significant gain of 101.8 percent following the introduction of an additional round-trip frequency last summer.  In addition, Virginia routes had sizable gains with Washington-Lynchburg at 28 percent and Washington-Newport News at 16.8 percent.

Central Highlights
The Chicago hub experienced steep ridership gains as led by the Blue Water (Chicago-Port Huron) at 26.4 percent.  In addition, the Chicago-Pontiac Wolverine Service was up 18.1 percent, the Chicago-Carbondale corridor up 16 percent, and the Chicago-St. Louis corridor was up eight percent.  Also, the Missouri River Runner (Kansas City-St. Louis) experienced a 14.6 percent gain and the Heartland Flyer (Oklahoma City-Ft. Worth) was up 8.8 percent.

West Highlights
In California, routes experienced gains including the Capitol Corridor service (San Jose-Auburn) with 8.4 percent and the Pacific Surfliner service (San Luis Obispo-San Diego) with 6.1 percent growth.

National Highlights
Among the long-distance Amtrak trains, the Cardinal (New York-Chicago) had the largest increase of 17.1 percent.  Other long-distance trains with strong gains were the Palmetto (New York-Savannah) at 16.6 percent, the Sunset Limited (New Orleans-Los Angeles) at 12.6 percent, the City of New Orleans (Chicago-New Orleans) at 10.9 percent, and the Lake Shore Limited (New York-Chicago) at 10.6 percent.

About Amtrak®:
Amtrak is America’s Railroad, the nation’s intercity passenger rail provider and its only high-speed rail operator.  A record 28.7 million passengers traveled on Amtrak in FY 2010 on more than 300 daily trains – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces.  Amtrak operates trains in partnership with 15 states and four commuter rail agencies.  Amtrak also is a strong financial performer achieving an 85 percent cost-recovery ratio in FY 2010.  Enjoy the journey at Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information.  Join us on Facebook at facebook.com/Amtrak and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/Amtrak.

More passengers choosing Amtrak

Record January marks 15 straight months of ridership growth

From an Amtrak press release

The numbers are now in and January is the 15th straight month of ridership growth for Amtrak and also the best January on record with 2,126,429 passengers. This strong performance is part of a long-term trend that has seen America’s Railroadsm set annual ridership records in seven of the last eight fiscal years, including more than 28.7 million passengers in FY 2010.

 “The steady rise in ridership demonstrates a growing demand and the ongoing need for a national intercity passenger rail system,” said Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman. “With oil approaching $100 a barrel, we expect to continue to post strong ridership numbers as more and more people choose Amtrak to meet their transportation needs.”

Specifically, there was a 4.6 percent increase in riders in January 2011 vs. January 2010, or nearly 94,000 more passengers. The 15 straight months of ridership growth spans from November 2009 to January 2011 which averages a 6 percent growth rate over this period.

Factors that are contributing to the success of Amtrak include a moderately improved economic environment allowing some recovery of business travel along the Northeast Corridor, sustained high gasoline prices, the increased appeal and popularity of rail travel, effective marketing campaigns, and the introduction of Wi-Fi on the high-speed Acela Express trains.

 The highlights below compare the first four months of current FY 2011 (October 2010-January 2011) to the same period during FY 2010 and show increased Amtrak ridership across the country from coast to coast.

 East Highlights

 The high-speed Acela Express service continued its popularity with a ridership increase of 9.2 percent. Piedmont Service (Charlotte – Raleigh) experienced a significant gain of 110.8 percent following the introduction of an additional round-trip frequency last summer. In addition, Virginia routes had sizable gains with Washington –Lynchburg at 26.7 percent and Washington – Newport News at 12.8 percent.

Central Highlights

The Chicago hub experienced steep ridership gains as led by the Blue Water (Chicago – Port Huron) at 27.7 percent. In addition, the Chicago – Pontiac Wolverine Service was up 21 percent, the Chicago – Carbondale Illini/Saluki route up 15. 1 percent, the Chicago – Indianapolis Hoosier State up 13.3 percent, and the Chicago – St. Louis Lincoln Service was up 11.7 percent. Also, the Missouri River Runner (Kansas City – St. Louis) experienced a 17.2 percent gain.

West Highlights

In California, routes experienced gains including the Capitol Corridor Service (San Jose – Auburn) with 7.3 percent and the Pacific Surfliner Service (San Luis Obispo – San Diego) with 5 percent growth.

National Highlights
Among the long-distance Amtrak trains, the Cardinal (New York – Chicago) had the largest increase of 15.9 percent. Other long-distance trains with strong gains were the Sunset Limited (New Orleans – Los Angeles) at 13.8 percent, the City of New Orleans ( Chicago – New Orleans) at 13.1 percent, the Palmetto (New York – Savannah) at 12.8 percent, and the Lake Shore Limited (New York – Chicago) at 12.7 percent.

Michigan ridership statistics for December 2010

Click here for an Excel document of this file.

See below for a simple text version…

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  NATIONAL RAILROAD PASSENGER CORPORATION (AMTRAK)
                   
  SUMMARIZED FY 2011 MICHIGAN RIDERSHIP AND REVENUE RESULTS*
                   
  COMPARATIVE SUMMARY – MONTH OF DECEMBER 2010 VERSUS 2009
                   
  MONTH  ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2010 VERSUS 2009  *
                   
  Ridership *   Ticket Revenue (In Dollars) *
   December   December  Increase/(Decrease)    December   December  Increase/(Decrease)
Corridor/Service  2010  2009 Amount Percentage   2010 2009 Amount Percentage
                   
Blue Water 16,423 13,745           2,678 19.5%   $566,651 $453,122  $    113,529 25.1%
                   
Pere Marquette 10,524 9,516           1,008 10.6%   $338,805 $286,194         52,611 18.4%
                     
Wolverine 46,293 37,911           8,382 22.1%   $1,898,294 $1,464,313       433,981 29.6%
Total 73,240 61,172         12,068 19.7%   $2,803,750 $2,203,629       600,121 27.2%
                        
                   
  THIRD MONTH OF STATE FISCAL YEAR –  PERIOD ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2010
                   
  Ridership *   Ticket Revenue (In Dollars) *
Corridor/Service    Year-To-Date DECEMBER 31, Increase/(Decrease)      Year-To-Date DECEMBER 31, Increase/(Decrease)
  2010 2009 Amount Percentage   2010 2009 Amount Percentage
                   
Blue Water 46,272 35,733         10,539 29.5%   $1,454,500 $1,157,498  $    297,002 25.7%
                     
Pere Marquette 25,916 24,038           1,878 7.8%   $801,219 $702,495         98,724 14.1%
                       
Wolverine 130,683 106,501         24,182 22.7%   $4,949,889 $3,929,475     1,020,414 26.0%
  202,871 166,272         36,599 22.0%   $7,205,608 $5,789,468 1,416,140 24.5%
                       
                   
                   
                   
* Per December 2010 Ridership and Revenue Report (FY11)