Amtrak Fare and Availability Discussion Thread

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

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Suburban Station
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Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by Suburban Station » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:41 am

neroden wrote: There's no evidence of a lower state subsidy, just operating costs increasing at a rate far greater than inflation.
Uh, now that I look at it carefuly, both of you are kind of missing the point: the state subsidy is going to be required to go up in October 2013 in order to maintain the *same* level of service at the same fares *because of the requirements of PRIIA* (not because of some unsubstantiated claim about operating cost increases on the Keystone).
(further edit:)

Looks like there are systemwide fare increases, which makes sense when so many trains are full and the federal funding situation is so pathetically unreliable (seriously, sequestration?). But it also looks like the Keystones are getting hit with *more* fare increases than most of the others, which I attribute to Pennsylvania not wanting to increase its subsidy payment come October 2013.
I wonder how far they'll push it, central PA isn't the wealthiest place in the world. they had remarked about trying to generate tourism in lancaster but I wonder how many people are willing to pay $36 to go to/from lancaster on a saturday/sunday only to arrive at a station 20 min walk from downtown and with poor options for getting back...$72 RT is it's two. It puzzles me why the weekend is more expensive than the weekdays.
Last edited by Suburban Station on Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

prr60
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Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by prr60 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:28 am

Suburban Station wrote:
neroden wrote: ...It puzzles me why the weekend is more expensive than the weekdays.
The higher fares are from roughly 9am to 7pm on Fridays and Sundays. Regular fares apply on Saturday. I think the periods are chosen to capture weekend travel by college students and others.

Suburban Station
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Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by Suburban Station » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:06 am

prr60 wrote:
Suburban Station wrote:
neroden wrote: ...It puzzles me why the weekend is more expensive than the weekdays.
The higher fares are from roughly 9am to 7pm on Fridays and Sundays. Regular fares apply on Saturday. I think the periods are chosen to capture weekend travel by college students and others.
seems odd, they run fewer trains on the weekend ostensibly because there's less demand yet they charge higher fares. since it's unreserved, you can just buy a lower fare ticket and board the train anyway. I'd guess they're killing demand for anyone going west in particular.

25Hz
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Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by 25Hz » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:44 pm

amtrakowitz wrote:
25Hz wrote:From my understanding they want to put back 3rd or 4th tracks on the old "Broad Way" and run the Pennsylvanian on that. This way they don't have to compete with NS trains. An upside is that if the state allows NS on its track, they will get a fee which would go towards upkeep.

As someone above mentioned, there have been a few studies, all of which point to more trains = more passengers. I know so many people that would love to take the train save the departure time. An overnight train has been suggested as well.

Frankly people are tied of flying and that is a long way to drive.
"They" meaning whom?
They - amtrak & penndot. Amtrak would do the upkeep since they all ready run a railroad & have the MOW equipment.
Next stop the square, journal square station next!

ThirdRail7
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Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by ThirdRail7 » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:41 am

prr60 wrote:
Suburban Station wrote:
neroden wrote: ...It puzzles me why the weekend is more expensive than the weekdays.
The higher fares are from roughly 9am to 7pm on Fridays and Sundays. Regular fares apply on Saturday. I think the periods are chosen to capture weekend travel by college students and others.
In general, it is to "persuade" people to travel "off peak."
I want my road foreman!

Suburban Station
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Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by Suburban Station » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:11 pm

ThirdRail7 wrote:
In general, it is to "persuade" people to travel "off peak."
there is no crowding issues on weekend keystones. perhaps it's time to consider a companion fare discount.

nyswfan
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Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by nyswfan » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:16 am

25Hz wrote:
amtrakowitz wrote:
25Hz wrote:From my understanding they want to put back 3rd or 4th tracks on the old "Broad Way" and run the Pennsylvanian on that. This way they don't have to compete with NS trains. An upside is that if the state allows NS on its track, they will get a fee which would go towards upkeep.

As someone above mentioned, there have been a few studies, all of which point to more trains = more passengers. I know so many people that would love to take the train save the departure time. An overnight train has been suggested as well.

Frankly people are tied of flying and that is a long way to drive.
"They" meaning whom?
They - amtrak & penndot. Amtrak would do the upkeep since they all ready run a railroad & have the MOW equipment.
Instead of investing large amounts of capital on boondoggles.... If I were in charge...(and I realize thats a big IF)... I would cut both Pennsylvanians (in either direction) to serve Harrisburgh to Pittsburgh only. Thru Riders wishing to go from NYP to Pitt would xfer from an electric Keystone to the Diesel Pennsyvanian at harrisburg. There would be a morning run to Pitt, and then an afternoon run. Given the Current Pennsylvanian does an engine change, I dont think thru riders would be all that inconvienced with walking across a platform at harrisburgh.

glennk419
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Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by glennk419 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:20 pm

25Hz wrote:Till we boot the tea party out of Harrisburg, amtrak will have to make due with possible lower state subsidy. Thankfully we have some state reps up for election this year that could begin to turn the tide in amtrak's favor. There are a few reps that want to make the pennsylvanian 4 daily round trips funded with state money.

Also, fares in 42-44 land still seem pretty reasonable, and are competitive vs bus & driving.. 68 bucks round trip phl-lew (state college).

I guess we will have to wait till nov 7th to see what the damage is here in the keystone state.
What does this have to do with Harrisburg? Gas prices are up what, 20% in the last 3-4 months? A 3% increase seems pretty reasonable by comparison.
This is a railroad forum, take the political dribble somewhere else.
Glenn

Suburban Station
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Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by Suburban Station » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:33 pm

glennk419 wrote:
What does this have to do with Harrisburg? Gas prices are up what, 20% in the last 3-4 months? A 3% increase seems pretty reasonable by comparison.
This is a railroad forum, take the political dribble somewhere else.
4 increases (presumably all of 3%) in 18 months is a lot, I'd guess most people didn't get 3% raises 4 times in 18 months. Of course, raising the fare $15 to $16 isn't 3% for the person paying $32 instead of $15, it's 6.7%. gas prices go up and down

neroden
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Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by neroden » Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:59 pm

glennk419 wrote:What does this have to do with Harrisburg? Gas prices are up what, 20% in the last 3-4 months? A 3% increase seems pretty reasonable by comparison.
This is a railroad forum, take the political dribble somewhere else.
Harrisburg (PA state government) decides how much to fund the trains (at least starting in October 2013), therefore Harrisburg decides how much the state subsidy on the tickets is, and therefore indirectly decides what the ticket price will be. I have no doubt that Amtrak is already taking advice from Harrisburg on ticket prices even though it's not October 2013 yet.

These are fundamentally political issues. People who pretend to be apolitical are merely taking a political position and pretending that their position is somehow "obviously correct".

glennk419
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Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by glennk419 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:35 pm

neroden wrote:
glennk419 wrote:What does this have to do with Harrisburg? Gas prices are up what, 20% in the last 3-4 months? A 3% increase seems pretty reasonable by comparison.
This is a railroad forum, take the political dribble somewhere else.
Harrisburg (PA state government) decides how much to fund the trains (at least starting in October 2013), therefore Harrisburg decides how much the state subsidy on the tickets is, and therefore indirectly decides what the ticket price will be. I have no doubt that Amtrak is already taking advice from Harrisburg on ticket prices even though it's not October 2013 yet.

These are fundamentally political issues. People who pretend to be apolitical are merely taking a political position and pretending that their position is somehow "obviously correct".
I never pretended to be apolitical, I just stated that this isn't the place for it. We are already inundated with politics from every direction, this is one of the few places I visit to try to relax and get away from it.
Glenn

Suburban Station
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Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by Suburban Station » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:02 am

neroden wrote: Harrisburg (PA state government) decides how much to fund the trains (at least starting in October 2013), therefore Harrisburg decides how much the state subsidy on the tickets is, and therefore indirectly decides what the ticket price will be. I have no doubt that Amtrak is already taking advice from Harrisburg on ticket prices even though it's not October 2013 yet.

These are fundamentally political issues. People who pretend to be apolitical are merely taking a political position and pretending that their position is somehow "obviously correct".
that's exactly correct. it's also worth noting that subsidies are a function of capital investment. faster trains earn more revenue and cost less to run. infrastructure that is prone to delays or is slow costs more. I'm concerned that Penndot seems so keen on fare increases but it's been a long time since they announced a real capital improvement. I guess we're lucky we got any ARRA funding otherwise nothing would happen.

nyswfan
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Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by nyswfan » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:23 am

A one way ticket between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia cost $17 in 1967, the equivilant of $113 today. It seems that ticket prices on the Keystone Corridor have not kept up with inflation, so small increases should be negligable....

http://www.streamlinerschedules.com/tic ... 196706.pdf

Suburban Station
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Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by Suburban Station » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:22 pm

nyswfan wrote:A one way ticket between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia cost $17 in 1967, the equivilant of $113 today. It seems that ticket prices on the Keystone Corridor have not kept up with inflation, so small increases should be negligable....

http://www.streamlinerschedules.com/tic ... 196706.pdf
what could be wrong with this logic? maybe we should set fares based on what they were in 1967. I'd bet the train was 34 minutes faster as well. and I'm not sure that 12% in 18 months is small increases but maybe you got that in a raise that you can afford $117 for a trip to pittsburgh (interestingly, following that logic, if the fare were $117 it would likely be a very small train..certainly not worth running).

nyswfan
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Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by nyswfan » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:53 am

Suburban Station wrote:
nyswfan wrote:A one way ticket between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia cost $17 in 1967, the equivilant of $113 today. It seems that ticket prices on the Keystone Corridor have not kept up with inflation, so small increases should be negligable....

http://www.streamlinerschedules.com/tic ... 196706.pdf
what could be wrong with this logic? maybe we should set fares based on what they were in 1967. I'd bet the train was 34 minutes faster as well. and I'm not sure that 12% in 18 months is small increases but maybe you got that in a raise that you can afford $117 for a trip to pittsburgh (interestingly, following that logic, if the fare were $117 it would likely be a very small train..certainly not worth running).
LOL, It seems you have trouble with sarcasam. According to the 1938 timetable, the Broadway limited ran from Pitt to Philly (north Philly) in 6 hrs 30 min, one full hour quicker that the Pennsylvanian traverses the same route today, 75 years later. 12% increase on a dollar is .12 so the "12% increase" is a "small increase. Especially given the fact that the price of fuel fluctuates 10-30% every year. My property taxes have increase 60% over the last 36 months, Insurance premiums are up 20%, groceries, electric, heat, are all up double digit percentages over the last 4 years. Its everything, not just your Keystone ticket.

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