For 41 years, policymakers and the public have debated the benefits and pitfalls of Amtrak. The national railroad, created as a result of the President Richard Nixon-signed Rail Passenger Service Act of 1970, operates 305 weekday trains across a network of 21,100 rail miles. The new railroad took over passenger service from struggling railroads, and its first train, The Clocker, departed from Union Station in New York at 12:05 a.m. on May 1, 1971. Amtrak for years has touted ridership gains. According to Amtrak, between October 2011 and August 2012, ridership was up 3.4 percent. By Sept. 30, when the
Amtrak certainly has an interesting history. Since its inception 41 years ago, Amtrak has ferried passengers across the country’s rail network. Its routes have ranged from cross-country hauls to speedier service between closer destinations. Amtrak, which has never turned an annual profit, this week launched a new website (history.amtrak.com) dedicated to the railroad’s history. The site includes digital copies of ads, timetables and images. “Amtrak is woven into the fabric of America, providing a vital transportation service to the nation and connecting families and communities as part of an amazing and unfolding history,” Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman said in
View SIRT South Beach Line in a larger map
NEW YORK — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board approved a series of resolutions that will allow the MTA to move forward with fare increases of 25 to 30 percent and service reductions that will affect customers throughout its service area. These actions were required to implement the balanced budget passed by the Board in December, which closed an approximately $1.2 billion deficit, the board said. The fare and toll increases will be effective on the following dates: New York City Transit, MTA Bus and Long Island Bus (subway, buses and Staten Island Railway): May 31 Long Island Rail Road and
NEW YORK — Last year, MTA Staten Island Railway (SIR) saw an impressive gain in ridership attributable to a series of factors, including the increase of p.m. rush hour express service and the unprecedented jump in gasoline prices which persuaded many commuters to leave their cars at home. From 2007, annual ridership climbed 6.1 percent to 4.38 million in 2008 while the average number of customers using SIR on an average weekday rose 5.1 percent to 15,713. “We greet these ridership figures with great enthusiasm,” said SIR General Manager John Gaul, who noted that there was no single reason for
NEW YORK — MTA New York City Transit’s Staten Island Railway has taken delivery of four new diesel locomotives manufactured by the Brookville Equipment Corporation of Brookville, Penn. The locomotives traveled by rail to Port Newark and then by barge to the Stapleton Home Port. The cars were lifted by crane and trucked to the Clifton shop, where they were again lifted by crane and placed onto the tracks. They will undergo testing for about a month before entering service. These new locomotives will replace four old second-hand locomotives: two that date from 1968 and two that date from 1940s.
NEW YORK — Citing record ridership growth, the Staten Island Railway (SIR) said it was expanding its rush hour express train service. The expansion, which began Nov. 14, will provide additional service to commuters who rely on SIR express and local service to and from the Staten Island Ferry while also providing an alternative to construction-related delays on area highways, officials said. “NYC Transit has devoted considerable time and effort into crafting schedules and in developing quality service improvements that our SIR riders would find attractive,” said MTA Executive Director & CEO Elliot G. Sander. “That hard work is paying