Amtrak Ridership Rolls up Best-Ever Records

Oct 13, 2011, 13:03 ET from Amtrak

30.2 million passengers and $1.9 billion in ticket revenue

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --  Amtrak carried nearly 30.2 million passengers in Fiscal Year 2011 ending September 30, marking the highest ridership total since the National Railroad Passenger Corporation started operations in 1971 and the eighth ridership record during the last nine years.

Ridership versus the prior year is up by more than five percent - and ticket revenue is up by more than eight percent -- despite significant weather related disruptions in the Northeast, Central and Western U.S.  The previous Amtrak record for ridership was 28.7 million passengers in FY 2010.

In FY 2011, 26 of 44 routes set new ridership records including Amtrak's most popular Northeast Regional service (Washington - Boston.)  Also, 20 of the 27 state-supported and short distance routes had new ridership records and the long-distance trains saw the best ridership in 16 years.  The high-speed Acela Express service had its second best ridership ever.

"We were created by Congress to fulfill a vital national transportation need and to connect the nation in ways no other mode of transportation can.  We have always delivered for the American people and we will continue to do so," said Amtrak Board of Directors Chairman Tom Carper.

"We thank all our passengers for choosing Amtrak and our state partners for working with us to develop the kind of service that attracts ever increasing numbers of riders," said Amtrak President & CEO Joseph H. Boardman. "Amtrak is fulfilling its national mission and is part of the solution to meet America's growing transportation and energy needs."

Today in St. Louis, Amtrak is recognizing a suburban St. Louis woman as the representative 30 millionth passenger.  Rochelle Lathan rode the Texas Eagle from Alton, Ill., to Springfield on September 28, the day the 30 million passenger mark was reached.  She frequently travels to Springfield and Chicago on the Lincoln Service and Texas Eagle trains.

Factors contributing to the continuing success of Amtrak include high gasoline prices, continued growth in business travel on the high-speed Acela Express trains with free Wi-Fi service - with more AmtrakConnect deployments coming soon on other services across the country -- the increased appeal and popularity of rail travel and effective marketing campaigns.