Amtrak Fare and Availability Discussion Thread

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

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Clearfield
Posts: 1980
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 9:36 pm
Location: Montgomery County, PA

Surprise Fare Increase

Post by Clearfield » Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:08 pm

CORRECTION - MORE THAN JUST THE KEYSTONE:

ACELA
NE REGIONAL
AUTO TRAIN
VERMONTER
KEYSTONE
PENNSYLVANIAN
"The needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few, or the one".............. Spock

My opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of any organization, Association, or Authority.

hi55us
Posts: 2337
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:02 pm
Location: Manhattan

Re: Surprise Fare Increase

Post by hi55us » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:22 pm

Clearfield wrote:CORRECTION - MORE THAN JUST THE KEYSTONE:

ACELA
NE REGIONAL
AUTO TRAIN
VERMONTER
KEYSTONE
PENNSYLVANIAN
I think it will hardly make a difference, after all, gas has been up and most people won't notice an increase due to amtrak's bucket system. This is different from commuter rail and subway fair hikes.

goodnightjohnwayne
Posts: 1380
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:13 pm

Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by goodnightjohnwayne » Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:57 pm

25Hz wrote:Till we boot the tea party out of Harrisburg, amtrak will have to make due with possible lower state subsidy.
There's no evidence of a lower state subsidy, just operating costs increasing at a rate far greater than inflation.
25Hz wrote: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.
Ridership doesn't justify increasing the frequency of Pittsburg service from one a day to four times per day. Moreover, it's doubtful that NS would agree to an increased frequency without a huge investment of taxpayer money. It just doesn't make sense.

goodnightjohnwayne
Posts: 1380
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:13 pm

Re: Surprise Fare Increase

Post by goodnightjohnwayne » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:01 am

Clearfield wrote:CORRECTION - MORE THAN JUST THE KEYSTONE:

ACELA
NE REGIONAL
AUTO TRAIN
VERMONTER
KEYSTONE
PENNSYLVANIAN
Systemwide fare increases? It makes sense, given the much discussed 20% increase in Amtrak operating costs cited in another thread. Not just a PA issue and not attributable to any particular policy originating in Harrisburg, or any particular PA politician of any political stripe.

Suburban Station
Posts: 3342
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2007 5:11 pm

Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by Suburban Station » Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:32 am

hi55us wrote:
I think it will hardly make a difference, after all, gas has been up and most people won't notice an increase due to amtrak's bucket system. This is different from commuter rail and subway fair hikes.
is this the second one in three months? it certainly can make a difference if there are enough of them, lancaster county isn't the wealthiest county in PA (neither is dauphin).
goodnightjohnwayne wrote: There's no evidence of a lower state subsidy, just operating costs increasing at a rate far greater than inflation.
actually, the keystone's loss is lower this year than last and last year they paid less than the year before.
goodnightjohnwayne wrote:
Ridership doesn't justify increasing the frequency of Pittsburg service from one a day to four times per day. Moreover, it's doubtful that NS would agree to an increased frequency without a huge investment of taxpayer money. It just doesn't make sense.
the Pennsylvania service studies concluded the ridership was there for more service. you may be right about NS

CVRA7
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Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 10:30 pm
Location: Along the Canal Line

Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by CVRA7 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:55 am

[quote="Clearfield"]AMTRAK posted hastily printed, non-logo'd notices dated 10/9/12 in Lancaster this morning that fares for ALL Keystone corridor trains are going up by 3% effective today.

Nothong on the website about it, but fares from PHL - LNC are now $16, up $1 since yesterday.

Surprise![/quote]
Surprise no longer. Nothing new - the days of advance notice for fare increases are long gone. Even most employees don't know when they are coming more than a day or two in advance.

nyswfan
Posts: 335
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 2:26 pm

Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by nyswfan » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:44 am

Suburban Station wrote: the Pennsylvania service studies concluded the ridership was there for more service. you may be right about NS
Since NS owns the line, they will ultimately have the say in how many pax trains are on the line. Ridership on the route wout increase tenfold if frequency was better (even 2 round trips per day) and and 90 min was shaved from the Pit - Harrisburgh running time.

Clearfield
Posts: 1980
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 9:36 pm
Location: Montgomery County, PA

Re: Surprise Fare Increase

Post by Clearfield » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:12 pm

hi55us wrote:I think it will hardly make a difference, after all, gas has been up and most people won't notice an increase due to amtrak's bucket system. This is different from commuter rail and subway fair hikes.
I feel the issue is customer service and communication. AMTRAK station agents were made aware of the increase last week, but as of Sunday, the new fares had not been loaded into the reservation system.

The posted signs were without logos and looked amateurish.

I like AMTRAK, but how can politicians take them seriously with that level of management indifference?
"The needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few, or the one".............. Spock

My opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of any organization, Association, or Authority.

quincunx
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:46 pm
Location: St Louis

Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by quincunx » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:30 pm

Looks like trains out of St Louis have gone up too, by a dollar. It's been maybe 5 years since the last fare increase.

jamesinclair
Posts: 2244
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 5:22 pm

Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by jamesinclair » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:48 pm

California as well.

Fresno-LA was $33, is now $34.

25Hz
Posts: 4624
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:06 pm
Location: Newtown, PA (or PATH towards WTC)

Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by 25Hz » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:02 pm

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.
Next stop the square, journal square station next!

amtrakowitz
Posts: 1112
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 6:33 pm

Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by amtrakowitz » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:04 pm

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?

Suburban Station
Posts: 3342
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2007 5:11 pm

Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by Suburban Station » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:31 pm

quincunx wrote:Looks like trains out of St Louis have gone up too, by a dollar. It's been maybe 5 years since the last fare increase.
five years ago would be nice, they just raised fares a few months ago on the keystone
For the third time in 18 months, Amtrak recently increased its monthly fares for commuters.
The 2 percent increase imposed in June adds $3.28 to the cost of a monthly pass between Lancaster and Harrisburg. With the increase, the cost of that pass is now $164.
For a Lancaster commuter traveling to Philadelphia's 30th Street Station, the monthly pass increased by $5.64, to $282...The last increase was in October...The one-way rate to Philadelphia is $15
http://lancasteronline.com/article/loca ... fares.html#

that makes three increases in 12 months, I checked monthlies for november and got $287 so they went up another $5. I also noticed they're charging $19 for most trains on saturday and sunday, more for less sindeed.

neroden
Posts: 1175
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 12:37 am
Location: Ithaca, NY

Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by neroden » Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:43 am

goodnightjohnwayne wrote:
25Hz wrote:Till we boot the tea party out of Harrisburg, amtrak will have to make due with possible lower state subsidy.
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.

neroden
Posts: 1175
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 12:37 am
Location: Ithaca, NY

Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by neroden » Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:51 am

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?
PennDOT in the mid-2000s, I think -- which doesn't correspond, unfortunately, to current Pennsylvania government. So who knows what'll happen.

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