These are boom times for Amtrak. The railroad released its Fiscal Year 2012 ridership numbers, showing a dramatic increase over the last decade. Amtrak carried 31.2 million passengers over the last year, up 3.5 percent from the previous year and up a whopping 49 percent from 2000.
What’s driving the growth? It could be high gas prices, frustration with air travel and new Amtrak amenities such as Wi-Fi.
In Upstate New York, Amtrak did not see such dramatic year-to-year growth. Ridership between Toronto and Albany went up only .4 percent, although revenue for this line increased 5 percent. The route carried 407,729 passengers over the past year.
The Albany-New York City route is far more successful, carrying more than a million passengers.
Also notable, the top 5 train stations in New York state did not include Rochester or Buffalo. Total on/offs:
- New York, NY 9,493,414
- Albany-Rensselaer, NY 769,413
- Rhinecliff, NY 177,375
- Hudson, NY 167,286
- Syracuse, NY 152,957
Perhaps Western New Yorkers don’t embrace Amtrak because it’s so much faster to fly – or even drive – to New York City. That’s where high-speed rail could make a huge difference in our willingness to jump aboard. But is it worth the cost?
Links of the Day:
– Check out the city’s latest conceptual drawings for Midtown Plaza.
– Suburbs want to be more city-like. Think I-Square.
– The head of the Massachusetts DOT is against…building highways.
– One Erie County town. Four districts. Is it time to consolidate?
– New York State prisoners staff DMV call centers.
– Wegmans is selling toys made from recycled milk jugs.