WASHINGTON – Amtrak is reporting double-digit growth in ridership and revenue during fiscal year 2007 on routes through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, most notably the Keystone Service. Operating between Harrisburg, Philadelphia and New York, the Keystones saw ridership grow to 988,454, an increase of 20 percent for FY07.
Ticket revenue for the same period increased nearly 30 percent to $20,582,838. The Keystone Service ranks fifth in growth in ridership and revenue among all Amtrak services.
“People traveling from Harrisburg and Lancaster to Philadelphia and back now have an even better option to beat traffic congestion,” said PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E. “Working with Amtrak, PennDOT under Governor Edward G. Rendell has continued to invest and improve this important rail corridor. Riders can now travel from Harrisburg to Philadelphia in 1 hour 35 minutes to an hour and 50 minutes, a time you are hard pressed to duplicate traveling by car. With the rising trend in fuel prices and these improved operating times, we expect that ridership will continue to grow.”
“Through our partnership with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, last year we were able to bring improved rail service to residents along the Keystone Corridor, and they have responded,” said Jay McArthur, principal officer for state contracts for Amtrak. “Even through this summer’s trackwork, ridership continued to grow.”
Last fall, Amtrak and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation with support from the Federal Transit Administration, introduced all-electric service with speeds up to 110 mph on the Keystone Corridor, which has reduced travel times between Harrisburg and Philadelphia and Harrisburg and New York City by between 15 and 45 minutes.
Weekday roundtrips have also increased from 11 to 14 — with ten traveling through to New York.
For FY07, Amtrak ridership increased to 25,847,531, marking the fifth straight year of gain and setting a record for the most passengers using Amtrak since it began operations in 1971. Total ticket revenue for the fiscal year was $1.5 billion, up 11 percent from the previous year. If income from contract services is included, the railroad’s total revenue was $2.2 billion for the fiscal year.