Ridership Surges as Amtrak Celebrates National Transportation Week

WASHINGTON – In recognition of National Transportation Week, Amtrak today announced that ridership across the country reached 14.3 million during the first seven months of the fiscal year, an increase of 5 percent over last year. The biggest growth was in Amtrak’s short-distance corridors outside the Northeast — routes of 500 miles or less — with more than 12.3 million passengers traveling.

The Amtrak-owned Northeast Corridor (Washington, DC – New York – Boston) continues to be the railroad’s busiest route, with 5.7 million passengers traveling during the first seven months of the fiscal year (October 1, 2006 – March 31, 2007). This was an increase from 5.4 million passengers during the same period last fiscal year.

Historically popular in the Northeast, rail travel is now seeing a resurgence on the West Coast. The second most popular Amtrak route during the first seven months of the fiscal year was the Pacific Surfliner (San Diego – Los Angeles – San Luis Obispo) with 1.46 million passengers. This was an increase from 1.44 million last year. California’s Capitol Corridor holds third place with 815,000 passengers, up from 724,000 last year.

Rounding out the top five is the Empire Corridor (New York – Albany – Toronto) with 705,000 passengers, up from 680,000 in FY06, and the Keystone Corridor (New York – Philadelphia – Harrisburg) with 553,000 passengers, up from 472,000.

“Amtrak has seen record ridership increases for each of the past three years, and these mid-year numbers suggest that will continue,” said Alex Kummant, Amtrak President and CEO. “As we recognize our industry during National Transportation Week, we are pleased to note that more and more Americans are discovering the importance of rail travel in our nation’s transportation system.”

National Transportation Week is dedicated to creating a greater awareness of the importance of transportation in all aspects of our everyday lives. It is celebrated during the third week of May annually and provides an opportunity for the industry to demonstrate how transportation positively affects the nation’s economy and to promote transportation-related careers to young people.