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.
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.
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.
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.
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.