Amtrak posts record monthly ridership; Mica to hold congressional hearing to review railroad’s ‘monopoly’. Progressive Railroading

Posted: September 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

September 11, 2012

Amtrak has posted record ridership for the past 11 consecutive months, the railroad’s officials announced yesterday.

In each month of the current fiscal year, Amtrak has posted the highest ridership total ever for that particular month, with the fiscal year’s final month of September also expected to reach a new record, Amtrak officials said in a prepared statement.

Moreover, July was the single-best ridership month in Amtrak history, they said.

Through 11 months of fiscal-year 2012, a period running from October 2011 through August 2012, total Amtrak ridership increased 3.4 percent compared with the same period in the previous fiscal year. When the current fiscal year ends on Sept. 30, Amtrak officials anticipate ridership will surpass the current annual record of 30.2 million riders set in FY2011. From FY2002 to FY2011, Amtrak ridership increased 44 percent and set annual records in eight of those nine years, they said.

The long-term growth is occurring across the railroad’s national network and on all business lines, including the Northeast Corridor, state-supported and other short-distance routes, and long-distance services, Amtrak officials said.

“Amtrak continues to deliver on its mission to fulfill a vital national transportation need and does so with improved management and financial health,” said Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Boardman.

Not everyone is necessarily impressed with Amtrak’s ridership figures, however.

Today, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) will hold a congressional hearing to analyze “the costs to taxpayers resulting form Amtrak’s failure to effectively compete with the private sector in operating commuter-rail services across the United States,” according to a press release issued yesterday by Mica’s office.

Mica plans to release a committee “investigative report” that highlights “significant cost savings by commuter-rail agencies through competitive contracting for operations, and Amtrak’s ineffectiveness when competing with the private sector on these contracts,” the release stated.

Scheduled to testify at the hearing are Boardman and representatives from two commuter-rail agencies, passenger-rail operators and labor organizations.

via Rail News – Amtrak posts record monthly ridership; Mica to hold congressional hearing to review railroad’s ‘monopoly’. For Railroad Career Professionals.

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