WASHINGTON – The numbers are now in and January is the 15th straight month of ridership growth for Amtrak and also the best January on record with 2,126,429 passengers. This strong performance is part of a long-term trend that has seen America’s Railroad set annual ridership records in seven of the last eight fiscal years, including more than 28.7 million passengers in FY 2010.
“The steady rise in ridership demonstrates a growing demand and the ongoing need for a national intercity passenger rail system,” said Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman. “With oil approaching $100 a barrel, we expect to continue to post strong ridership numbers as more and more people choose Amtrak to meet their transportation needs.”
Specifically, there was a 4.6 percent increase in riders in January 2011 vs. January 2010, or nearly 94,000 more passengers. The 15 straight months of ridership growth spans from November 2009 to January 2011 which averages a 6 percent growth rate over this period.
Factors that are contributing to the success of Amtrak include a moderately improved economic environment allowing some recovery of business travel along the Northeast Corridor, sustained high gasoline prices, the increased appeal and popularity of rail travel, effective marketing campaigns, and the introduction of Wi-Fi on the high-speed Acela Express trains.
The highlights below compare the first four months of current FY 2011 (October 2010-January 2011) to the same period during FY 2010 and show increased Amtrak ridership across the country from coast to coast.