nomis wrote: ↑Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:29 am
If CTDOT is supporting both the Amtrak Service, and the TASI-ACI service as one concurrent branding, fare structure, and attempting as best a seamless customer experience they can with the two trains, why should the ridership metrics be split apart.
There would not be the (formerly known as) shuttles if it was not for CTDOT subsidizing the service on some level, even before the Hartford Line upgrades and service increase. Vermonter ridership is not in the monthly figures for Hartford Line Service, the source info from the CT Commuter Rail Council, and for this discussion shouldn’t matter since it is a longer distance train and out of the HL view of the state.
I'm not saying they should fully separate Amtrak and CTrail ticketed ridership because there would be little value there for the reasons you specified, I just think it would be useful to report both local ridership within the corridor (which would include riders connecting to other commuter services) and intercity ridership into categories. I think it would be useful to know how many local riders there are (which would include CTrail and local Amtrak ticketed riders) when seeing how the service is doing compared to SLE. SLE doesn't have the benefit of also serving intercity on its trains so when using HL numbers to judge SLE I think you should at least look at how many riders on HL are actually local.
As for the Vermonter, you're probably right they probably aren't including it, but the source of my suspicion that they may be is the way Amtrak does its own accounting. Ridership on the Vermonter is assigned to three places depending on endpoints. The Vermonter's own service line only gets credit for trips with an endpoint at stations north of Springfield. The New Haven - Springfield service line (which includes the Amtrak Hartford Line trains and the through regionals) is credited for Vermonter trips if one endpoint is at Springfield, Windsor Locks, Hartford, or Meriden and the other endpoint is at Springfield or any station south of it. And finally trips on the Vermonter where both endpoints are at stations between Washington and New Haven are considered Northeast Regional riders and are reported under that service line. I see why Amtrak accounts it that way, but if say, CTDOT's calculation was just to take Amtrak's service line number and add all CTrail tickets sold to that number it would include some Vermonter ridership. Hopefully they have a deeper access to the ridership on the individual trains and are coming up with a fair number.