Amtrak record ridership of more than 31.2 million passengers this past fiscal year was achieved station by station in hundreds of communities across America as the widespread demand to travel by rail continues to grow. “Amtrak provides a vital transportation service to this country, often serving as the only intercity travel mode in many of the communities we serve,” said President and CEO Joe Boardman. “We also benefit hundreds of local economies by supporting jobs, increasing tourism and stimulating economic development.”
Boardman explained that intercity bus and air service has declined precipitously in many areas of the country leaving Amtrak as the only intercity transportation option for many small and mid-sized communities. The number of Americans who no longer have access to intercity bus or air service, and are served only by Amtrak, tripled in just five years according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
During FY 2012, ridership on the Northeast Corridor is up 4.8 percent to a record 11.4 million, state-supported and other short distance routes is up 2.1 percent to a record 15.1 million and long-distance services is up 4.7 percent to their best showing in 19 years at 4.7 million. Amtrak has set ridership records in nine of the last ten years.