Trains For America

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Amtrak’s Northeast Ridership Falls as Business Travel Declines

Take the bad with the good. The hard economic times have hit just about everything. This Bloomberg report also notes the increase in non-corridor travel. It suggests a reasonable argument for a balanced national system. Students, families, and senior citizens (that is just about all of us, isn’t it?) still need reasonably priced reliable trains.

By Chris Dolmetsch

Nov. 12 (Bloomberg) — Ridership on Amtrak’s trains between Boston and Washington, including its high-speed Acela line, fell 5 percent in October from a year ago as business travel declined.

The drop came as the U.S. economy slumped and gasoline prices approached a two-year low. Regular gasoline at the pump fell 1.8 cents to a nationwide average of $2.202 a gallon, its lowest since February 2007, said AAA, the nation’s biggest motoring group, on its Web site today.

President-elect Barack Obama may inherit the worst U.S. recession in three decades, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, as more than $918 billion in credit losses hinder global growth.

Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy, Regional USA Passenger Rail

3 Responses

  1. Actually, I’d have to say that the decline isn’t in the “recession” or losing of jobs but rather the NEC’s delays and troubles that they have been encountering as of late.

    The NEC absoluately needs to be upgraded and made faster and more reiable than what it is currently. Once it is upgraded and new equipment is in service, Amtrak needs to take a good hard look at lowering the fares 10-15% and make an aggressive push to get passengers on the trains. They are coming in hordes now, they can make it even better – if they want it.

  2. Allan says:

    If “they are coming in hordes now …” then why lower the fares 10-15%???

    Amtrak is not an entitlement program … it needs revenues! The NEC needs a lot of work and you want to lower fares?

    Give people value for their money. If they aren’t getting it, they won’t return. But if Amtrak is giving good value for the current fares then there is no reason to lower them.

  3. Bill says:

    At the same time that the NEC ridership was declining, other short distance corridors as well as long distance trains were continuing to experience the large increases which had been present all summer. In October, NEC was down 5% in ridership, other short distance corridors were up 10%, and long distance trains were up 14.5%. Six of the long-distance trains posted gains in excess of 20%, including the Sunset (up 34%) and Texas Eagle (up 29.8%).

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November 2008


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