WASHINGTON — Amtrak ridership increased in the first half of fiscal year 2013 (Oct. 2012 – March 2013) and March set a record as the single best month ever in the history of America’s Railroad®. In addition, October, December, and January each set individual monthly records.
Rebounding strongly from service disruptions caused by Superstorm Sandy and other severe weather, Amtrak ridership grew 0.9 percent in the first six months of fiscal year 2013 as compared to the same period the prior year. In all, 26 of 45 routes posted ridership increases and Amtrak expects to end the fiscal year at or above last year’s record of 31.2 million passengers.
“The continued ridership growth on routes across the country reinforces the need for dedicated, multi-year federal operating and capital funding to support existing intercity passenger rail services and the development of new ones,” said Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman.
Northeast Corridor ridership, which took a significant hit from Superstorm Sandy, is seeing a solid recovery and is predicted to show gains for the full fiscal year, despite being down 1.2 percent for this six-month period. Ridership on state-supported and other short distance routes is up 2.7 percent and long-distance ridership grew 0.5 percent.
Routes with notable ridership growth in the first six months of fiscal year 2013 include: Palmetto (+10.5 percent), Coast Starlight (+10 percent), Illini/Saluki (+9.8 percent), San Joaquin (+8.9 percent), Piedmont (+8.6 percent), Wolverine (+8.2 percent), Vermonter (+6.7 percent), Carolinian (+6.3 percent), Keystone Service (+5.2 percent), Springfield Shuttles (+5.2 percent), Downeaster (+4.8 percent), Pacific Surfliner (+4.3 percent), and Pennsylvanian (+4.3 percent).