While Amtrak has won few new friends among travel agents with its new commission policy, Amtrak reports it carried a record 31.6 million passengers in Fiscal Year 2013. It is the tenth ridership record in 11 years, Amtrak says.
Amtrak announced earlier that effective November 1, 2013, Amtrak will pay base commission only to Amtrak National Account Partner Travel Agencies. The Amtrak National accounts include: AAA Travel Agencies and Vacation.com.
In their record announcement Amtrak said that during FY 2013, Amtrak’s state-supported corridor services grew to a new record of 15.4 million passengers. In addition, all long distance routes combined had the best ridership in 20 years with 4.8 million passengers.
Ridership for all Northeast Corridor services reached 11.4 million passengers, the second best year ever. As evidence of a strong ridership rebound following Super Storm Sandy, the Northeast Regional service set a new record, Amtrak said.
Also, FY 2013 produced eight individual monthly ridership records, the single best month in Amtrak history and new records on 20 routes. In addition, ticket revenue increased to a record $2.1 billion.
Amtrak said it is an economic engine that returns nearly three dollars to local communities for every one dollar of federal investment (FY 2010-FY 2012). This support has allowed Amtrak to place more than $12.6 billion back into the economy through the purchasing of goods and services and employee salaries to maintain, operate and improve its national network, Amtrak said.