Amtrak reports a new record for passengers that hit 28,716,857 for the fiscal year ending September 30. Amtrak also reported a record $1.74 billion in ticket revenue. The two records suggest strong performance and evidence that the demand for passenger rail service is rising as a travel option. Amtrak is also reporting gains in its share of the air-rail market in the Northeast Corridor.
A year-over-year comparison of the financial year 2010 to the financial year 2009 shows total Amtrak ridership grew by 5.7 percent, or about 1.55 million passengers, and all Amtrak business lines experienced growth including the Northeast Corridor (up 4.3 percent), long-distance trains (up 6.6 percent), and state-supported and other short-distance routes (up 6.5 percent.)
Over the same period, ticket revenue increased 9 percent, or more than $140 million.
Boardman said Amtrak’s relationship with other customers such as states and commuter
agencies are also crucial. “Just as we must earn the loyalty of the customers who ride our trains, we must work to build stronger ties to our state and commuter customers,” said Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman.
Factors that contributed to Amtrak’s success in 2010 include a moderately improved
economic environment allowing some recovery of business travel along the Northeast Corridor, the increased appeal and popularity of rail travel, effective marketing campaigns, the introduction of Wi-Fi on the high-speed Acela Express trains and sustained high gasoline prices.
In addition, continued difficulties with air travel and consumer dissatisfaction with air
service are moving passengers from planes to trains particularly along the Northeast Corridor, where Amtrak now enjoys a 65 percent share of the air-rail market between Washington and New York and a 52 percent share of the air-rail market between New York and Boston.
Since 2000, Amtrak ridership is up nearly 37 percent. To continue this long-term
trend, Amtrak is pursuing several initiatives including partnering with states to expand existing services and establish new routes, buying 130 new single-level long-distance passenger cars to modernize its equipment fleet, and beginning the process to expand capacity along the Northeast Corridor to support growing demand.
Amtrak reports it is also promoting its vision for a world class next generation high-speed rail service capable of achieving 220 mph. Furthermore, as required under the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008, Amtrak says it recently completed the first of several comprehensive reviews of its long-distance trains exploring every aspect of operations from on-time performance to on-board services to identify opportunities for improvement. The initial group of reports analyzed the Sunset Limited, Texas Eagle, California Zephyr, Cardinal and Capitol Limited.
Amtrak also is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Guest Rewards program as a, “thank you” to its loyal members for the past 10 years. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the program, members may earn 10,000 points with Amtrak’s “Take Ten” promotion.
Amtrak Guest Rewards members will earn double points on qualifying Amtrak travel, plus if they take 10 trips, they earn an additional 10,000 bonus points from through December 14. Amtrak Guest Rewards continues to enhance the program with extended call center hours, a new website and mobile site, and the expansion of the online mall.
To take advantage of the promotion, passengers must be members of Amtrak Guest Rewards and must register to participate. Members may register online at Amtrakguestrewards.com or by calling 1-800-307-5000.