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» RAILforum » Passenger Trains » Amtrak » Amtrak July 08 ridership figures

   
Author Topic: Amtrak July 08 ridership figures
Henry Kisor
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They're up 14 per cent systemwide over July '07, according to this release from Amtrak Media Relations:

JULY 2008 AMTRAK RIDERSHIP SETS ALL-TIME MONTHLY RECORD
Ridership increases nearly 14 percent over July 2007


WASHINGTON – Amtrak ridership in July Fiscal Year 2008 increased to 2,750,278, nearly a 14 percent increase, marking the most passengers carried in any single month in Amtrak’s 37 year history. Total ridership for the Fiscal Year to date – October 1, 2007 – July 31, 2008 – reached 23.7 million, topping the 21.3 million from the same period last year. Total ticket revenue for the fiscal year to date reached $1.4 billion, a 14.1 percent increase over the same period in FY07. For the month of July, ticket revenue increased by 18.6 percent to $168 million.

“Increasing fuel prices, highway congestion, airline issues and environmental awareness continue to make intercity passenger rail extremely relevant and popular,” said Alex Kummant, President and CEO of Amtrak. “In addition, we continue to work on service improvements and better on-time performance, which draws more ridership and revenue each month.
“Our record-setting ridership and ticket revenue in the month of July alone indicate we will end the year with approximately three million new passenger trips in FY09,” he added.

Eastern Highlights

The popularity of the Acela Express service continued in the month of July with a 5.5 percent increase over July 2007. Ticket revenue in the Northeast Corridor reached more than $79 million, a 16.2 percent increase. Ridership on the recently relaunched Northeast Regional trains continued to rise with an 8.8 percent increase in the month of July and revenue topping $41 million.
The Downeaster, which operates between Portland, Maine and Boston, carried 48,438 passengers in July, a 33.6 percent increase over July last year. Ticket revenues on this route increased by 34.1 percent to $722,676.

The Keystone Service, which operates between Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and New York City experienced significant growth with a 26 percent increase in ridership, reaching 109,317 in July, and a 19.9 percent increase from October – July with more 975,184 passengers.

The Piedmont, which runs between Raleigh and Charlotte NC, increased ridership by 43 percent in July, and ticket revenue by 48 percent.

Central Highlights

The Midwest trains continued to see significant gains in both ridership and revenue in July. The Heartland Flyer increased ridership by 40.2 percent and revenue by 70.2 percent last month.

The Hiawatha Service, with seven daily round-trips sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and Illinois DOT, reached 78,662 passengers – a 37.7 percent increase over July 2007.

West Highlights

California’s Capitol Corridor service which operates between Auburn and San Jose, carried 161,731 passengers in July FY08, a 32.6 percent increase over the same month last year. The San Joaquins continue to increase in ridership with a 32.1 percent increase over July last year and a 47.5 percent increase in revenue.

National Highlights

Among the trains on the Amtrak national network, the Coast Starlight – which operates between Seattle and Los Angeles – was the most popular overnight train in the month of July with more than 47,000 passengers, a 27.7 percent increase.

The Auto Train, which runs non-stop between the Washington, DC and Orlando areas, carried more than 24,000 passengers in July and the New York-Miami Silver Service trains (Silver Meteor-Silver Star) achieved ridership gains of 14.7 and 17.8 percent respectively.

About Amtrak

Amtrak provides intercity passenger rail service to more than 500 destinations in 46 states on a 21,000-mile route system. For schedules, fares and information, passengers may call 800-USA-RAIL or visit Amtrak.com.

COMMENT: Notice the absence of 3/4, 5/6, 7/8 and other LD trains from these highlights. Perhaps in July '07 these trains were running at near summer capacity, and since there is't much room for more, any increase in ridership had to stay in the single figures.

Posts: 2236 | From: Evanston, Ill. and Ontonagon, Mich. | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gilbert B Norman
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This is indeed encouraging to learn, Mr. Kisor. In a $5ga environment (volks, it will happen before Georgia is on the back pages) AND decreasing air transport seat-miles, Corridors are a no-brainer, as distinct from an effective marketing program luring people out of their autos. I must acknowledge 'encouragement" that the LD ridership is substantially up as well, but that does not mean I endorse any initiative to expand such - routes or frequencies.

Another BIG downside that I believe cannot be overlooked; will Congress simply decide "you're doing so much better at the farebox you don't need as much from us"? I personally hope that is not the case, and initiatives for 200 new Corridor cars (A-III's in shorthand for the moment) AND 40 additional Acela Coaches adding 2 for each set will move forth.

Posts: 8052 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Aurora Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TwinStarRocket
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It would be interesting to evaluate these figures in terms of "capacity for expansion". Are the greatest gains among trains that may have been previously running with the most empty seats? Are increases limited on routes that were already running close to full, due to lack of equipment?

I have heard claims that if extra cars were available for the Zephyr or Empire Builder, they could easily be filled.

A voice from the sky says: "If you build it, they will come."

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CG96
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quote:
Originally posted by TwinStarRocket:
It would be interesting to evaluate these figures in terms of "capacity for expansion". Are the greatest gains among trains that may have been previously running with the most empty seats? Are increases limited on routes that were already running close to full, due to lack of equipment?

I have heard claims that if extra cars were available for the Zephyr or Empire Builder, they could easily be filled.

A voice from the sky says: "If you build it, they will come."

Agree with Twin Star. The major obsticle that we are facing is that, despite $3, $4, $5 per gal. gas, there will be those who will still resist, some quite vigorously, the need to reinvest in our rail infrastructure. The cost will be in the billions in order to bring things up to the state they were in in the 1920's and 1930s.

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"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one corner of the Earth all one's life."

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delvyrails
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CG96, hope you mean to establish railroad and Amtrak rolling stock capacities for expeditious freight and passenger services as needed now and in the near future.

The track capacity needs have been well shown on capacity maps which have been published in numerous places and show in red the capacity-deficient routes. Amtrak equipment needs would seem to be of all locomotive and car types as the current broad traffic increases would indicate.

We shouldn't want the freight railroads or Amtrak as passenger operator to return to the smugness of "the standard era" of the 1920s and early 1930s, which was entirely different from today's competitive world.

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John Pawson

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Liberty Limited
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quote:
Originally posted by Henry Kisor:
COMMENT: Notice the absence of 3/4, 5/6, 7/8 and other LD trains from these highlights. Perhaps in July '07 these trains were running at near summer capacity, and since there is't much room for more, any increase in ridership had to stay in the single figures.

The one I noted was the Crescent. Last year it was selling out typically about 3 DAYS before deaprture. This year, it was continuously (and I do mean continuosly) selling out 2 WEEKS before departure.

Yes there's a future in corridors, but the LD's are handling their business as well!

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History of Baltimore and Baltimore Transit - Visit http://www.btco.net !

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irishchieftain
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LD service is corridors. The converse is not necessarily true, but LD trains are a component and should not be replaced with the ephemeral and arbitrarily-determined "corridor" which measures half the distance between New York and Chicago. As in the past, both should run together.

Of course, thanks to our always-ready Congress, we're getting nut & honey. Not just on the Amtrak front, but on other fronts, non-rail among them.

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