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Amtrak NEC ridership down sharply in November; long distance ridership up

The economic slowdown of November has had an effect on business travel, which has obviously had a strong negative effect on Acela. Of particular interest is that demand for long distance service continues strong. This includes the Texas Eagle and the perennial system whipping boy, the Sunset.

Amtrak Ridership down in November

Ridership on Amtrak trains, according to a document issued by the
company, declined 5.5% during the month of November against the same month in the prior fiscal year. It was down 10.7% against what the company expected. The biggest decline on the NEC and on the entire system was Acela Express, down more than 15%.

Leading the decline was the Northeast Corridor, where ridership was down 11.2% against a year ago, and 15.7% against expectations.

State-supported and shorthaul trains were up 2.0% against the prior
year, and down 5.0% against expectations. The biggest gainer was the Piedmont, up over 28%; the Adirondack was down 11%.

Long-distance trains were up 3.9% against a year ago, down 1.9% from company expectations. The largest increases were posted by the
Piedmont, up over 28%, and the Texas Eagle and Sunset Limited, both up almost 20%.

Despite a shaky economy and declining gas prices, there is still strong desire for rail intercity transportation.


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

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December 2008