OKLAHOMA CITY — Final figures for the Amtrak fiscal year show more people are opting for the Amtrak Heartland Flyer train between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth, with ridership rising by more than 18 percent to total 80,892 for the 12 months ending Sept. 30.Amtrak operates the Heartland Flyer (Trains 821 & 822) under contracts with the Oklahoma and Texas state transportation departments. These are two of the 14 states for which Amtrak operates service that supplements the national network of Amtrak trains.
“We continue to be excited about the growth in ridership numbers of the Heartland Flyer,” said David Streb, director of engineering for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. “In addition to being one of the fastest growing lines, the Heartland Flyer has the best customer satisfaction rating of any line, and we expect to see continued growth of this popular service.”
“We take great pride in operating a safe and reliable service that is giving travelers the best way to travel between busy downtowns, an option that avoids highway congestion and links communities,” said Amtrak General Superintendent Joe Yannuzzi, who is based in Los Angeles.
All Amtrak trains across the system saw increases in ridership. The 28.7 million total for the period October 1, 2007 – September 30, 2008, topped the 25,847,531 for the previous 12 months by 11.1 percent. Total ticket revenue for the fiscal year reached $1.7 billion, a 14.2 percent increase over the $1.5 billion in FY07.
“After another record-breaking year, in which the railroad achieved double-digit growth, Amtrak has solidified its role as a leader in the nation’s transportation network and proven intercity passenger rail’s relevance in today’s world,” said Alex Kummant, President and CEO of Amtrak. “Highway and airway congestion, volatile fuel prices and increasing environmental awareness all contributed to Amtrak’s successful year, as did our continually improving service and on-time performance.”
Kummant added, “With the recent passage of a reauthorization bill, which includes a significant state and federal capital matching grant program, we also look forward to expanding state partnerships to provide more rail service in growing corridors nationwide.”