It was previously predicted that Amtrak’s ridership totals for the 2011 fiscal year would be recording breaking, but a recent Amtrak press release has revealed that this prediction came to fruition. As of the end of September, Amtrak carried nearly 30.2 million passengers this past year; a total that has never been reached in the corporation’s 40 years of operation. Amtrak’s ridership facts for the 2011 year reported many other accomplishments: all-time records were set for a majority (26 of 44) of Amtrak services; seven Amtrak routes carried more than one million passengers; 2011 marked a 44% increase in ridership since 2000; and all three main business lines saw ridership grown. Amtrak also reported $1.9 billion in ticket revenue.
Amtrak is very proud of its accomplishment. Amtrak board of Directors Chairman Tom Carper shared that, “[Amtrak was] created by Congress to fulfill a vital national transportation need and to connect the nation in way no other mode of transportation can. We have always delivered for the American people and we will continue to do so.” Emmett Fremaux , another Amtrak executive, felt that, “30 million passengers is not just a statistic. That number is made up of real people who live real lives and use Amtrak for personal, business and recreational travel.”
To celebrate passing the record-breaking passenger mark, Amtrak awarded it’s 30 millionth passenger, Rochelle Lathan, with an oversized ticket and two 30-day rail passed.
Amtrak’s record breaking service year is great news for the railroad industry and the country. Americans are becoming increasingly dependent on passenger rail, which is ideal as an increasing amount of money is being invested rail improvements. Hopefully this achievement will help to quiet those who feel Amtrak funding should be reduced and allow them to see that Amtrak is a valuable asset in this country. Top Harper may have said it best, “Amtrak truly is America’s Railroad®.”Posted in Amtrak